The following information is from "Instruction B," printed on the back of all Massachusetts uniform citations: Responding to a Criminal Citation

If the "Criminal Application" box is checked on the front of the citation:

  • you must sign and return the citation to the Clerk-Magistrate of the court named on the front of the citation within 4 days
  • you will be granted a hearing as to whether a criminal complaint should be issued against you

Important! You can bring a criminal citation to the court in person, or you can mail it. If you decide to mail the citation, remember that it must arrive at the court within four days of the date of the violation.

  • Sign and date the back of the citation where indicated.
  • You cannot pay a criminal citation by mail, over the Internet, or by phone. You cannot appeal a criminal citation by checking Box 2.
  • If there are other civil infractions listed on the citation, do not attempt to make any payment(s) at this time. Any civil infractions that accompany a criminal citation will be settled during the criminal proceedings and cannot be paid in advance of your court hearing.

If you return a criminal citation by mail, do not use the pre-addressed envelope provided with the citation. A criminal citation must be returned to the Clerk-Magistrate of the specific court written on the front of the citation by the issuing police officer.

If you need an address for a specific court, contact the Merit Rating Board at 857-368-8100.

You can also obtain a list of court addresses, including directions online.

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