Framingham landlords can still file residential summary process cases in Framingham District Court, as always. Even with the recent expansion of the Housing Court, a landlord can start a Framingham eviction case in Framingham. Alternatively, he can choose to start the case in the Central Housing Court, which will hear the case in Marlborough.
Which court is a better option? Consider the following and decide.
If the landlord chooses to file a case in Framingham, the tenant may still transfer the case to the Housing Court by filing a completed Notice of Transfer to Housing Court form in both courts no later than the day before the trial.
When this happens, the case will be taken off the list in Framingham, and it will take some additional time for the case to be set for trial in Marlborough. The landlord could reasonably lose a couple of weeks due to the delay.
Additionally, the filing fee in Framingham District Court for a summary process case is $195.00, whereas the filing fee in the Housing Court is $135.00.
Framingham District Court hears summary process cases on Thursdays at 10 A.M. The location is 600 Concord Street, Framingham.
The Marlborough Session of the Central Housing Court now hears Framingham eviction cases on Tuesdays at 9 A.M. The location is 45 Williams Street, Marlborough.
I find that both sessions operate reasonably efficiently. On a recent trip to court in Marlborough, the clerk began calling the list promptly at 9. Similarly, on a recent trip to court in Framingham, the clerk began calling the list promptly at 10.
There are now many fewer summary process cases in Framingham District Court. A once-crowded and noisy second-floor hallway has become library like.
Both courts offer the services of trained mediators. MetroWest Mediation Services provides mediation in the Framingham District Court. They are not employees of the court. By contrast, the Housing Court has housing specialists, who are court employees.
In Housing Court, all cases are sent to the housing specialist for mediation. The housing specialist in the Housing Court is more likely to draft the agreement. By comparison, it is common in District Court to reach an agreement and draft it in the hallway, often without sitting with the mediators.
About the author: Framingham lawyer Robert Nislick regularly handles evictions in MetroWest and Worcester. For more information, contact him at (508) 405-1238, or by e-mail.