BOSTON, MA -- The Trial Court announced today the establishment of a Help Line beginning on April 2 that the public can call to ask general questions about their civil and criminal cases and help them navigate the court system while the court system remains closed to the public except for emergency matters. The Help Line will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 833-91COURT.
For emergency matters, court users should first call their local court Clerk's or Register's Offices. Contact numbers for individual courts and offices can be found online on the Courthouse Locator page. Emergency matters include: emergency protection and harassment prevention orders; arraignments of new arrests; bail reviews; dangerousness hearings; mental health commitment orders; care and protection orders; and other matters. Each department of the Trial Court issued Standing Orders that contain full lists of emergency matters.
"In light of the Supreme Judicial Court Order issued today that extends the previous order limiting courts to emergency matters until May 4, the Help Line is an important resource for people who need information on their court cases, who have questions regarding non-emergency matters, and who may not know where to go for answers to their questions," said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey. "It will also serve as a backup resource in the event a Clerk's or Register's office is closed or otherwise unable to assist in an emergency."
The Trial Court has also created email addresses for Clerk’s offices as another way to access court departments and locations. If a member of the public is unable to reach a Clerk's Office or Register's Office, Help Line staff will serve as a backup resource and will be able to look up case information and assist callers. The following Trial Court Departments will have representatives on the Help Line: District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Superior Court, Probate and Family Court, Juvenile Court, Housing Court and Land Court. The Massachusetts Probation Service will also have representatives available on the Help Line. Callers to the Help Line will be prompted to select the Trial Court Department they wish to reach and then be connected to a knowledgeable representative who can access the main court case database.