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Dorchester Neighborhood, Massachusetts Crime Index

Dorchester Crime Index

Dorchester Neighborhood is the largest neighborhood in Boston City, Suffolk County Massachusetts. In 2019, the total crimes in North Dorchester were 48% above the national average, while the total crimes in South Dorchester were 39% above the national average. North Dorchester had an estimated crime rate of 3,695 per 100,000 people while South Dorchester had an estimated 3,460 per 100,000 people. The City of Boston, including Dorchester Neighborhood, is safer than 19% of American cities.

Suffolk Superior Court

The Suffolk Superior Court has general jurisdiction over crimes committed in the Dorchester neighborhood and exclusive jurisdiction over first-degree murder charges. The Court also has civil jurisdiction over cases in which the plaintiff seeks an equitable remedy, matters with monetary claims of $50,000, and labor disputes for injunctive relief. Additionally, the Court may convene a Medical Malpractice Tribunal.

The Suffolk Superior Court offers virtual hearing and other remote services.

The Court received 4,668 case entries in the 2020 fiscal year, consisting of 1,322 criminal case entries and 3,346 civil case entries.

Suffolk Superior Court

3 Pemberton Square,

Boston, MA 02108

Email: Suffolkcivil.clerksoffice@jud.state.ma.us (Civil Clerk’s Office)

Email: Suffolkcriminal.clerksoffice@jud.state.ma.us (Criminal Clerk’s Office)

Court hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Boston Municipal court

The Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division hears criminal and civil cases emanating from the Dorchester neighborhood and includes an Adult Drug Court. Cases before the court often involve

  • Felonies and misdemeanors not punishable with a state prison sentence
  • Felonies punishable by an imprisonment term of up to five years
  • Violations of Boston ordinances or bylaws
  • Civil motor vehicle violations
  • Mental health cases
  • Harassment and abuse prevention or restraining orders
  • Tort or contract actions that are likely to have recoveries within $50,000
  • Small claims with recoveries within $7,000
  • Summary process (eviction) cases
  • Supplementary process cases

The Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court recorded 15,960 case filings in the 2020 fiscal year.

Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division

510 Washington St.,

Dorchester, MA 02124

Phone: (617) 288-9500 press 6 (Clerk’s Office)

Phone: (617) 288-9500 press 7 (Probation Department)

Phone: (617) 287-2870 (TTY)

Fax: (617) 436-8250 (Clerk’s Office)

Fax: (617) 288-7430 (Probation Department)

Email: bmceastboston@jud.state.ma.us

Court hours: Mondays to Fridays, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Eastern Housing Court

The Eastern Housing Court has jurisdiction over both civil and criminal cases concerning residential buildings in Dorchester and may grant search warrants. It hears

  • Criminal cases where a state code or local ordinance on residential housing has been allegedly violated
  • Small claims cases
  • Summary process (eviction) cases
  • Cases in which there is a claim for a breach of contract, property damage, discrimination, or personal injury.

There are Housing Specialists within the Eastern Housing Court to provide individuals with information on housing laws and guidance in filing cases. The Court conducts some of its hearings virtually and parties may join by video or phone. Individuals who may not be able to join the proceedings are required to promptly notify the Court. The Court also allows e-filing of certain cases.

In the 2020 fiscal year, the Eastern Housing Court received 10,144 case entries. This included 6,769 trial cases and 3,375 ADR cases, 6,322 cases were completed. Court hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from Mondays to Fridays.

Eastern Housing Court,

24 New Chardon St.,

Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 788-8485(Clerk’s Office)

Phone: (617) 788-6233 (Housing Specialist Department)

Email: EasternHousingCourt@jud.state.ma.us

Suffolk County Juvenile Court

The Suffolk County Juvenile Court, Boston Session, has the jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases involving minors between 12 and 18 years old. The cases heard by the Court include

  • Adoption
  • Care and protection
  • Children requiring assistance
  • Contribution to the delinquency of a minor by an adult
  • Delinquency
  • Guardianship
  • Proceedings for the termination of parental rights
  • Youthful offenders

In the 2020 fiscal year, there were 3,061 case entries at the Suffolk County Juvenile Court. The Boston location of the Court is open from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Boston Juvenile Court

24 New Chardon St.,

P.O. Box 9663,

Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 788-8525 (Clerk’s Office)

Phone: (617) 788-8571 (Probation Department)

Fax: (617) 788-8991 (Clerk’s Office)

Fax: (617) 788-8972 (Probation Department)

Email: suffolk-jccallctr@jud.state.ma.us

Massachusetts Land Court

The Massachusetts Land Court has exclusive jurisdiction over

  • Registration of real property titles
  • Disputes arising from the registration of real property titles
  • Foreclosure and redemption of real estate tax liens

The Court shares jurisdiction with other Courts in cases concerning the fulfillment of real estate contracts, making a decision to partition real estate, and other property matters.

The Permit Session of the Land Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Court over the granting of environmental permits and some uses of land. Cases filed before the Permit Session concern either 25 dwelling units or the construction or alteration of 25,000 square feet of floor area. The Permit Session cover sheet is filed to bring cases before the Permit Session.

Parties before the court have access to the virtual assistance services to ease remote justice processes. Although the Court is located in the Downtown Neighborhood, it may choose to hold its session anywhere including Dorchester. The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays.

The Massachusetts Land Court received 30,199 cases in the 2020 fiscal year. There were also 128 Condominium approvals and 1,871 deed approvals.

Massachusetts Land Court

3 Pemberton Square,

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 788-7470

Fax: (617) 788-8951

Suffolk Probate and Family Court

The Suffolk Probate and Family Court decides on probate and family matters arising from the neighborhood. The Court decides cases concerning

  • Abuse preventions
  • Adoption
  • Change of name
  • Child support
  • Divorce
  • Estates
  • Guardianship
  • Parenting time
  • Paternity
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Trusts
  • Wills

The Court Clinic provides legal representation for indigent parties to cases in the Court. The court clinic is only available to a low-income earner who is a citizen of the United States of America or a legal permanent resident. The Court employs remote services including virtual hearings, e-filing of cases, and a virtual registry. The e-filing system is permissible for divorce cases, cases concerning estate and administration, and cases concerning an incapacitated person’s guardianship. The virtual registry provides guidance and information to individuals.

The Suffolk Probate and Family Court received 11,576 filed cases in the 2020 fiscal year. Court hours are between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Suffolk Probate and Family Court

24 New Chardon St.,

Boston, MA 02114

Phone: (617) 788-8301 (Registrar’s Office)

Phone: (617) 788-8210 (Probation Department)

Fax: (617) 788-8962 (Registrar’s Office)

Fax: (617) 788-8957 (Probation Department)

Email: Suffolkquestions@jud.state.ma.us

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is the highest appellate court in Massachusetts with seven justices that sit between September and May. The Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals of a first-degree murder conviction and a Single Justice Sessions that run throughout the year. The cases heard during the single justice sessions include

  • Bail review
  • Petitions for admission to the bar
  • Bar discipline proceedings
  • Bail review
  • Other statutory proceedings

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

1 Pemberton Square,

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 557-1000

Court hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays

Massachusetts Appeals Court

The Massachusetts Appeals Court hears appeals from the decisions of Trial Courts, the Industrial Accident Board, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, and the Appellate Tax Board but does not preside over appeals of first-degree murder convictions.

Parties may file specified cases by e-filing.

Massachusetts Appeals Court

1 Pemberton Square,

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 921-4443

Court hours: Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

University of Massachusetts Boston

The Dorchester campus of the University of Massachusetts recorded no violent crime and 31 property crimes in 2019. The property crimes included one burglary and 30 larcenies. Compared to the 2018 crime statistics on campus, there was a decrease in rape from one to zero and larceny by 17%. The number of burglaries stayed the same.

University of Massachusetts Boston

100 William T, Morrissey Blvd,

Boston, MA 02125