Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendment to Appellate Procedure Rule 4

The SJC 's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure seeks comments by April 27 on a  proposed amendment to Mass. R. A. P. 4(a) dealing with post judgment motions.  
"The proposed amendment addresses the motions that toll the time period for appeals.  The amended section states that motions to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59 or motions for relief from judgment, however titled, would stay the time for taking an appeal as long as the motions are served within ten days after entry of judgment.  The amendment makes clear that the substance and not the title of the motion should control.  As stated in the Reporter's Notes, "a post-judgment motion seeking to correct an error of law, whether titled as a motion to alter, amend, or vacate, for relief from judgment, or for reconsideration, if served within ten days, will extend the running of the time period to file a notice of appeal." 
"The Committee solicits and welcomes comments from the bar prior to presenting its recommendation to the Rules Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court .  Comments should be directed to Christine Burak, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston 02108 or to christine.burak@sjc.state.ma.us on or before April 27, 2012. "