Chapter 297


Enacted 07/12/11





     Introduced By: Representatives Walsh, Valencia, Lally, Kennedy, and Tanzi

     Date Introduced: January 11, 2011


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Section 45-2-32 of the General Laws in Chapter 45-2 entitled "General

Powers" is hereby amended to read as follows:


     45-2-32. Town of Charlestown -- Municipal court. -- (a) The town council of the town

of Charlestown 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 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; 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 the chapter 24.3 may, within seven (7) days of the 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 sections 8-8-3(a) (4) and 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 the ordinances and


     (c) The municipal court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island traffic

tribunal to hear and adjudicate those violations conferred upon the municipal court and

enumerated in section 8-18-3. Adjudication of summons by the municipal court shall be in

conformance with section 8-18-4. The municipal court shall hear and decide traffic matters in a

manner consistent with the procedures of the traffic tribunal, and be subject to review by the chief

magistrate of the traffic tribunal in accordance with section 8-18-11. Any person desiring to

appeal an adverse decision of the municipal court for violations enumerated in section 8-18-3,

may seek review thereof pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 31-41.1-8.

      (c)(d) The town council of the town of Charlestown is authorized and empowered to

appoint a judge of the municipal court. 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 a sentence not to

exceed thirty (30) days in jail and impose a fine of not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500)

three hundred dollars ($300), 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



     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.



LC00116/SUB A