Title 11
Criminal Offenses

Chapter 35
Public Utilities

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-35-14

§ 11-35-14. Refusal to relinquish or to damage or to obstruct telephone.

(a) Any person who willfully refuses to relinquish a party line or who obstructs or damages an individual telephone line or telephone set when he or she knows or should have known that the party line, individual telephone line or telephone set is needed for an emergency call to a fire department or police department or for medical aid or ambulance service shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300) or be imprisoned ninety (90) days, or both, or any person who secures the use of a party line by falsely stating that the line is needed for an emergency call shall be fined not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) or be imprisoned not exceeding three (3) months.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) “Party line” means a subscriber line telephone circuit consisting of two (2) or more main telephone stations connected with it, each station with a distinctive ring or telephone number; and

(2) “Emergency” means a situation in which property or human life are in jeopardy and the prompt summoning of aid is essential.

History of Section.
P.L. 1958, ch. 145, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 346, § 1.