§ 31-19.3-10 Appeals to superior court.
(a) Any person, firm, or corporation aggrieved by a decision of the town council pursuant to § 31-19.3-6 or 31-19.3-7 may appeal to the superior court for Washington County by filing a complaint setting forth the reasons of appeal within twenty (20) days after the decision has been filed in the office of the town clerk. The town council shall file the original documents acted upon by it and constituting the record of the case appealed from, or certified copies of them, together with any other facts that may be pertinent, with the clerk of the court within ten (10) days after being served with a copy of the complaint. When the complaint is filed by someone other than the original applicant or appellant, the original applicant or appellant and the members of the town council shall be made parties to the proceedings. The appeal shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, in its discretion, grant a stay on appropriate terms and make any other orders that it deems necessary for an equitable disposition of the appeal.
(b) If, before the date set for the hearing in the superior court, application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence before the town council and it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for the failure to present it at the hearing before the town council, the court may order that the additional evidence be taken before the town council upon conditions determined by the court. The town council may modify its findings and decision by reason of the additional evidence and shall file that evidence and any modifications, new findings, or decisions with the superior court.
(c) The review shall be conducted by the superior court without a jury. The court shall consider the record of the hearing before the town council and if it shall appear to the court that additional evidence is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may allow any party to the appeal to present the evidence in open court, which evidence along with the record shall constitute the record upon which the determination of the court shall be made.
(d) The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the town council as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the town council or remand the case for further proceedings, or may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because of findings, inferences, conclusions or decisions which are:
(1) In violation of constitutional, statutory, or ordinance provisions;
(2) In excess of the authority granted to the town council by statute or ordinance;
(3) Made upon unlawful procedure;
(4) Affected by other error of law;
(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence of the whole record; or
(6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
(P.L. 1984 (s.s.), ch. 457, § 1.)