2002-S 2937A am
Enacted 06/18/2002

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Introduced By: Senators Raptakis, Blais, Breene, Roberts, and Graziano


Date Introduced: April 09, 2002

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 12-10-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 12-10 entitled "Preliminary Proceedings in District Courts" is hereby amended to read as follows:

12-10-2. Powers of justices of the peace. -- (a)(1) The chief judge of the district court shall from time to time appoint, with power to revoke the appointments, as many qualified justices of the peace who are members of the bar within the cities and towns and divisions of the district court of this state, as deemed necessary, to be authorized to set and take bail in all complaints bailable before a division of the district court except those offenses punishable by life imprisonment and, in default of bail, to commit to the adult correctional institutions all respondents arrested on those complaints. The chief judge shall authorize the appointed justices of the peace to issue warrants, and complaints returnable to the division of the district court, for any offense for which by law a judge of the district court may issue a warrant, and complaint. All warrants issued by them, and all warrants and complaints upon which bail is taken or commitments are made, shall be immediately returned to the divisions. These justices of the peace do not have the power to issue search warrants. The justices of the peace may set and take bail, and commit and issue warrants (except search warrants), in any division where the defendant is being held by the state police, the metropolitan park police, conservation officers of the department of environmental management, a sheriff or deputy sheriff, the capitol police, the campus security forces of the state colleges and universities, or city or town police forces.

(2) Whenever probable cause exists that a defendant is a violator of bail and/or probation in the District Court or Superior Court, upon being presented with a violation report by an attorney for the state, and upon making a finding that the defendant is subject to violation of bail and/or probation and that probable cause exists on the new charge being brought, the justice of the peace shall issue his/her writ of mittimus confining the defendant without bail and issue a writ of habeas corpus returnable to the next sitting of the District Court and make a finding of probable violation in writing. The justice of the peace shall proceed to arraign the defendant on the new charge pursuant to subsection (1). The justice of the peace shall return his/her writs and other documentation of a District Court violation to the clerk of the District Court; regarding any Superior Court violation the attorney for the state shall notify the clerk of the Superior Court for the county where the case originated for which a finding of probable violation was made of the finding of probable violation and the attorney for the state shall, on the same date, request a judge or magistrate of the Superior Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus for the purpose of a violation presentation before the Superior Court returnable to the next sitting of the Superior Court in said county.

(b) In misdemeanor cases a justice of the peace may accept pleas of not guilty, and may then schedule a pre-trial conference date before a judge of the district court.

(c) In non-capital felony cases the justices of the peace may schedule felony screening dates.

(d) The fee for the justices of the peace shall be twenty-five fifty dollars ($25.00) ($50.00) paid by each individual who appears before him or her. When a special session is requested between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., the fee shall be arranged between the defendant and the justice of the peace but shall not exceed one two hundred dollars ($100) ($200). Justice of the peace shall have immunity for any actions taken pursuant to the provisions of this section.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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