§ 30-15-11. Emergency claims commission.
(a) There is hereby created an emergency claims commission, consisting of three (3) qualified electors of this state, who shall, if deemed necessary, within ten (10) days after the governor proclaims an emergency, be appointed by the presiding justice of the superior court. Any vacancy in the membership of the commission shall be filled immediately by the presiding justice. The presiding justice shall fix the per diem compensation of the members of the commission. The commission shall determine what sum will justly compensate the claimant for the property taken, and that determination shall be made in accordance with the procedure established by the majority of the justices of the superior court, which procedure shall be designed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of claims for compensation. The commission may hire, and the state shall pay for, the services of any skilled and disinterested appraisers that the commission shall deem necessary to assist it in the performance of its duties. The clerk of the superior court for Providence county shall detail one of the assistant clerks and any clerical assistance that may be necessary to assist the commission in performing its duties, and when and if the commission so requests, the clerks of the superior courts for the other counties of the state shall furnish the commission any clerical assistance that it may require. The proper authorities shall provide the commission with suitable and convenient quarters in the courthouses of the state.
(b) Whenever the governor takes possession of, or title to, any real or personal property pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, he or she shall immediately cause the owner and/or possessor of the property, referred to as the "claimant", to be notified in any manner that the commission provides, and shall also cause a copy of the notice to be filed with the commission. If the claimant or the attorney general representing the state is not satisfied with the award made by the commission, he or she may appeal within thirty (30) days after the award to the superior court and the proceedings shall thereafter be conducted in the superior court in accordance with the guaranties of the constitution and any rules of procedure that a majority of the justices of the court may adopt. Review by the supreme court shall be available to the state and to the claimant in accordance with any rules that a majority of the justices of the supreme court may adopt provided a petition for review is filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court within thirty (30) days after entry of the decision of the superior court. These proceedings shall have precedence on the calendars of the courts. All unappealed awards and final judgments entered against the state in all proceedings and the fees and expenses of the commission shall be paid by the general treasurer out of any money in the treasury appropriated for this purpose and/or any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, and this direction shall constitute an appropriation for the payment of the awards, judgments, fees, and expenses.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 67, § 2; P.L. 2000, ch. 170, § 2.)