nantucket probate and family court

Nantucket Probate and Family Court

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court is located at 16 Broad St., 2nd floor, Nantucket, MA 02554. This court serves the county of Nantucket.

The court can be contacted at (508) 228-2669. The fax number is (508) 228-3662. Emails can be sent to [email protected].

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court handles cases involving wills, estates, trusts, adoptions, terminating parental rights, guardianships, conservatorships, name changes, and family matters such as divorce, child support, custody, visitation, abuse prevention orders, and paternity.

Overview of the Court

Location and Contact Information

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court is located at:

16 Broad St., 2nd floor
P.O.Box 1116 Nantucket, MA 02554

Phone: (508) 228-2669
Fax: (508) 228-3662 Email: [email protected]

Services Offered

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court handles the following types of cases:

  • Probate cases – Wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, adoptions
  • Family cases – Divorce, child custody and support, alimony, restraining orders
  • Name changes – Adult and minor name changes
  • Other cases – Paternity, termination of parental rights

The court provides forms, fee waivers, interpreter services, and other resources. Court staff can answer questions and provide information on court rules and procedures.

Accessibility

The court aims to provide accessibility and reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities. For questions or requests related to accessibility, contact the ADA Coordinator:

Sarah Maxwell
Phone: (508) 228-2669
Fax: (508) 228-3662
Email: [email protected]

Hours of Operation

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, excluding state and federal holidays.

All filings must be submitted by 4:00 pm to be processed the same day. Filings submitted after 4:00 pm will be processed the next business day.

See also  New Bedford Probate and Family Court

Parking Information

There is limited public parking around the Nantucket Probate and Family Court building, however much of it is time restricted.

The closest parking garage is the Broad Street Parking Lot, located 0.1 miles away at 20 S Water St. Rates are $3 per hour or $25 per day.

For transportation options, Nantucket has a local public bus system, NRTA Wave, that services the downtown area around the courthouse.

Online Services

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court offers several online services to improve accessibility and convenience for court users:

eFiling

Certain probate and family court forms can be filed electronically through the state’s eFileMA system. This allows case documents to be submitted online rather than printed and mailed or hand-delivered.

To use eFiling, users must create an account on the eFileMA website. There are instructions, training guides, and FAQs to assist with the eFiling process.

eReminders

Individuals with court events can sign up to receive text or email reminders about upcoming hearing dates and deadlines. Sign up for reminders using the eReminder Request Form.

Online Case Lookup

The public can look up information on open probate and family court cases using the online case lookup tool. This provides basic case details such as docket number, case type, case status, and hearing dates.

Records can be searched by case number or by party name. Certain confidential cases cannot be viewed through the online lookup.

Filing Fees

There are fees charged by the court to open probate and family cases, as well as fees to file certain documents.

Common filing fees include:

  • Petition for Divorce – $195
  • Complaint for Custody/Support/Paternity – $195
  • Petition for Adoption – $195 + $175 publication fee
  • Petition for Name Change – $195

Full fee schedules for the probate court and family court are available online. Fee waivers are available for qualified low-income individuals.

Services Offered

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court handles a wide range of legal matters, including:

See also  Hampshire Family Court

Probate Cases

  • Petitions for the administration of estates
  • Wills and trust matters
  • Guardianships and conservatorships
  • Adoptions
  • Name changes

Family Cases

  • Divorce, separation, and annulment
  • Property division and alimony
  • Child custody, visitation, and child support
  • Paternity establishment and modification
  • Restraining/protection orders

Adoptions

The court oversees all adoptions in Nantucket county. The court provides pre-adoption education and approves all adoptions to ensure they meet legal requirements.

There are specific forms and procedures for different types of adoption, such as agency, private, international, stepparent, and adult adoptions. The court also handles termination of parental rights cases.

Name Changes

Name changes for adults and minors are handled by the probate court. An individual wanting to change their name must file a formal petition and publish notice in the local newspaper. The name change order is granted by a judge after ensuring there are no unlawful grounds for the change.

Guardianships

The court appoints legal guardians for minors and incapacitated adults who require care and supervision. Guardians have full legal responsibility for the individual. Petitions can be filed by a parent, family member, or other interested party.

Going to Court

When attending court in-person, be aware of security protocols, courtroom conduct, and how to dress and prepare:

Security Screening

All individuals entering the courthouse must pass through a metal detector and security screening. Prohibited items will be confiscated at screening. Leave extra time before your court hearing for the security process.

Courtroom Etiquette

Address the judge as “Your Honor” throughout the proceedings. Stand when the judge enters and exits the room. Do not interrupt the judge or speak out of turn. Silence cell phones and avoid disruptions. Photography and recording are prohibited.

Dress Code

Dress in appropriate business attire. Refrain from wearing ripped clothing, graphic t-shirts, shorts, hats, or similar casual wear. Maintain a neat, clean appearance.

Prohibited Items

Weapons, including knives and pepper spray, are not permitted in the courthouse. Food, drinks, and smoking are also prohibited.

Working with a Lawyer

While not required, having legal representation can be beneficial for probate and family court cases. Here are some options for legal help:

See also  Lawrence Probate and Family Court

Finding a Lawyer

Contact the Massachusetts Bar Association lawyer referral service to be matched with attorneys based on your legal needs and location. Lawyer directories on FindLaw and Avvo can also help locate qualified attorneys.

Qualifying for Legal Aid

Those unable to afford a lawyer may qualify for free legal help through organizations like Community Legal Aid or the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. Legal aid provides attorneys in civil cases to low-income residents.

Representing Yourself

Individuals have the right to represent themselves in Massachusetts courts. The court provides guidance to help pro se litigants prepare forms, navigate procedures, and present cases effectively. Be aware that self-representation can be complex.

Resources

FAQs

What are the courthouse hours?

The Nantucket Probate and Family Court is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, excluding holidays.

How can I look up a case?

You can search for basic case details using the online case lookup tool on the court’s website. Some confidential cases cannot be viewed online.

Where should I park when going to court?

There is limited public parking near the courthouse, but the closest parking garage is the Broad Street Parking Lot located at 20 S Water St.

What should I wear when going to court?

Dress professionally in appropriate business attire. Do not wear ripped clothing, graphic tees, shorts, hats, or casual sandals or flip flops.

Can I bring my cell phone into the courthouse?

Yes, you may bring your cell phone but must silence it before entering courtrooms. Phone calls, photography, and recording are prohibited inside courtrooms.

How much are the filing fees?

Filing fees vary based on the type of case being filed. Typical fees range from $100 – $250. Fee waiver applications are available for qualifying low-income individuals.

The full fee schedule is published on the court’s website.

How do I get a restraining order?

To request a restraining order, fill out the proper court forms and file them with the court. Filing fees may apply unless waived. Attend the scheduled court hearing where a judge will decide whether to grant the order.

Is an attorney required for my family court case?

While not legally required, having a lawyer’s advice can be extremely beneficial in navigating the family court process for divorce, custody disputes, and other complex cases.

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