The Cambridge District Court is located at 4040 Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford, MA.
Wait, what?! Why is the court in Medford?
The Cambridge District Court used to be in the high-rise court building in East Cambridge. However, in 2008 that building was deemed to be unsuitable for court business. The Court could not find an appropriate and affordable location in Cambridge; therefore, it settled for the Medford building.
The Courthouse in Medford, though lacking in traditional courthouse décor, is clean, functional, and possess ample parking. The downside is that the courthouse is difficult to reach by public transportation.
The Cambridge District Court’s jurisdiction includes the City of Cambridge, as well as the towns of Arlington and Belmont.
That piece of paper is likely the summons; you MUST go to court on the specific date listed on the summons.
You will be considered “in default.” An arrest warrant will be issued. That warrant gives any police officer the right to arrest you, on the spot.
If you have a schedule conflict you can go to the Cambridge District Court Clerk’s Office before your scheduled court date and ask a clerk to change the court date. Or, you can ask your attorney to do that.
First, you must check in at the probation department. Someone in that office will interview you. The purposes of this interview are to establish several factors – whether you have warrants from any other courts, whether you are on probation in any other courts, whether you have a criminal record, and whether you qualify for a court-appointed attorney.
If you already have an attorney be sure to ask her or him to accompany you to the probation interview.
Next, you will be told to go to Courtroom 1. That is the courtroom where all the arraignments (and many other criminal proceedings) are conducted.
An arraignment is the formal court proceeding where you will be officially charged with whatever crime(s) the government alleges you committed.
There are three. Courtroom1 handles all the criminal proceedings, except Motion Hearings and Jury Trials.
Courtroom 2 handles Motion Hearings and Civil business.
Courtroom 3 handles Jury Trials.
Getting indicted means that your case will be presented to a Grand Jury, and, very likely, transferred to the Middlesex Superior Court.
Examples of Cases that go to Superior Court – Murder, Rape, Armed Robbery, Unarmed Robbery, Home Invasion, Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Kidnapping, Serious Sex Crimes, Serious Gun Charges, and most Major Felonies.
The Middlesex Superior Court is located at 200 Trade Center, Woburn, MA. Similarly, this court used to be in the high-rise courthouse in East Cambridge.
In most instances your case will begin in the District Court. You will have a lawyer (whether you can afford one or not). Your lawyer should inform you of the prosecutor’s intention to “indict” or not. If your case is going to Superior Court you will be told of the arraignment date in that court.