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Massachusetts District/Municipal Courts Supplemental Rules of Civil Procedure
Rule 151: Judicial Review of Determination of Claim of Victim of Crime under Chapter 258C

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1. Applicability. This rule governs petitions filed by claimants seeking judicial review of the decisions of the Director of the Division of Victim Compensation and Assistance of the Office of the Attorney General (hereinafter "Director") pursuant to G.L. c. 258C, § 9. Except as indicated herein, no other rules shall govern such appeals.

2. Filing of Petition for Judicial Review. A claimant's petition for de novo judicial review shall be filed in the division of the District Court Department, or the Boston Municipal Court Department, for the judicial district in which the claimant resides. A nonresident claimant shall file the petition in the Boston Municipal Court Department. The petition must be filed within thirty days of the date of mailing of the notice of award or denial of a claim for compensation by the Director, or within twenty days from the date of mailing of the Director's decision on the claimant's request for reconsideration, whichever is later. If the claimant does not file a petition for de novo judicial review within the time allowed, then the decision of the Director shall become final. Filing may be accomplished either in person or by first class mail, either registered or unregistered. Filing by registered mail shall be considered timely if it is mailed within the aforementioned time limits; otherwise the filing must be received by the court within the applicable time limits to be considered timely filed. The petition must be accompanied by payment of the filing fee and surcharge prescribed by G.L. c. 262, §§ 2 and 4C unless waived pursuant to G.L. c. 261, §§ 27A-27G. The clerk-magistrate shall enter the petition upon the civil docket of the court and assign it a docket number.

3. Director's Return. The claimant shall promptly send a copy of the petition for judicial review to the Director by personal service or by first class mail. Within thirty days of receipt of a copy of the petition, the Director shall file with the court certified copies of the claim form filed by the complainant with the Division, the Director's decision on that claim, and the Director's decision on any request for reconsideration.

4. Notice and Scheduling of Hearing. Upon receipt of the requisite materials from the Director, the clerk-magistrate shall schedule the matter for hearing and shall notify the claimant and the Director of the date and time for the hearing.

5. Hearing. The judicial review of the finding and decisions of the Director shall be a de novo hearing of the original claim and shall be conducted without a jury. The hearing shall be conducted in such manner as to accomplish the just and speedy determination of the claim involved. Rules of evidence, other than those pertaining to privileges of parties and witnesses, need not be observed. Evidence may be admitted and given probative effect only if; in the judgment of the court, it is the kind of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. The hearing shall be electronically recorded in accordance with Special Rule 211 of the District Court Department or Special Rule 308 of the Boston Municipal Court Department sitting for Civil Business.

6. Judgment. The court shall render a decision in writing in accordance with the requirements of G.L. c. 258C, § 9(e). The clerk-magistrate shall enter the decision on the docket as the judgment of the court and forthwith shall send copies of the judgment to the claimant and the Director. If the judgment is in favor of the claimant, upon expiration often days from the date of the entry of judgment, the clerk-magistrate shall send a certified copy of the judgment to the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, provided that if an appeal is claimed pursuant to paragraph (7) of this rule, the clerk-magistrate shall not send the certified copy of the judgment to the Treasurer until the conclusion of the appellate process.

7. Appeal. Within ten days after the date of the entry of judgment the claimant or the Director may appeal any error of law to the Appellate Division in accordance with the District/Municipal Courts Rules for Appellate Division Appeal. Any claim of appeal by the claimant shall be accompanied by payment of the Appellate Division filing fee prescribed by G.L. c. 262, § 2 unless waived pursuant to G.L. c. 261, §§ 27A-27G.

As added June 29, 1995, effective January 1, 1995, and applicable to claims filed on or after April 14, 1994.