Important Information from Pittsfield
Dear criminal practitioner:
As a result of a recent meeting of the Pittsfield District Court criminal working group, the following procedures have been put into effect for matters in the primary court (downstairs). The intention is to improve the flow of cases, by insuring that all parties are in court, on time and PREPARED.
It is imperative that ALL attorneys conference ALL cases with the District Attorney’s office PRIOR to the scheduled pre-trial date(s). Despite our routine reference to these dates as pre-trial CONFERENCES, the expectation is that cases will be conferenced outside of court and prior to 9 am each morning.
In order to facilitate this, two protocols are now in effect:
1. The District Attorney’s office will continue to have scheduled pre-trial conferences at the former County Commissioner hearing room on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9-11 am. At arraignment, counsel will be advised of the date that their case may be conferenced. The D.A.’s office will continue to be flexible, bearing in mind that counsel may not always be available on those dates. In that case it would be best to call the D.A.’s office on the scheduled day, before 9 or after 11 a.m., when an ADA will have the file ready to conference. The D.A.’s office is planning to relocate these pre-scheduled conferences to their office, which should make the process easier for all parties. Please continue to attend in the Superior Court until you are notified of the change of location.
2. The D.A.’s Office, Probation, the Clerk’s office, and the security staff, have all committed to being at the District Court every morning by 8:35 am, ready to do business. This is a FINAL opportunity to conference cases before court begins promptly at 9 am. The presiding Clerk is authorized to assign dates, and continue matters, without the need for an appearance before the judge, though any party wishing to appear before the judge will be accommodated. This protocol envisions counsel completing their work and leaving the District Court BEFORE 9 am.
Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated.
William A. Rota
First Justice, Pittsfield District Court
October 22, 2015