Courts and Civil Procedure – Procedure in Particular Actions

Small Claims and Consumer Claims

SECTION 10-16-8

§ 10-16-8. Default by plaintiff – Prevention of abuse of procedure by claimants.

(a) If the plaintiff does not appear at the time set for the hearing, the court may dismiss the claim and action for want of prosecution, or enter judgment for the defendant for his or her costs, or make such other disposition of the case as may be proper.

(b) If the clerk shall find that the procedure provided by this chapter is sought to be utilized by a claimant for purposes of oppression or harassment, as where the claimant has previously resorted to such procedure on the same claim and has been unsuccessful after hearing thereon, the clerk may in his or her discretion compel the claimant to make application to the court for leave to prosecute the claim under this chapter. The court upon such application shall inquire into the circumstances and, if it shall find that the claim has already been adjudicated, or that the claim is sought to be brought on solely for purposes of oppression or harassment and not under color of right, it may make an order denying the claimant the availability of the procedure provided by this chapter.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1930, ch. 1596, § 6; G.L. 1938, ch. 592, § 6; G.L. 1956, § 10-16-8; P.L. 1970, ch. 214, § 1.)