Chapter 474

2007 -- S 0690

Enacted 07/05/07





     Introduced By: Senator Kevin A. Breene

     Date Introduced: February 15, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Chapter 45-2 of the General Laws entitled "General Powers" is hereby

amended by adding thereto the following section:


     45-2-56. Town of Hopkinton -- Municipal Court. (a) The town council of the town

of Hopkinton may establish a municipal court and confer upon that court original jurisdiction,

notwithstanding any other provisions of the general laws, to hear and determine causes involving

the violation of any ordinance, including, but not limited to, municipal code violations, animal

regulation violations, minimum housing ordinances of the town and any violation of the

provisions of chapter 24.3 of this title, entitled the Rhode Island Housing Maintenance and

Occupancy Code; and, if but only if, jurisdiction is specifically conferred by a vote of the town

council, traffic and parking violations; provided, however, that any defendant found guilty of any

offense, excluding violations of the minimum housing ordinances or chapter 24.3 within the

jurisdiction of the court, may within seven (7) days of the conviction, file an appeal from the

conviction to the superior court and be entitled in the latter court to a trial de novo; and provided

further, however, that any defendant found guilty of any violation of a minimum housing

ordinance or of chapter 24.3, may within seven (7) days of conviction, file an appeal from the

conviction to the fourth division of the district court and be entitled to a trial de novo in

accordance with subdivision 8-8-3(a)(4) and section 8-8-3.2.

     (b) With respect to violations of either municipal ordinances dealing with minimum

housing or chapter 24.3 et seq., of this title dealing with housing maintenance and occupancy, the

town council may also confer upon the municipal court, in furtherance of the court's jurisdiction,

the power to proceed according to equity:

     (1) to restrain, prevent, enjoin, abate, or correct a violation;

     (2) to order the repair, vacation, or demolition of any dwelling existing in violation; or

     (3) to otherwise compel compliance with all of the provisions of those ordinances and


     (c) The town council of the town of Hopkinton is authorized and empowered to appoint a

judge of the municipal court. The judge shall serve for a term of two (2) years, or concurrent

with the term of each appointing council. The town council of the town is authorized and

empowered to enact ordinances governing the personnel, operation, and procedure to be followed

in the court and to establish a schedule of fees and costs, and to otherwise provide for the

operation and management of the court. The municipal court may impose sentences not to

exceed thirty (30) days in jail and impose fines not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), or

both. The court is empowered to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and

punish persons for contempt, and to authorize and execute search warrants to the extent the

warrants could be authorized and executed by a justice of the district court.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.