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Massachusetts District/Municipal Court Criminal Rule 3: Arraignment

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(a) Defendant's Criminal Record and Police Statement. At or before arraignment, the court shall ensure (1) that a copy of the defendant's criminal record as compiled by the Commissioner of Probation pursuant to G.L. c. 276, s. 100, if any, is provided to the defense and to the prosecution, pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 12(e), and (2) that a copy of the police statement required by Rule 2 is provided to the defense by the prosecution.

(b) Notice of Probation Revocation Hearing. If a defendant against whom a criminal case is commenced in the Boston Municipal Court is on probation in that court, the defendant may be served at arraignment with a notice of a probation revocation hearing.

(c) Order for Pretrial Conference; Discovery; Pretrial Hearing. At arraignment in the District Court, the judge shall issue a written order to the attorney representing the defendant and to the prosecutor to (1) engage in a conference between themselves prior to a pretrial hearing in accordance with Mass. R. Crim. P. 11 and (2) appear before the court on a date certain for the conduct of the pretrial hearing on the results of that conference. If the parties agree to a date for the pretrial conference, said date shall be recorded on the order.

At arraignment in the Boston Municipal Court, the judge shall issue an order to the attorney representing the defendant and to the prosecutor to (1) appear for a conference between themselves under the supervision of an Assistant Clerk-Magistrate designated by the Clerk-Magistrate for Criminal Business and certified by the Chief Justice of the Boston Municipal Court, to be conducted in accordance with Mass. R. Crim. P. 11, in a designated courtroom and (2) appear before the court on a date certain for a hearing on the results of that pretrial conference.

Such order issued by the District Court or Boston Municipal Court shall also require the parties to provide, permit and obtain discovery in accordance with G.L. c. 218, s. 26A, and Mass. R. Crim. P. 14, in advance of the scheduled pretrial hearing and to be prepared to submit either a tender of plea or admission at said hearing or, in lieu thereof, a pretrial conference report, completed and signed by both parties. Discovery that is not provided, permitted or obtained in accordance with the arraignment order shall be the subject of a court order, a motion for relief, or sanctions at the pretrial hearing, as provided in Rule 4(b).

(d) Charges Not Within District Court Final Jurisdiction. In cases involving one or more charges not within District Court or Boston Municipal Court final jurisdiction, as the case may be, the order issued at arraignment shall allow for a tender of plea, admission or other disposition on charges reduced by the prosecution so as to be within the court's final jurisdiction. The preliminary discovery required to be included in the arraignment order under section (c) of this rule shall apply only to cases within the court's final jurisdiction.

(e) Appearance of Defense Counsel; Lack of Counsel. Defense counsel, privately engaged or appointed on the basis of defendant's indigency, as the case may be, shall file an appearance at arraignment. If private or publicly provided defense counsel is not before the court at arraignment, if counsel is appointed "for bail only," or if the defendant indicates the intention to engage private counsel, the matter shall be continued for a brief period of time sufficient to permit the defendant to obtain counsel and to reappear for (1) either the assignment or waiver of counsel or the appearance of private counsel, and (2) completion of the arraignment, provided, however, that counsel "for bail only"' may also be appointed "for arraignment only" in order to complete the arraignment.

If the arraignment is completed at defendant's first appearance, and the defendant indicates a desire to engage private counsel, the court may continue the matter for the next court event (namely, pretrial hearing in the District Court or pretrial conference in the Boston Municipal Court), set the date therefor and issue to the defendant to give to defense counsel the required arraignment order and other necessary documents. Such an approach shall be employed only when the court determines that the defendant will, in fact, secure private counsel sufficiently promptly for such counsel to prepare for and participate in any required pretrial conference and pretrial hearing.

Effective January 1, 1996.