Beginning in November of this year (2016), for the Jury of Six Session in the Belchertown District Court, tBelhe following rules of procedure shall be in effect:
1. All matters scheduled for jury trial shall be automatically scheduled for a final status conference in the District Court at 10:00 a.m. on a preceding Wednesday approximately one week before trial.
2. The purpose of this status conference is to determine which cases are ready for and expected to be jury trials. The goal is to allow attorneys to focus on trial matters and the Court to avoid needlessly bringing in witness and jurors.
3. All attorneys with a matter scheduled for jury trial are required to attend this trial status session.
4. All defendants are required to attend this trial status session.
5. All substantive pre-trial motions must be filed with the court one week in advance of the status date. Such motions include, but are not limited to, motions for the appointment of counsel to determine 5th Amendment rights, motions to admit excited utterances, motions to admit prior or subsequent bad acts, and motions to admit or preclude the admission of any proposed evidence. This does not include boiler-plate motions such as motions to sequester witnesses or to exclude the results of the HGN test.
6. The status date is the last opportunity to execute a jury waiver and request a bench trial. The Court will endeavor to honor the original trial date and schedule the bench trial on that same date, or, if requested, on a different date at the convenience of the parties.
7. If the Defendant tenders a plea on the day of trial and it is not accepted by the Court, the case will proceed to trial that day. Defense counsel are encouraged to bring such cases forward to offer a plea prior to the trial date.
By Order of the Court,
Thomas H. Estes
First Justice of the Belchertown District Court