Greetings. Please join us for the February 15th MA Access to Justice Commission meeting and save the date for the Commission’s Racial Equity and Justice Committee’s April 12th program. Please also see a new report on defaults and evictions.

Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Meeting, February 15, 2023 (Zoom)

We look forward to seeing you at our February 15, 2023, Commission meeting, held from 1-2:30 via zoom. The Commission meeting will feature a presentation by Pamerson Ifill, Deputy Commissioner, Pre-Trial Services, Massachusetts Probation Services (MPS) on the successful MPS text messaging reminder system. There will also be time for a discussion on the potential for text messaging systems to reduce defaults in other contexts. Please RSVP here by February 14th at noon and a zoom link will be sent in advance of the meeting.

Save the Date: Data Collection and Access to Justice: Opportunities and Challenges

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 2-5 pm at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), 10 Winter Place, Boston (in-person and streaming)

Please save the date and join the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s Racial Equity and Justice Committee, in collaboration with MCLE, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and others, for a timely and important program on racial justice and data collection. The program will bring together a panel of Court leaders and other speakers to present on the importance and challenges inherent in collecting, maintaining, and reporting Massachusetts Trial Court data regarding race and ethnicity, particularly in civil cases, to identify and remedy racial disparities. The program aims to facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration among justice partners engaged in this type of data gathering and analysis. More details to follow!

The Default Project: A Survey of the Reasons for Tenant Defaults in Housing Court Eviction Cases

“Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts (JCSEM) have released an innovative report analyzing the high rate of eviction cases where tenants default, or do not appear, at a court hearing . . . . This report offers policy recommendations aimed specifically at lowering the rate of tenant defaults, including reducing barriers to court information and procedures and increasing flexibility in court proceedings.”

Hope to see you next week!