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Massachusetts Superior Court Rule 29:
Cover Sheet; Statement as to Damages


1. Cover Sheets. No Clerk-Magistrate shall accept for filing any Complaint or other pleading which commences a civil action unless accompanied by a civil action cover sheet completed and signed by the attorney or pro se party filing such pleading. The civil action cover sheet shall be in a form approved by the Chief Administrative Justice in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Superior Court.

2. Duty of the Plaintiff. Upon the cover sheet provided for in paragraph one above, the plaintiff or his counsel shall set forth, where appropriate, a statement specifying in full and itemized detail the facts upon which the plaintiff then relies as constituting money damages. A copy of such civil action cover sheet, including the statement as to damages, shall be served on the defendant together with the complaint. If a statement of money damages, where appropriate is not filed, the Clerk-Magistrate shall transfer the action as provided in Rule 29(5)(c).

3. Duty of the Defendant. Should the defendant believe the statement of damages filed by the plaintiff is in any respect inadequate, he or his counsel may file with the answer a statement specifying in reasonable detail the potential damages which may result should the plaintiff prevail. Such statement, if any, shall be served with the answer.

4. Limitation. A statement of money damages filed pursuant to this rule shall not constitute a judicial admission nor may it be admitted in evidence.

5. Power of the Court.

(a) Should it appear from the statement or statements of damages filed as provided above, or from any subsequent amendments thereto, that there is no reasonable likelihood that recovery will exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) if the plaintiff prevails, then the court of its own motion, without prior notice to the parties, shall transfer the action for trial as provided in sub-paragraph (c) below.

(b) Should it appear to the court during the hearing of any motion or other pre-trial event of any nature whatsoever that there is no reasonable likelihood, notwithstanding the representations made in any statement of damages, that recovery will exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), then the court of its own motion, after advising counsel of the same and affording a summary hearing thereon, may transfer the action for trial as provided in sub-paragraph (c) below.

(c) An action shall be transferred pursuant to this rule (i) to the court from which such action was previously removed, if any; (ii) if such action was originally entered in the Superior Court to any District Court, including the Boston Municipal Court, in which it could have been brought under the provisions of G.L. c. 223, ยง 2; or (iii) as directed by the Chief Administrative Justice.

(Applicable to civil actions)

As amended effective November 1, 1974; May 8, 1976; January 9, 1979; August 1, 1984; March 25, 1986; and November 17, 1986