A clerk’s hearing is an opportunity to prevent a criminal complaint from issuing against you. Why is it important? Read on!!!

Have you been summonsed for a clerk’s-hearing in Massachusetts?

What is a clerk’s hearing (also known as a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing). A clerk’s hearing is a proceeding before a clerk magistrate, not a judge. When you are summonsed to attend a clerk’s hearing, an application for a criminal complaint has been filed against you. A clerk’s hearing is to determine if a criminal complaint will issue against you. Many people are often dismissive of a clerk’s hearing. Why is this a mistake? Read on!!!

What happens if I don’t attend the clerk’s hearing in Massachusetts?

This is a mistake. I many cases, if you do not appear, a complaint will issue and you will be sent a summons for arraignment. At a clerk’s hearing, more often than not the hearing is brought by the “Police Prosecutor.” This is a representative from the police department. Since hearsay evidence in permitted at a clerk’s hearing, the Police Prosecutor can simply read the police report. The clerk magistrate can issue a complaint based on this evidence alone. The witnesses or the alleged victim do not have to appear at the clerk’s hearing for the magistrate to issue the complaint. This makes attendance at the clerk’s hearing critical for the person who is being accused.