§ 28-35-28. Appeal to appellate division.
(a) Any person aggrieved by the entry of a decree by a judge may appeal to the appellate division established pursuant to this section by filing with the court within five (5) days of the date of the entry of a decree, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, a claim of appeal and, subject to the rules of practice of the court, by filing a request for a transcript of the testimony and ruling or any part thereof desired. Within any time that a judge shall fix, either by an original fixing or otherwise, the appellant shall file with the court reasons of appeal stating specifically all matters determined adversely to him or her which he or she desires to appeal, together with so much of the transcript of testimony and rulings as he or she deems pertinent, and within ten (10) days after that the parties may file with the court those briefs and memoranda that they may desire concerning the appeal. The chief judge shall appoint appellate panels of three (3) members of the court to hear any claim of appeal and the decision of the appellate panel shall be binding on the court. The three (3) members of the appellate panel shall immediately review the decree upon the record of the case and shall file a decision pursuant to the law and the fair preponderance of the evidence within ten (10) days of the expiration of the time within which the parties may file briefs and memoranda. Upon consideration of the appeal, the appellate panel shall affirm, reverse, or modify the decree appealed from, and may itself take any further proceedings that are just, or may remand the matter to the trial judge for further consideration of any factual issue that the appellate division may raise, including the taking of additional evidence or testimony by the trial judge. It shall be within the prerogative of the appellate panel to remand a matter to the trial judge. If the decision requires the entry of a new decree, notice shall be given the parties, and the new decree shall be entered in the same manner as the original decree, but if the decision of two (2) appellate panel judges does not require the entry of a new decree, the decree shall be affirmed. Any member of the appellate panel may, for cause, disqualify himself or herself from hearing any appeal that may come before the appellate panel.
(b) The findings of the trial judge on factual matters shall be final unless an appellate panel finds them to be clearly erroneous. The court may award costs, including reasonable attorney fees, to the prevailing party when the appellate panel finds there was complete absence of a justiciable issue of either law or fact.
(G.L. 1923, ch. 92, art. 3, § 4; P.L. 1928, ch. 1207, § 1; P.L. 1936, ch. 2290, § 10; G.L. 1938, ch. 300, art. 3, §§ 3, 4; P.L. 1941, ch. 1054, § 1; P.L. 1942, ch. 1236, § 1; P.L. 1947, ch. 1870, § 1; P.L. 1949, ch. 2368, § 1; P.L. 1954, ch. 3297, § 1; P.L. 1956, ch. 3724, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 28-35-28; P.L. 1978, ch. 267, § 4; P.L. 1982, ch. 32, art. 1, § 10; P.L. 1983, ch. 25, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 332, art. 1, § 5; P.L. 1992, ch. 31, § 13; P.L. 2013, ch. 445, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 475, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 78, § 6; P.L. 2014, ch. 87, § 6.)