Resources for Media Representatives
and the Public
ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE COURT
The Clerk’s Office has prepared an Attorney Handbook, intended to provide the public and the Bar of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts with information needed to conduct business with the Court.
This reference guide will also be helpful to the media, answering questions on many topics.
The District Court for the District of Massachusetts uses an electronic case filing system (CM/ECF or Case Management/Electronic Case Files system). Public information entered into CM/ECF is available through PACER.
COURT REPORTER CONTACT INFORMATION
COURT STAFF CONTACTS
A telephone directory is available on the Court’s website. This directory is updated quarterly.
FEDERAL JUDICIAL CENTER
The current FAQ page is a link to the Administrative Office website.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
GUIDE TO INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PUBLIC
LINK: Guide Book
JOURNALIST'S GUIDE TO THE FEDERAL COURTS
The Administrative Office has published a “A Journalist’s Guide to the Federal Courts,” which is intended to assist representatives of the media assigned to court coverage.
The Court makes recent opinions available at no charge. The search may be performed by Judge name, by keyword, by all recent opinions (last 30 days) and by Judge and keyword. Instructions on using the Opinions Search page may be found at http://pacer.mad.uscourts.gov/opinionhelp.html.
PACER AND US PARTY/CASE INDEX
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy Courts, and from the U.S. Party/Case Index. Electronic access is available for most courts by registering with the PACER Service Center, the judiciary's centralized registration, billing, and technical support center at http://pacer.gov.
PHOTOGRAPHING, RECORDING AND BROADCASTING
Local Rule 83.3(a) states: “Except as specifically provided in these rules or by order of the court, no person shall take any photograph, make any recording, or make any broadcast by radio, television, or other means, in the course of or in connection with any proceedings in this court, on any floor of any building on which proceedings of this court are or, in the regular course of the business of the court, may be held.”
PRESS ID CARD APPLICATION, INSTRUCTIONS
The non-transferable Media Identification Card provides an exception to the Court’s Policy regarding Electronic Devices. A valid Media Identification Card will entitle an individual to bring to a courtroom a laptop with a silent keyboard and/or a cell phone that must be off or in silent mode while in a courtroom. All Media Identification Cards will be subject to the provisions of Local Rule 83.3 that prohibits photographing, recording and broadcasting.
As events warrant, the Clerk of Court, at the direction of the Chief Judge or his designee may issue a press release. Any such release will be distributed to the media via email and posted to the Court’s website.
The Administrative Office of the US Courts also maintains an Office of Public Affairs. The telephone number for that office is 202-502-2600.
PRIVACY INFORMATION (E-GOVERNMENT ACT)
In compliance with Local Rule 5.3, attorneys and pro se litigants are not to include sensitive information in any document filed with the Court unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case.
Counsel may be directed to file a redacted version electronically, and a complete document in hard copy.
SPECIAL ORDERS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ACCUSED OR THE LITIGANTS IN WIDELY PUBLICIZED OR SENSATIONAL CRIMINAL OR CIVIL CASES
Any orders issued by the Court regarding such matters will be posted on the Court’s website as soon as possible and made available in the Clerk’s Office.
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts maintains statistical reports on various matters such as:
See the Administrative Office website for additional information and reports, including a list of statistical publications available through the Government Printing Office.
UNDERSTANDING THE FEDERAL COURTS
This publication was developed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to provide an introduction to the federal judicial system, its organization and administration, and its relationship to the legislative and executive branches of the government.
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts can issue read-only Electronic Case Filing (ECF) accounts (to be known as a Virtual Press Box or VPB) to members of the press with a Media ID issued by this court. This expanded access to the court’s ECF system enables a reporter to receive e-mail notifications to their individual e-mail account when a document is filed in a case that he or she may choose to follow.