Trial Court Launches Help Line to Assist Court Users

The Trial Court announced this week the establishment of a Help Line that began 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 staffedfrom8:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m., Monday throughFriday, 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.

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 Courtissued Standing Orders that contain full lists of emergency matters.

“In light of the Supreme Judicial Court Orderissued April 1 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 officeis closed or otherwise unable to assist in an emergency.”

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 andwill be able to look up case information and assist callers. The following Trial Court Departments will have represen­tatives on theHelp Line: District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Superior Court, Probate and Family Court, Juvenile Court, Housing Court, andLand 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.

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