Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 2
General Powers

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-2-29

§ 45-2-29. Town of Westerly — Municipal court.

(a) The town council of the town of Westerly may establish a municipal court and confer upon that 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 town and any violation of the provisions of chapter 24.3 of this title, entitled the Rhode Island Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code; provided, however, 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 seven (7) 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, however, that any defendant found guilty of any violation of a minimum housing ordinance or of chapter 24.3, may, within seven (7) days of conviction, file an appeal from the conviction to the fourth 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 et seq., of this title dealing with housing maintenance and occupancy, the town 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; or

(3) To otherwise compel compliance with all of the provisions of those ordinances and statutes.

(c) The town council of the town of Westerly is authorized and empowered to appoint a judge of the municipal court. The judge shall serve for a term of two (2) years, with the first term commencing January 1, 1989. The town council of the town is authorized and empowered to enact ordinances governing the personnel, operation, and procedure to be followed in the court and to establish a schedule of fees and costs, and to otherwise provide for the operation and management of the court. 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 court is empowered to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and punish persons for contempt, and to authorize and execute search warrants to the extent the warrants could be authorized and executed by a justice of the district court.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 460, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 19, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 38, § 1.