Massachusetts Court Records
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How Does Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Work?
The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court is a department under the Massachusetts Trial Court with jurisdiction over probate and family-related cases. Some of these cases include:
- Separate support
- Child support
- Child Custody
- Parenting time
- Termination of parental rights
- Abuse prevention
- Child requiring assistance (CRA)
The court also handles probate-related matters, including wills, estates, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and name changes.
The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court have 14 divisions, each having court justices appointed by the Governor with approval from the judicial nominating commission and the Governor’s Council. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts justices do not have a fixed term; instead, the judges may remain in office until the compulsory retirement age of 70. Judges must be under the age of 70 and must also be citizens and residents of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, all judges must be members of the state bar members in good standing; and must have some years of legal experience and training.
Massachusetts judges may be removed through any of these three ways:
- With the Governor’s Council’s approval following a joint address of both houses of the general court. The Governor, with the consent of the Governor’s council, may also retire judges because of advanced age or mental or physical disability.
- Following a formal hearing, where the commission investigates complaints of judicial misconduct, the commission may recommend the removal, retirement, or reprimand of a judge to the supreme judicial court
- Impeachment by the house of representatives and conviction by the senate
Interested persons may access Massachusetts Probate and Family Court records unless the records have been sealed or expunged. The records are available at the clerk’s office during business hours (8:30 am - 4:30 pm). Also, limited information about these cases is available online or on the public access computers located in the clerk’s office of each court. The records available online via eAccess include:
- Change of name managed
- Domestic relations custody, support, and parenting time
- Domestic relations
- Domestic relations/other
- Equity complaint
- Equity petition
- Estates and administration
- Guardianship managed
- Joint petition
- Paternity managed
- Paternity in equity
- Probate abuse/conservator managed
- Probate other
- Wills for safekeeping
The addresses and contact information of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court are listed below:
3195 Main Street, P. O. Box 346, Barnstable, MA 02630
This court serves all towns and cities in Barnstable County.
Telephone: (508) 375–6710
44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201
This location serves all towns and cities in Berkshire County.
Phone: (413) 442–6941
40 Broadway, Suite 240, Taunton, MA 02780
The Bristol Probate and Family Court serve all the towns and cities in Bristol County.
Phone: (508) 977–6040
215 Main Street, Brockton, MA 02303
This court serves Abington, Brockton, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater, and Whitman.
Telephone: (508) 897–5400
81 Main Street, P. O. Box 237, Edgartown, MA 02539
The court serves all the towns of Dukes County.
Phone: (508) 627–4703
36 Federal Street, Salem, MA 01970
This court serves all towns and cities in Essex County.
Phone: (978) 744–1020
289 Rock Street, Fall River, MA 02720
The Bristol Probate and Family Court in Fall River serve all the cities and towns in Bristol County.
Phone: (508) 672–1751
43 Hope Street, P. O. Box 590, Greenfield, MA 01302
This court serves all towns and cities in Franklin County.
Telephone: (413) 774–7011
50 State Street, P. O. Box 559, Springfield, MA 01102
This court serves the towns and cities in Hampden County.
Phone: (413) 748–7760
15 Atwood Dr., Northampton, MA 01060
This court serves all the towns and cities in Hampshire County.
Phone: (413) 586–8500
2 Appleton Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
The Essex Probate and Family Court in Lawrence serve all cities and towns of Essex County.
Phone: (978) 686–9692
208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
This court serves all towns and cities in Middlesex County. Effective May 4, 2020, the Middlesex Probate and Family Court opened in the Lowell Justice Center, creating two locations for the operation of the Registry, Probation, and Judiciary.
Phone: (617) 768–5800
16 Broad Street, 2nd floor, P. O.Box 1116, Nantucket, MA 02554
This court serves Nantucket county.
Phone: (508) 228–2669
505 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA 02740
The Bristol Probate and Family Court serve all towns and cities in Bristol County.
Phone: (508) 999–5249
35 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021
This court serves all towns and cities in Norfolk County.
Phone: (781) 830–1200
52 Obery Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
This court serves all towns and cities in Plymouth County.
Phone: (508) 747–6204
24 New Chardon Street, Boston, MA 02114
This court serves Boston, Brighton, Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Revere, Roslindale, South Boston, and Winthrop.
Phone: (617) 788–8301
225 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
This court serves all towns and cities in Worcester County.