§ 44-27-6. Appeals to superior court.
(a) Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, may appeal to the superior court for the county in which the municipality is situated by filing a complaint stating the reasons of appeal within ninety (90) days after the decision has been filed in the office of the board of assessment review, or city or town council. The board of assessment review, or city or town council, shall file the original documents acted upon by it and constituting the record of the case appealed from, or certified copies of the original documents, together with any other facts that may be pertinent with the clerk of the court within ten (10) days after being served with a copy of the complaint. When the complaint is filed by someone other than the original applicant or appellant, the original applicant or appellant and the members of the board of review, or city or town council, are made parties to the proceedings. The appeal shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, in its discretion, grant a stay on appropriate terms and make other orders that it deems necessary for an equitable disposition of the appeal.
(b) If, before the date set for the hearing in the superior court, application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence before the board of assessment review, or city or town council, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for the failure to present it at the hearing before the board of review, or city or town council, the court may order that the additional evidence be taken before the board of review, or city or town council, upon conditions determined by the court. The board of review, or city or town council, may modify its findings and decision by reason of that additional evidence and file that evidence and any modification, new findings, or decisions with the superior court.
(c) The review shall be conducted by the superior court without a jury. The court shall consider the record of the hearing before the board of assessment review, or city or town council, and if it appears to the court that additional evidence is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may allow any party to the appeal to present that evidence in open court, which evidence along with the record constitutes the record upon which the determination of the court is made. The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, as to the weight of the evidence on question of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, or remand the case for further proceedings, or may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because of findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions which are:
(1) In violation of constitutional, statutory, or ordinance provisions;
(2) In excess of the authority granted to the board of assessment review, or city or town council, by statute or ordinance;
(3) Made upon unlawful procedure;
(4) Affected by other error of law;
(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence of the whole record; or
(6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
(d) If the taxpayer's tax is paid, whether before or after the filing of the petition, then the court shall upon a finding in favor of the petitioner, give judgment for the petitioner for the sum by which he or she has been overtaxed, or illegally taxed, plus the amount of any penalty paid, with interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum from the date on which the tax and penalty were paid and costs. The judgment shall be paid to the petitioner by the city or town treasurer out of the treasury.
(P.L. 1980, ch. 252, § 2; P.L. 1990, ch. 442, § 1.)