Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 2
General Powers

R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-2-63

§ 45-2-63. Town of Richmond — Municipal court.

(a) The town council of the town of Richmond 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 violation of the town of Richmond code of ordinances, including any minimum housing ordinances of the town, and violations 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 violation of the Richmond code of ordinances, excluding any minimum housing ordinances, may, within seven (7) days of conviction, file an appeal from the conviction to the superior court for Washington County 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 any minimum housing ordinances or of chapter 45-23.3 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 any minimum housing ordinance and violations of 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; and

(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 enumerated in § 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 shall 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 Richmond is authorized and empowered to appoint a judge and a clerk of the municipal court; to enact ordinances governing the personnel, operation, and procedure to be followed in the court; 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) per violation, or both. The court is empowered to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and punish persons for contempt and to execute search warrants to the extent the warrants could be executed by a judge of the district court.

History of Section.
P.L. 2013, ch. 248, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 374, § 1.