Title 45
Towns and Cities

Chapter 24.3
Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code

R.I. Gen. Laws 45-24.3-18



 45-24.3-18.  Penalties — District court jurisdiction — Review by supreme court — Duties of prosecutor.


(a) Civil penalty.  Any owner, occupant, operator, or agent, of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or structure who has received the second order or notice of a violation of this chapter is subject to a cumulative civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) per day for each day each violation continues after expiration of the specified reasonable consideration period; provided, that no penalty is applicable while a reconsideration, hearing, or appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction is pending in the matter. In those instances where emergencies exist pursuant to  45-24.3-21, any owner, operator, occupant, or agent of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or structure is subject to a cumulative civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day for each day an emergency violation continues.

(b) Criminal penalties; willful or reckless violations; false statements.  (1) Any person who: (i) willfully or recklessly violates any provision of this chapter; or (ii) willfully or recklessly violates, or fails to comply with, any requirement of an order of the enforcing officer; or (iii) makes, or causes any other to make, any false or misleading statement on any registration statement, notice, or other document required to be filed pursuant to this chapter; or on any application, or any accompanying document, for the granting of any permit or any other action by the appropriate authority pursuant to this chapter, is guilty of a "violation", as defined in  11-1-2, punishable by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, and each day's failure to comply with any provision constitutes a separate violation.

(i) Willfully or recklessly violates any provision of this chapter; or

(ii) Willfully or recklessly violates, or fails to comply with, any requirement of an order of the enforcing officer; or

(iii) Makes, or causes any other to make, any false or misleading statement on any registration statement, notice, or other document required to be filed pursuant to this chapter, or on any application, or any accompanying document, for the granting of any permit or any other action by the appropriate authority pursuant to this chapter,
is guilty of a "violation", as defined in  11-1-2, punishable by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, and each day's failure to comply with any provision constitutes a separate violation.

(2) A person commits a willful violation when that person intentionally acts or intentionally fails to act, to cause a condition that violates this chapter. A person commits a reckless violation when that person acts, or fails to act, with a conscious disregard of a substantial risk that the act or failure to act will result in a condition, constituting a violation of this chapter, which will endanger the life, health, or safety of another person. The district court has exclusive original jurisdiction of all these violations as provided in  12-3-1. A party aggrieved by any judgment of the district court imposing a fine may seek review by the supreme court in accordance with  12-22-1.1.

(c) The solicitor for a city or town shall immediately seek civil and criminal penalties, as defined in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, against an owner of premises subject to this chapter who fails to comply with a second notice of violation of this chapter and who willfully or recklessly violates this chapter.

(d) Where the violations continue one year or more after notice of the violations, an additional civil penalty is imposed on the owner, occupant, operator, or agent of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or structure. The additional civil penalty shall be a cumulative penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day for each day each violation continues. This penalty constitutes a lien on the real estate until paid.

History of Section.
G.L. 1938, ch. 344, 9C; P.L. 1939, ch. 726, 4; P.L. 1950, ch. 2619, 3; G.L. 1956, 45-25-18; P.L. 1960, ch. 133, 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 373, 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 279, 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 332, 1.