§ 8-18-4. Adjudication of summonses by municipal courts.
(a) All summonses to be adjudicated by a municipal court shall be forwarded to the municipal court.
(b) Summonses to be adjudicated by a municipal court shall be adjudicated by a judge of the municipal court pursuant to § 31-41.1-6 and the rules established by the chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal subject to the approval of the supreme court pursuant to § 8-6-2. Municipal courts shall have jurisdiction over matters brought pursuant to § 31-41.1-7.
(c) If a motorist fails to appear to answer a summons before a municipal court, the municipal court may proceed pursuant to § 31-41.1-5 to enter a default judgment and determine whether the charges have been established. Where a determination is made that a charge has been established, an appropriate order shall be entered and the motorist's license and registration privileges may be ordered by the municipal court to be suspended by the division of motor vehicles as provided by law.
(d) All summonses which have been adjudicated by the municipal court and entered into the data electronic system shall be returned to the traffic tribunal for storage as required by § 8-14-1.
(e) All municipal courts shall be courts of record, shall tape record all sessions, maintain dockets, and adjudicate all violations on the summonses and shall be responsible for data entry into an electronic data processing system of all citations heard and decided by said municipal courts pursuant to procedures and rules promulgated by the chief magistrate of the Rhode Island traffic tribunal subject to the approval of the supreme court pursuant to § 8-6-2.
(f) Municipal court judges may, in their discretion, order driver retraining courses in appropriate cases.
(g) A thirty-five dollar ($35.00) hearing fee shall be assessed by both municipal courts and the traffic tribunal against each person pleading guilty to or found guilty of a traffic offense or violation, as provided in the general laws. In no case shall any municipal court exercising jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter impose or assess any fees or costs except as expressly authorized by state law.
(h) If a payment for any fine assessed in the municipal court for any violation is attempted with a check written against insufficient funds, then an additional penalty not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00) may be added to the amount due.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 488, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 5, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 437, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 1, § 8; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 12, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 415, § 14.)