Massachusetts’s trial court system has a unique forum for resolving housing matters: Housing Court. Housing Court has jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters related to the health, safety, or welfare of the occupants or owners of residential housing. In addition to eviction cases (probably the most common type of case in Housing Court), Housing Court can hears civil, criminal, and small claims cases related to housing.
Housing Court’s jurisdiction does not cover every town and city in Massachusetts. Claimants need to check if they live in a part of Massachusetts that Housing Court covers (presently, there is a growing movement to expand Housing Court statewide to every Massachusetts town and city).
Housing Court has a unique feature that allows plaintiffs and defendants to transfer their case into Housing Court, if Housing Court has jurisdiction over the case. A transfer to Housing Court can be done anytime up to the day before trial and only requires the submission of a simple transfer form to the original court and Housing Court.