Appealing a Civil Case in Massachusetts

Appealing a Civil Case in Massachusetts

HomeAppealing a Civil Case in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Civil Appeals Attorneys


If you want to appeal the results of a civil case in Massachusetts, there are several steps involved.  You will need to pay close attention to deadlines so that you don’t risk losing your appeal on procedural grounds.  Every case is different, so it is always a good idea to consult with a civil appeals attorney before proceeding with an appeal. 

For demonstration purposes, we have put the following list together so that clients and potential clients can get an idea of what steps are involved in the civil appeals process.

Steps for civil appeal:

  1. file notice of appeal within 30 days of judgment or decision
  2. Order transcripts if necessary within 14 days of filing NOA (or certify to the clerk and other side that no transcripts are necessary)
    • Other party may order additional transcripts within 14 days of that notice, if they deem it necessary
    • Court reporter will file directly with the court
  3. Pay filing fee $300 to appeals court when notice of assembly (within 14 days of receiving)
  4. File docketing statement
  5. Appellant prepares an appendix, including such items as table of contents, docket, relevant filings, judgment, notice of appeal
    • Within 14 days of receiving notice of assembly from trial court, appellant must serve on the appellee a designation of the parts of record that appellant intends to include, and appellee has 14 days to respond with additional parts of the record that should be included. Parties are encouraged to reach agreement as to the contents of the appendix.
  6. Appellant has 40 days to file brief with the appeals court (and serve other side). But can ask for more time.
  7. Appellant has 30 days for their brief
  8. Appellant can file a reply brief within 14 days of receiving the appellee brief
  9. Oral argument – 15 minutes each side
  10. AFAR within 21 days of appeals court decision


If you have questions, and are interested in working with our attorneys on a Massachusetts civil appeal, call us at 781-797-0555 for a free initial telephone consultation today.

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