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Methuen Crime Index

Methuen Crime Index

With a crime rate of 2,598 per 100,000 persons in 2019, the City of Methuen registered an 11% rise in its crime rate from the previous year. In detail, the city recorded a total of 1,318 crimes comprising of

95 violent crimes which included

  • 1 murder
  • 1 rape
  • 11 robbery
  • 82 aggravated assaults

552 property crimes

  • 58 burglaries
  • 446 larcenies
  • 48 motor vehicle thefts

33 drunk-driving offenses (OUI)

These figures represent a 23% decrease when compared to the city’s 2015 crime rate. The reported incidents of rape dropped by 50%, robbery by 35%, arson by 200%, burglary by 54%, larceny by 25%, and motor vehicle theft by 46%. Within the same period, reported cases of aggravated assault increased by 19% and OUI by 32%, while the rate of murder remained the same.

Lawrence District Court

As a trial court, Lawrence District Court has authority over a wide range of civil and criminal cases originating in Methuen City. The Court generally adjudicates over criminal complaints for offenses punishable by up to five years of incarceration; including all misdemeanor crimes and violations of municipal ordinances. It also has jurisdiction over civil claims below $50,000, small claims less than $7,000, and other matters like specialized proceedings, housing, juvenile, and mental health cases. During the 2020 fiscal year, the court registered a total of 4,346 criminal defendants and 339 search warrants. Residents may look up the court’s cases online by using the Massachusetts Trial Court Electronic Case Access Portal.

Besides hearing cases, the Lawrence District Court offers other services including the adult drug court, legal help through the lawyer for the day program, and access to interpreter services. All of these services are free, but there may be other fees associated with a case, such as filing fees. Residents unable to afford court filing fees may apply for an Indigency Waiver.

The Lawrence District Court is currently performing most of its functions remotely in accordance with Covid 19 recommendations provided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The following operations may require a visit to the courthouse

  • Activities at the Clerk’s Office
  • Meeting with a probation officer or staff person
  • Petitions for substance use disorder commitments
  • Petitions for mental health commitments
  • Show Cause hearings (unless the clerk orders a virtual hearing)
  • Warrant Removals
  • Criminal Arraignments
  • Criminal Evidentiary Hearing on motion or request
  • Abuse Prevention Orders
  • Harassment Prevention Orders
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders

The courthouse is located at

Lawrence District Court

Fenton Judicial Center

2 Appleton Street

Lawrence, MA 01840

Phone: (978) 687-7184 
Email: cmlawrencedc@jud.state.ma.us
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Essex County Superior Court

The Essex County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all Methuen civil cases of over $50,000 and in matters where a plaintiff seeks equitable relief. It also hears labor disputes, naturalization proceedings, medical malpractice tribunals, and appeals from certain administrative proceedings.

The Court has broad jurisdiction over all Methuen criminal matters, although it mostly handles the most serious felonies like first-degree murders and multiple OUIs. According to trial court statistics, the Essex County Superior Court recorded a total of 1,116 criminal case entries in the 2020 fiscal year.

In conformity to the Massachusetts Uniform Rules On Dispute Resolution, the Essex County Superior Court offers alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to help parties settle cases without a trial. The ADR options available to litigants are,

  • Mediation
  • Conciliation
  • Case evaluation
  • Mini-trial
  • Summary jury trial
  • Arbitration
  • Dispute intervention

The court currently restricts operations within its building due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Interested parties may visit the Virtual Service Center for more information or contact the Court’s Clerk to ascertain whether or not to visit the court for a particular purpose. Generally, the court can address the following matters in-person

  • In-person court proceedings (if ordered by the court)
  • Activities at the clerk's office
  • Meeting with a probation officer or probation staff person
  • Activities at other courthouse offices that are open to the public

The Essex County Superior Court is located at

Essex County Superior Court

56 Federal Street

Salem, MA 01970

Phone: (978) 744-5500 (Clerk's Office)

Phone: (978) 825-4880 (Probation Department)

Fax: (978) 741-0691 (Clerk's Office)

Fax: (978) 741-4368 (Probation Department)

Email: Essex.clerksoffice@jud.state.ma.us

Lawrence Juvenile Court

Lawrence Juvenile Court has general jurisdiction over Methuen civil and criminal matters involving

  • Care and protection
  • Adoption
  • Delinquency
  • Adult contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • Children requiring assistance (CRA)
  • Guardianship
  • Youth offender
  • Termination of parental rights

In line with state laws, the hearings and records of the Lawrence Juvenile Court are only accessible to parties to the case, and people with a court order to that effect. In 2020, the court received a total of 3,473 case filings.

Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the Lawrence Juvenile Court currently adopts alternatives to in-person hearings to reduce physical appearances at the courthouse. A Guide to Virtual Hearing is available to help residents adapt to the court’s virtual activities. For more information about the court’s services, interested parties may contact the courthouse at

Lawrence Juvenile Court

Fenton Judicial Center

2 Appleton Street

Lawrence, MA 01840

Phone: (978) 725-4900 x2 (Clerk’s Office)

Phone:(978) 725-3875 x3 (Probation Department)

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

Essex Probate and Family Court

The Essex Probate and Family Court has authority over Methuen City cases relating to

  • Paternity
  • Child support
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Custody
  • Parenting time
  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Abuse prevention

Additionally, the court also hears cases on conservatorships, wills, change of name, trusts, guardianships, and estates. It maintains and issues records of its proceedings including

  • Certificate of Divorce Absolute
  • Letters of Authority or Appointment; Personal Representatives/Guardians
  • Docket Page
  • Attested Copies of documents in a court file
  • Unattested Copies of documents in a court file

To obtain copies of their Family and Probate Court records, interested parties may request for them online through the Massachusetts Electronic Case Access System or complete the Request for Copies form, and submit it with payment in-person or via mail to

Essex Probate and Family Court

36 Federal Street

Salem, MA 01970

Phone: (978) 744-1020

Email: Essexcorrespondences@jud.state.ma.us

Northeast Housing Court

The Northeast Housing Court handles a variety of Methuen City housing matters, including cases on housing code violation, eviction, lockout, housing discrimination, and receiverships. It also hears claims involving personal injury, breach of contract, property damage, and appeals from the local zoning board. The court shares jurisdiction with the District Court over certain housing matters.

The Housing Court is often a preferable option over the District Court when both are available because the Housing Court provides Housing Specialists who are experts on landlord-tenant issues, and they provide litigants with valuable assistance. The court is also litigant-friendly, 59% of its litigants in 2020 were self-represented.

The Northeast Housing Court currently conducts its activities virtually via videoconferencing, email, and telephone. The courthouse is located at

Northeast Housing Court - Lawrence Session

Fenton Judicial Center

2 Appleton Street, 2nd Floor

Lawrence, MA 01840

Phone:(978) 689-7833 (Clerk’s Office and Housing Specialist Department)

Email: NortheastHousingCourt@jud.state.ma.us

Massachusetts Land Court

The Land Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over Methuen cases relating to title to real property and real estate tax liens. It also has concurrent jurisdiction with the Essex Superior Court over the specific performance of real estate contracts, petitions for partitions of real estate, and processing of mortgage foreclosure cases.

The Land Court also shares jurisdiction with both the Superior Court and the Northeastern Housing Court over appeals of Methuen City matters emanating from the Local Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of appeal. In 2020, it recorded a caseload of 26,037 cases. The courthouse is located at

Massachusetts Land Court

3 Pemberton Square

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 788-7470

Fax: (617) 788-8951

Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)

As the apex court serving the city, the SJC entertains appeals of all Methuen civil and criminal cases from the Appeals Court except for first-degree murder appeals that the SJC receives directly from the Superior Court. In 2018, the SJC recorded 194 case entries and dismissed 14 cases.

The SJC presently handles its functions through video conferences or written decisions without an oral hearing. Individuals may contact the court at

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court - John Adams Courthouse

1 Pemberton Square

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 557-1000

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Appeals Court

The Appeals Court entertains Methuen civil and criminal case appeals from all trial court departments excluding appeals of first-degree murder which go straight to the SJC. It also has appellate jurisdiction over certain administrative proceedings including the Appellate Tax Board, the Department of Industrial Accidents, and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board. The Court heard a total of 736 criminal case appeals and disposed of 429 cases in 2020. The Appeals Court currently adopts alternatives to an in-person appearance in line with Covid 19 protocols.

Massachusetts Appeals Court - John Adams Courthouse

1 Pemberton Square

Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 921-4443

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Universities and Colleges in Methuen

There are no higher institutions in the City of Methuen.