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How to transfer your case to Housing Court

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Reviewed January 2022

Fill out a Notice of Transfer form

The letters in these directions match those on the top part of the form in this booklet.

a. Write the name of your county.

b. Copy your landlord's name from the Summons and Complaint.

c. Copy your name from the Summons and Complaint. Spell your name on the Notice of Transfer form exactly the way it appears on the Summons and Complaint, even if it is wrong. You can ask the court to fix mistakes later.

d. Copy the name of the District Court or the Boston Municipal Court from the Summons and Complaint.

e. Fill in the Docket Number of your case if you know it. The Docket Number is the number the court has assigned to your case. It may be in the top right corner of the Summons and Complaint. You can also ask the court’s clerk for it.

  • In the middle of the form, after the words "geographic jurisdiction of the ___________", fill in the Housing Court division you are transferring your case to. This is the Housing Court that serves your town. It will be one of these divisions:
    Eastern | Northeastern | Southeastern | Metro South | Central | Western
  • Sign and date the form.
  • Write your name, address, phone number, and e-mail, if you have one.
  • If your landlord has a lawyer, fill in the lawyer's name, address, and telephone number. If your landlord does not have a lawyer, fill in your landlord's name, address, and telephone number.

File the form before your court date

When the form is complete, make 3 copies.

  • File the original Notice of Transfer with the clerk’s office at the District or Boston Municipal Court listed on your Summons and Complaint.
  • File 1 copy with clerk’s office at the Housing Court that serves your city or town.
  • Give 1 copy to your landlord or their lawyer.
  • Keep a copy for yourself. Have it with you for your first court date in Housing Court.

What happens after I file the Notice of Transfer form?

When you file the Notice of Transfer, the District Court or Boston Municipal Court will transfer your case to the Housing Court automatically. 

The Housing Court will mail you and your landlord a letter with the new court date.

If you do not get a letter, call the clerk’s office in the Housing Court that serves your city or town and ask for the date of your first court event.

You do not have to talk to a judge to transfer your case. The only thing you need to do is prepare for your hearing and go to Housing Court on the date of your hearing.

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