Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 2
General Powers

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-2-19

§ 45-2-19. City of Warwick — Municipal court.

(a) The city council of the city of Warwick may establish a municipal court and confer upon the court original jurisdiction, notwithstanding any other provisions of the general laws, to hear and determine causes involving the violation of any ordinance, including minimum housing ordinances, of the city and any violation of the provisions of chapter 24.3 of this title, entitled the Rhode Island Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code; provided, that any defendant found guilty of any offense, excluding violations of the minimum housing ordinances or chapter 24.3 within the jurisdiction of the court, may, within five (5) days of the conviction, file an appeal from the conviction to the superior court and be entitled in the latter court to a trial de novo; and provided further, that any defendant found guilty of any violation of a minimum housing ordinance, or of chapter 24.3, may, within five (5) days of the conviction, file an appeal from the conviction to the third division of the district court and be entitled to a trial de novo in accordance with §§ 8-8-3(a)(4) and 8-8-3.2.

(b) With respect to violations of either municipal ordinances dealing with minimum housing or chapter 24.3 of this title dealing with housing maintenance and occupancy, the city council may also confer upon the municipal court, in furtherance of the court’s jurisdiction, the power to proceed according to equity:

(1) To restrain, prevent, enjoin, abate, or correct a violation;

(2) To order the repair, vacation, or demolition of any dwelling existing in violation;

(3) To otherwise compel compliance with all of the provisions of the ordinances and statutes; or

(4) To utilize and apply the provisions set forth in chapter 44 of title 34 (Abandoned Property).

(c) The mayor of the city is authorized and empowered to appoint a judge of the municipal court with the advice and consent of the city or town council. The city council is authorized and empowered to enact ordinances governing the operation and procedure to be followed in the court and to establish a schedule of fees and costs. The municipal court may impose a sentence not to exceed thirty (30) days in jail and impose a fine not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), or both. The municipal court may also order the destruction of any vehicle impounded in accordance with any ordinance enacted pursuant to § 31-12-12(c). The court is empowered to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and punish persons for contempt.

History of Section.
P.L. 1979, ch. 101, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 90, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 23, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 71, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 37, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 39, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 275, § 2, effective July 2, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 331, § 2, effective July 6, 2022.