§ 16-19-8. Jurisdiction of family court.
(a) Jurisdiction of cases arising under § 16-19-1 may reside with juvenile hearing boards in those cities and towns that so desire to hear these cases and which have established juvenile hearing boards. Any municipal juvenile hearing board established pursuant to this section shall, prior to hearing any compulsory attendance cases, inform the chief judge of the family court, in writing, of its establishment and plan to hear compulsory attendance cases. In all other cases arising under § 16-19-1 jurisdiction shall be with the family court. The town of North Providence shall have the authority to establish a juvenile hearing board pursuant to this section.
(b) The family court shall also have authority to issue equitable orders, enforceable through contempt of court proceedings, needed to enforce § 16-19-1. As an alternative to the procedure set out in § 16-19-1, the school committee may file a civil complaint seeking injunctive relief in truancy cases. If the family court rules in favor of the school committee the court may issue an injunction, enforceable through contempt of court proceedings, requiring compliance with the compulsory attendance law. Neither prior resort to enforcement proceedings under § 16-19-1 nor a showing of irreparable injury shall be prerequisite to injunctive relief under this section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 64, §§ 10, 16; P.L. 1902, ch. 1009, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 72, § 7; G.L. 1923, ch. 76, § 6; G.L. 1938, ch. 181, § 6; impl. am. P.L. 1944, ch. 1441, § 14; G.L. 1956, § 16-19-8; P.L. 1969, ch. 239, § 31; P.L. 1984, ch. 345, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 272, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 281, § 1.)