Appeals of interlocutory orders from Trial Court Departments are reviewed by the single justice of the Appeals Court.  The interlocutory appeal process is governed by G. L. c. 231, § 118, which establishes a 30-day deadline for filing a petition for interlocutory review.  Importantly, this 30-day deadline is set by the statute and the Appeals Court cannot enlarge it.

Generally, initiating an interlocutory appeal to the single justice requires filing the following:

  • Petition for Interlocutory Review (not to exceed five pages);
  • Memorandum of Law in Support of Petition (not to exceed fifteen pages);
  • Record Appendix; and
  • Certificate of Service.

In addition to G. L. c. 231, § 118, petitions for interlocutory review are governed by the Appeals Court Standing Order Concerning Petitions to the Single Justice, which should be carefully reviewed.  The Standing Order contains specific direction on the contents, format, and filing of the petition and supporting papers, with references to the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

A Petition for Interlocutory Review must include the following sections, in order:

  1. a request for review;
  2. a statement of the issues of law raised by the petition;
  3. a statement as to whether a party has filed, served, or intends to file a motion for reconsideration with the trial court;
  4. a statement of the specific relief requested; and
  5. an addendum containing a copy of the order or action of the trial court.

The Appeals Court now requires that all parties represented by counsel simultaneously file, with the paper copy, a searchable PDF copy of the petition, supporting memoranda of law, and record appendix.

Hearings on petitions for interlocutory review are not automatic.  Rather, the single justice has the discretion to decide whether a hearing will be held.