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Massachusetts Court Appeals

The Court of Appeals of Massachusetts is the intermediate appellate court of Massachusetts county. It was formed in the year 1972 to exercise general appellate jurisdiction. The Massachusetts Court of Appeal is housed within the John Adams Courthouse building at Pemberton Square, Boston. The Appeal Court judges do not resolve conflicting factual questions. Instead, they review Massachusetts Court of Appeal cases and records and correct legal inconsistencies to ensure that justice is delivered promptly and fairly.

This Massachusetts Circuit Court of Appeals was created to share the Supreme Judicial Court's ever-expanding stack of Massachusetts Court civil appeals and Massachusetts Court criminal appeals. The Massachusetts judicial machinery is three-tier system and the Massachusetts Circuit Court of Appeals forms the plank between the Supreme Judicial Court and the various trial courts of the state, like the Superior Courts, the District Courts, the Land Court, and the Juvenile Courts.

The Court of Appeals of Massachusetts convenes every month in Boston from September to June. It also conducts sessions outside Boston, usually in law schools, all throughout the year. Phillip Rapoza is presently the Chief Justice of the Appeals Court.

The Massachusetts state court of appeal also maintains detailed records pertaining to the different clauses under the laws of the state for criminal offenses. The court also have detailed records about the present appeal cases going one under the jurisdiction of the state, about the cases pending verdict and even the cases for which the verdicts have already been passed.

Massachusetts Court Appeals originate and are directed from the trial courts of the state that includes the Massachusetts Land Court, the Department of Industrial Accidents, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, and the Appellate Tax Board.Most of these Massachusetts court cases are resolved by the Court of Appeals, the rest are transferred to the Supreme Judicial Court.

However some forms of state appeals like a conviction for first degree murder do not go to this Court of Appeal. Apart from such Massachusetts criminal appeals, some Massachusetts circuit appeals of a civil kind are first made to the Appellate Division of the District Court.

Also certain civil appeals in the District Court Department may be first made to the Appellate Division of the District Court, thus bypassing the Massachusetts Court of Civil Appeals. If not content with the verdict, the contending parties may then approach the Supreme Judicial Court for "further appellate review."

Massachusetts Court Appeals are tended to by twenty-five statutory justices and also some retired appellate justices, who may be summoned by the Court of Appeal. As is the norm with intermediate appellate courts in the other U.S. states, the Court of Appeals of Massachusetts too functions with three-judge panels.

These panels are rotated regularly to allow judges with each other. Apart from this mechanism of appellate or "panel" jurisdiction, the Appeals Court may also function as a single and continuous justice session, complete with a separate docket. A single judge may also preside over interlocutory appeals from say, trial court orders for injunctive relief, awards of attorney's fees, motions to review orders of impoundment, and stays of civil proceedings or pending criminal sentences. Every associate judge functions as a single justice for a period of one month.

All those who harbor discontentment with the decision of the lower courts repose their faith in the Massachusetts Court Appeals.