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Massachusetts Uniform Rules on Impoundment Procedure Rule 1: Scope and Applicability of Rules


These rules govern impoundment in civil proceedings in every Department of the Trial Court.

As used herein, "impoundment" shall mean the act of keeping some or all of the papers, documents, or exhibits, or portions thereof, in a case separate and unavailable for public inspection. It shall also be deemed to include the act of keeping dockets, indices, and other records unavailable for public inspection. The term "clerk" shall mean Clerk-Magistrate, Register of Probate, Recorder of the Land Court, and their assistants.

Except as otherwise provided in Rule 11, these rules shall be inapplicable to court papers, documents, exhibits, dockets, indices, and other records which are required to be impounded by statute, court rule, or standing order.

Where impoundment is sought in connection with discovery, these rules shall be applied in a manner consistent with the provisions of Rule 26(c) of the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26(c) of the District/Municipal Courts Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 26(c) of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure.

These rules shall not be construed to deprive a person of any rights or remedies regarding impoundment which are otherwise available under law.