Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 2
General Powers

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-2-32

§ 45-2-32. Town of Charlestown — Municipal court.

(a) The town council of the town of Charlestown 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 the chapter 24.3 may, within seven (7) days of the 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 the ordinances and statutes.

(c) The municipal court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island traffic tribunal to hear and adjudicate those violations conferred upon the municipal court and enumerated in section 8-18-3. Adjudication of summons by the municipal court shall be in conformance with § 8-18-4. The municipal court shall hear and decide traffic matters in a manner consistent with the procedures of the traffic tribunal, and be subject to review by the chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal in accordance with § 8-18-11. Any person desiring to appeal an adverse decision of the municipal court for violations enumerated in § 8-18-3, may seek review thereof pursuant to the procedures set forth in § 31-41.1-8.

(d) The town council of the town of Charlestown is authorized and empowered to appoint a judge of the municipal court. 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 of 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. 1990, ch. 287, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 128, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 297, § 1.