Courts and Civil Procedure – Procedure Generally

Nonsuit and Discontinuance


§ 9-8-5. Annual action by court.

(a) Thereafter, during the first week in February in each year, or as soon as thereafter is practicable, all actions at law, and other proceedings designated by the respective courts, deemed by the court to be inactive and then pending in the supreme court, the superior court, the family court, the district court, or the traffic tribunal, for five (5) years or more, may be dismissed for lack of prosecution, without costs. Entries of such dismissals shall be made as of course by the clerk, upon order of the chief justice, presiding justice, chief judges, or chief magistrate, of the respective courts, after notice has been duly given of the date upon which the cases will stand dismissed. The notice shall be given once a week for two (2) successive weeks at least three (3) weeks before the date in a newspaper having general circulation in the county or district where the action is pending.

(b) Upon the date any party desiring to be heard in opposition to dismissal of a case in which he or she appears may appear before the respective court (in the superior court before the presiding justice) and be heard thereon, and the court may in its discretion dismiss or stay dismissal of the case for such period as it may fix. Extensions of the period may also be granted. Any adversary party shall not be thereby prevented from making a special motion for dismissal within the period so fixed or extended.

History of Section.
(R.P.L. 1957, ch. 125, § 3; P.L. 1979, ch. 373, § 3; P.L. 1982, ch. 135, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 66, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 71, § 1.)