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Massachusetts Trial Court Rule IV:
Uniform Rule Requiring Disclosure of Pending and Concluded Care or Custody Matters

[Disclaimer]

Upon the filing or issuance of any petition or complaint involving the care, custody, visitation, or change of name of a child, pursuant to G L. c. 119 (except delinquency actions under G.L. c. 119), G.L. c. 190B, G.L. c. 207, G.L. c. 208, G.L. c. 209, G.L. c. 209A, G.L. c. 209C, G.L. c. 210, or any other provision of law concerning the care or custody of a child, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit. Such affidavit shall contain relevant information concerning such child including, but not limited to, a list of all other known proceedings involving the care or custody of said child which are pending or have been concluded in any court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or in any court in any other state or foreign country. All other parties appearing in the action shall likewise file such affidavit. No pleading shall be accepted for filing without such affidavit unless the plaintiff or other party has already filed an affidavit, or unless the court, on written motion for good cause shown, extends the time for filing such affidavit. No such extension shall exceed 30 days. A copy of the affidavit shall be furnished by the plaintiff or other party filing it to all other parties to the action. Upon the discovery of new information subsequent to the filing of such affidavit, the plaintiff or other party shall file a revised affidavit.

The plaintiff shall attach to the affidavit certified copies of each pleading and of any determination entered in any care or custody proceeding which the plaintiff knows of, or has participated in, involving the child in any court in any state other than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or in any foreign country, unless the court, on written motion for good cause shown, extends the time for filing such pleadings and determinations. No such extension shall exceed 30 days, unless the court, on written motion for good cause shown, finds an extension in excess of 30 days is warranted. All other parties shall attach to the affidavit certified copies of each pleading and of any determination entered in any care or custody proceeding as required above, unless previously filed by the plaintiff or unless the plaintiff has been granted an extension for filing such pleadings and determinations.

The court, upon written motion of any party, or upon its own motion, may order the impoundment of an affidavit which discloses the adoption of a child. Impounded affidavits shall not be available for public inspection, but shall be available to the court and its employees, attorneys whose appearances are entered in a case, the parties, the Department of Social Services or its licensed adoption agencies, and such other persons whom the court, upon written motion, may permit.

The affidavit shall be on a form prescribed by the Chief Administrative Justice of the Trial Court, which upon its filing, shall be deemed in compliance with the provisions of G.L. c. 209B, the Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.

As amended effective July 1, 1984; July 1, 1993, effective September 1, 1993; August 1, 1995, and June 24, 2009, effective July 1, 2009.

Form: Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceedings