§ 45-2-67. Town of South Kingstown — Municipal court.
(a) The town council of the town of South Kingstown 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; provided, however, that any defendant found guilty of any offense, excluding violations outlined in subsection (b) of this section, may, within seven (7) days of conviction, file an appeal from the conviction to the Washington County superior court and be entitled in the latter court to a trial de novo.
(b) The town council of the town of South Kingstown may establish a municipal housing 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 the zoning ordinances of the town and any violation of the provisions of chapter 24 of this title (the Rhode Island zoning enabling act of 1991); any violation of chapter 24.1 of this title (the historical zoning act); any violation of chapter 24.2 of this title (minimum housing standards act); any violation of chapter 24.3 of this title (housing maintenance and occupancy code); any violation of chapter 23 of this title (subdivision and land development act); any violation of any local South Kingstown ordinance or regulation enacted pursuant to these chapters; and any violation of the provisions of chapter 27.3 of title 23 (the Rhode Island state building code); and any violation of the provisions of those regulations promulgated by the state building code commission entitled SBC-1 Rhode Island state building code; SBC-2 Rhode Island state one and two (2) family dwelling code; SBC-3 Rhode Island state plumbing code; SBC-4 Rhode Island state mechanical code; SBC-5 Rhode Island state electrical code; SBC-6 state property maintenance code; SBC-8 Rhode Island state energy conservation code; and SBC-19 Rhode Island state fuel and gas code; and provided, further, that any party aggrieved by a final judgment, decree, or order of the South Kingstown housing court may, within twenty (20) days after entry of this judgment, decree, or order, file an appeal to the Washington County superior court and be entitled in the latter court to a trial de novo.
(c) With respect to violations falling under the jurisdiction of the South Kingstown housing court, as outlined in subsection (b) of this section, the town council may also confer upon the housing 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, vacating, or demolition of any dwelling existing in violation;
(3) To otherwise compel compliance with all of the provisions of those ordinances, regulations, and statutes; and
(4) To order a dwelling into receivership and to order the removal of any cloud on the title to the building or property that shall be binding upon all those claiming by, through, under, or by virtue of any inferior liens or encumbrances pursuant to chapter 44 of title 34.
(d) The town council of the town of South Kingstown is authorized and empowered to appoint a judge and clerk of the municipal court. The town council of the town of South Kingstown is also authorized to appoint a judge and clerk of the housing court, who may be, but is not required to be, the same person(s) holding the judgeship over the municipal court. The town council 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 fine not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense. The court is empowered to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and punish persons for contempt.
History of Section.
P.L. 2020, ch. 29, § 1; P.L. 2020, ch. 36, § 1.