Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 41.1
Adjudication of Traffic Offenses

R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-41.1-8

§ 31-41.1-8. Appellate review.

(a) Appeals panels. The chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal shall establish one or more appeals panels, each consisting of three (3) members of the traffic tribunal, and shall select a presiding member for each appeals panel from the members so appointed. No member of the traffic tribunal shall serve as a member of an appeals panel hearing the appeal of a determination by that member. The chief judge shall also designate any other personnel of the traffic tribunal that may be necessary to assist an appeals panel in carrying out its functions.

(b) Right of appeal. Any person who is aggrieved by a determination of a judge or magistrate may appeal the determination pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(c) Appeals panel. Each appeal filed pursuant to this section shall be reviewed by an appeals panel, which shall make a determination of the appeal, and shall cause an appropriate order to be entered in the records of the traffic tribunal.

(d) Time limitations. No appeal shall be reviewed if it is filed more than ten (10) days after notice was given of the determination from which it was appealed, unless it is determined that failure to file was due to excusable neglect. Notice shall be complete upon mailing.

(e) Appeal procedures. Any person desiring to file an appeal from an adverse determination pursuant to this section shall do so in a form and manner provided by the clerk of the traffic tribunal. The transcript of any hearing that formed the basis for the determination will be reviewed only if it is submitted by the appellant. An appeal shall not be deemed to be finally submitted until the appellant has submitted all forms or documents required to be submitted by the clerk of the traffic tribunal or by this section.

(f) Standard of review. The appeals panel shall not substitute its judgment for that of the judge or magistrate as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The appeals panel may affirm the decision of the judge or magistrate, or it may remand the case for further proceedings or reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because the judge’s findings, inferences, conclusions or decisions are:

(1) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;

(2) In excess of the statutory authority of the judge or magistrate;

(3) Made upon unlawful procedure;

(4) Affected by other error of law;

(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record; or

(6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.

(g) Transcript of hearings. Transcripts of the record of any hearing may be obtained at the cost of the traffic tribunal, if prepared by the tribunal, or at a rate specified in the contract between the court and the contractor, if prepared by a private contractor.

(h) Fees. The fee for filing an appeal shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and this fee shall be deposited into the general fund. In addition to the appeal filing fee, the traffic tribunal shall apply a technology surcharge assessed in accordance with § 8-15-11. No appeal shall be accepted unless the required fee has been paid or if forma pauperis status has been granted.

(i) Stays pending appeal. Whenever a determination has not been made within thirty (30) days after an appeal has been finally submitted, a stay of execution will be deemed granted by operation of law, and the license, certificate, permit, or privilege affected will be automatically restored pending final determination by the appeals panel.

History of Section.
P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 3, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 1, § 12; P.L. 2014, ch. 34, § 9; P.L. 2014, ch. 42, § 9.