While I take cases all over Massachusetts, I have many landlord and tenant clients in Somerville . . . not surprising because my office is located in Assembly Square and I proudly call Somerville my “business” home. Somerville is a fantastic city and I’m proud to be a lawyer in this great community. In this post, I’ll provide an overview of Somerville eviction cases.
Evictions in Somerville, with a few exceptions, must be brought in Somerville District Court. Somerville, like many cities outside of Boston, are not within the jurisdiction of a housing court, making District Court the main venue for these cases. Somerville District Court has jurisdiction over eviction cases not just in Somerville, but Medford as well. Somerville District Court is located in Assembly Square and is within walking distance of the T. Parking is generally available near the court as well, but plan ahead to give yourself enough time to find a spot.
Somerville eviction cases, like most eviction cases across Massachusetts, are held on Thursdays in Somerville District Court. Court begins at 9:00AM, with a “first calling” of the cases before the court. During this initial reading of the cases, the clerk asks if both parties are in court, and what the parties are in court for. If the parties are in court for a bench trial (where the judge decides the matter, and not a jury), a trial can be held that day. If the tenant has requested a jury trial, the court usually holds a pre-trial conference to select a trial date.
For both types of cases, mediation is usually an option for both parties. Mediation allows parties to meet with a trained facilitator to discuss the issues in the cases and see if the matter can be worked out. Parties should always try mediation (even if they have an attorney): there is nothing to lose, and much to gain if the parties can work out a resolution on their own.
Compared to other courts (especially housing court), Somerville District Court usually doesn’t have a huge caseload of eviction cases. You should expect a bit of a waiting time in court, but cases are usually heard in the morning. If your case needs to go to trial, the court may schedule it on a non-Thursday.
If you find yourself involved in a Somerville eviction case, contact me for a consultation. Landlord/tenant law can be tricky, and it is helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side.