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Legal Statutes: Rhode Island

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Rhode Island Statutes

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Chapter 15-15. Domestic Abuse Prevention

back to top15-15-5. Duties of police officers

(a) Whenever any police officer has reason to believe that a family member or parent has been abused, that officer shall use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including:

(1) Remaining on the scene as long as there is a danger to the physical safety of the person or until the person is able to leave the dwelling unit;

(2) Assisting the person in obtaining medical treatment necessitated by an assault, including obtaining transportation to an emergency medical treatment facility;

(3) Giving the person immediate and adequate notice of his or her rights under this chapter;

(4) Arresting the abusive person pursuant to the arrest provisions in § 12-29-3; and

(5) Reporting any physical injury to a minor child or a threat to physically injure a minor child within twenty-four (24) hours of his or her investigation to CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System).

(b) Notice by the police officer to the victim shall be by handing the victim a copy of the following statement written in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese, and French, and by reading the statement to the person when possible:

SPOUSE, FORMER SPOUSE, BLOOD RELATIVE, CHILDREN IN COMMON, MINORS IN SUBSTANTIVE DATING OR ENGAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP.

"If your attacker is your spouse, former spouse, or person to whom you are related by blood or marriage, or if you are not married to your attacker but have a child in common, or if you and/or your attacker is a minor who have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past six (6) months, you have the right to go to the family court and request:

(1) An order restraining your attacker from abusing you or your minor child;

(2) An order awarding you exclusive use of your marital domicile;

(3) An order awarding you custody of your minor child.

UNMARRIED/NOT RELATED COHABITANTS WITHIN THE PAST THREE YEARS, OR HAVE BEEN IN A SUBSTANTIVE DATING OR ENGAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE PAST SIX (6) MONTHS

"If you are not married or related to your attacker, but have resided with him or her within the past three (3) years, or you are in or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship with your attacker within the past six (6) months, you have the right to go to the district court and request:

(1) An order restraining your attacker from abusing you;

(2) An order directing your attacker to leave your household, unless he or she has the sole legal interest in the household."

ADDITIONAL RIGHTS.

"If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to have the officer present obtain transportation to an emergency medical treatment facility.

"If you believe that police protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to have the officer present remain at the scene until you and your children can leave or until your safety is otherwise ensured.

"You have the right to file a criminal complaint with the responding officer or your local police department if the officer has not arrested the perpetrator."

(c) A police officer shall ensure enforcement of the terms of a protective order issued pursuant to this chapter including, but not limited to, accompanying a family member or parent to his or her dwelling or residence in order to secure possession of the dwelling or residence.

(d) When service of the temporary order issued pursuant to § 15-15-4 has not been made and/or after a permanent order is entered, a police officer shall give notice of the order to the defendant by handing him or her a certified copy of the order. The officer shall indicate that he or she has given notice by writing on plaintiff 's copy of the order and the police department's copy of the order, the date and time of giving notice and the officer's name and badge number. The officer shall indicate on the offense report that actual notice was given.
History: P.L. 1982, ch. 389, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 375, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 248, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 84, § 70; P.L. 1988, ch. 539, § 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 181, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 315, § 1.