Law Asked on January 4, 2022
It is my understanding that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is the highest state court in the state of Massachusetts. However, I have also heard reference to the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, which I gather is a different judicial body from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
I found this page on the state government website about the SJC Clerk for Suffolk County, but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing either, and even if it is, the page does not describe the function of the SJC Clerk for Suffolk County, only the opening hours, COVID-19 restrictions, and contact information.
So what is the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, and how is it affiliated (if at all) to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts?
The Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, also known as the Single Justice Session is part of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Their powers are much like those of US Supreme Court Justices when they are sitting as Circuit Justices. In Massachusetts:
an associate justice essentially acts as a trial judge, or as an administrator of the court's supervisory power...
These sessions are held each week, and the associate justices rotate through them. The issues they hear include:
certain motions pertaining to cases on trial or on appeal, bail reviews, bar discipline proceedings, petitions for admission to the bar, and a variety of other statutory proceedings.
There's a more complete, but fairly accessible, description of the Single Court of Justice's "Practice and Procedure" here. For example, here are details about some of the Court's jurisdiction:
The single justice has jurisdiction over all interlocutory orders in criminal cases pending in the Superior Court, District Court, and in Juvenile Proceedings. In civil cases, with few exceptions, the single justice has jurisdiction over interlocutory orders of the District Court.
Answered by Just a guy on January 4, 2022
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