A N A C T
RELATING TO COURTS AND CIVIL PROCEDURE -- COURTS -- DOMESTIC ASSAULT
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 8-8.1-4 of the General Laws in Chapter 8-8.1 entitled "Domestic Assault" is hereby amended to read as follows:
8-8.1-4. Temporary orders -- Ex parte proceedings -- (a) (1) Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, the court may enter such temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse.
(2) If it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff, before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon, the court may enter such temporary order without notice as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff. Every order granted without notice shall expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed twenty-one (21) days, as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed the order: (i) by consent, or (ii) due to a failure to make service of process upon the defendant despite diligent efforts, or (iii) for good cause shown and after hearing of argument by the parties or counsel, is extended for an additional period. In case a temporary order is granted without notice, the matter shall be set down for hearing within a reasonable time and shall be given precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character, and when the matter comes on for hearing the party who obtained the temporary order shall proceed with the complaint for an order pursuant to section 8-8.1-3 and, if she or he does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary order.
(b) (1) (i) When the court is unavailable after the close of business a complaint may be filed before any available district court judge who may grant relief to the plaintiff under this chapter upon cause shown in an ex parte proceeding.
(ii) In addition, when there is no district court in session at a location when the family court is in session, the family court judge at that location is authorized to grant relief to the plaintiff under this chapter upon cause shown in an ex parte proceeding.
(2) No temporary order shall be granted pursuant to the provisions of this section unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown by the affidavit or by verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon.
(c) Any order issued under this section and any documentation in support thereof shall be filed immediately with the clerk of the district court. Such filing shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under this chapter and invoking the other provisions of this chapter.
(d) The clerk of the district court shall have a certified copy of any order issued under this chapter forwarded immediately to the law enforcement agency designated by the plaintiff. The clerk shall also provide the plaintiff with two (2) certified copies of any order issued under this chapter.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.