Massachusetts Agencies

Probate Court


The probate court on occasion issues attachments. But it has only been since 1975 that the rules and laws concerning the dissolution, discharge or reduction of attachments have applied to attachments issued by the probate court. See G.L.c. 223, §113A (“Attachments in all cases in . . . probate courts . . . shall be dissolved . . . by any method provided in this chapter.”). A case decided in 1976 (but having to do with an attachment issued by the probate court before the effective date of the foregoing statute) has resulted in some confusion. In Wood v. Wood, 369 Mass. 665, 342 N.E.2d 712 (1976) the court failed to apply G.L.c. 223, §115 (which dissolves attachments in certain instances) and held that it was inapplicable to probate proceedings for the apparent reason that G.L.c. 223, §113A, which extended the laws concerning dissolution of attachments to probate courts, was not then law. (Interestingly enough, the Wood court did not even mention G.L.c. 223, §113A as being inapplicable). The latter statute was passed September 2, 1975 and, under §165 of the Constitution of Massachusetts, would have become applicable ninety days thereafter, which would be after both the filing of the case and its argument on appeal. But with the passage of G.L.c. 223, §113A the rules that govern the dissolution of attachments generally now apply equally to those issued by the probate court.