Title 9
Courts and Civil Procedure — Procedure Generally

Chapter 9
Jury Lists

R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-9-23

§ 9-9-23. Investigation of names drawn — Lists of persons well qualified to serve.

(a) The jury commissioner, either personally or by such assistant as he or she may employ as provided in § 9-9-7, shall investigate the names of all persons drawn as provided in § 9-9-14.1, and as far as possible in the order in which the names appear upon the lists. The investigation may be made by the mailing of questionnaires to such persons, or by other written inquiries deemed by the jury commissioner to be appropriate, but where the jury commissioner considers further investigation to be necessary or desirable, the investigation may include a personal interview by the jury commissioner or by one of his or her duly appointed assistants. The jury commissioner shall make lists of all grand and petit jurors for each town not exempted as provided in § 9-9-3, and in the order in which they were originally drawn, as he or she shall deem well qualified to serve, being persons of good moral character, of sound judgment, and free from all exception, which lists shall be kept on file in the office of the jury commissioner. The jury commissioner shall preserve a full record of the investigation, which shall not be disclosed to any person except by order of a justice of the superior court, or by order of the chief judge or associate justice of the family court, and may summon before him or her any person subject to serve as a juror, or any person who in the jury commissioner’s opinion has particular knowledge of a juror’s fitness to serve as a juror, and for this purpose may administer oaths, and have the same powers as are by law provided for the summoning of witnesses by a coroner. Any person so summoned shall be entitled to the same fees as a witness summoned before a coroner. No rejection of a juror by the jury commissioner shall take final effect until it has been approved by a justice of the superior court, appointed for this purpose by the presiding justice, and he or she may appoint different justices from time to time for each county. A justice of the family court who has been appointed by the chief judge for the purpose of considering the recommendations of the jury commissioner concerning the fitness of jurors may also reject jurors. The chief judge may appoint different justices from time to time for each county.

(b) The jury commissioner shall not place any person upon the list who is not qualified as provided in § 9-9-1.1, nor shall he or she fail to place any person upon the list who is qualified, and if the commissioner or any of his or her assistants shall willfully violate any of the provisions of this section they shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned for the term of not more than one year, or both.

History of Section.
G.L. 1923, ch. 329, § 20; P.L. 1926, ch. 797, § 10; G.L. 1938, ch. 506, § 18; G.L. 1938, ch. 506, § 16; P.L. 1939, ch. 700, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 9-9-23; P.L. 1974, ch. 52, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 71, § 3; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 100.