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Eviction appeal

Landlord received judgment for possession. Tenant filed appeal. Bond hearing held and bond waived. I'm looking for a simplified breakdown of what the tenant has to do next and the time limits in which to do it so I can move for a dismissal if she misses a deadline.

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Submitted Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:53

Once a case gets to an appeal, it is not the same as a regular case. Appeals aren't focussed on factual issues. An appeal isn't a chance to have your case reheard by someone else, it's a technical request for a higher court to review whether or not the judge in the lower court followed the law. Neither side is able to present new evidence, you will simply submit legal arguments about what the judge did or did not do, and the appeals court will make a decision to uphold or overturn the lower court. Even if they overturn the lower court, they often just send it back for reconsideration, you won't necessarily lose on appeal, your win may just be vacated.

Submitting notice of appeal is just the first step. The tenant then has to assemble a record, and ask the court to schedule an appeal. If they don't do so you can move to dismiss or if the tenant fails to timely file appeals materials, the appeals court will simply deny the appeal.
You can see more about the appeals process here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/civil-appeals/appeals-housing.html.

Appeals are very technical, and are much more formal than housing court. I highly recommend getting a lawyer familiar with the rules to assist you. You won't just be able to go in and speak to the appeals court, there are strict requirements on submitting documentation and briefings.

Atty. David Owens
Grolman LLP
617-859-8966
david@grolmanllp.com



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