Legal Information: Rhode Island

Statutes: Rhode Island

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Statutes: Rhode Island

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The statutes and Constitution are current through Chapter 480 of the January 2017 session. Please check to make sure there have been no changes since this time. You will find these and additional statutes on the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Title 8. Courts and Civil Procedure Courts

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 8-8.1. Domestic Assault

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

8-8.1-1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The following words as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Cohabitants” means emancipated minors or persons eighteen (18) years of age or older, not related by blood or marriage, who together are not the legal parents of one or more children, and who have resided together within the preceding three (3) years or who are residing in the same living quarters.

(2) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”

(3) “Courts” means the district court.

(4) “Cyberstalking” means transmitting any communication by computer to any person or causing any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family.

(5) “Domestic abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between cohabitants or against the minor child of a cohabitant, or the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year or against a minor child in the custody of the plaintiff; “domestic abuse” shall be determined by the court's consideration of the following factors:

(i) The length of time of the relationship;

(ii) The type of the relationship;

(iii) The frequency of the interaction between the parties;

(iv) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(v) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(vi) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress; or

(vii) Stalking or cyberstalking.

(6) “Harassing” means following a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury.

(7) “Sole legal interest” means defendant has an ownership interest in the residence and plaintiff does not; or defendant's name is on the lease and plaintiff's is not.

(8) “Stalking” means harassing another person or willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.

8-8.1-2. Filing of complaint

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Proceedings under this chapter shall be filed, heard, and determined in the district court of the division in which the plaintiff resides. Any proceedings under this chapter shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. A party filing a complaint under this chapter may do so without payment of any filing fee. If the plaintiff has left the residence or household to avoid abuse, he or she may bring the action in the court of previous residence or the court of present residence. There shall be no minimum residence requirements for the bringing of an action under this chapter.

(b) Answers to the summons and complaint shall be made within ten (10) days of service upon the defendant and the action shall take precedence on the calendar. If no answer is filed within the time prescribed, judgment shall enter forthwith.

8-8.1-3. Protective orders--Penalty--Jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A person suffering from domestic abuse may file a complaint in the district court requesting any order which will protect her or him from the abuse, including but not limited to the following:
(1) Ordering that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting, or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street, or elsewhere, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;
(2) Ordering the defendant to vacate the household forthwith, unless the defendant holds sole legal interest in the household;
(3) Upon motion by the plaintiff, his or her address shall be released only at the discretion of the district court judge;
(4) Ordering the defendant to surrender physical possession of all firearms in his or her possession, care, custody, or control and shall further order a person restrained not to purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms while the protective order is in effect. The defendant shall surrender said firearms within twenty-four (24) hours of notice of the protective order to the Rhode Island state police or local police department or to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
(i) A person ordered to surrender possession of any firearm(s) pursuant to this section shall, within seventy-two (72) hours after being served with the order, either:
(A) File with the court a receipt showing the firearm(s) was physically surrendered to the Rhode Island state police or local police department, or to a federally licensed firearm dealer; or
(B) Attest to the court that, at the time of the order, the person had no firearms in his or her immediate physical possession or control, or subject to his or her immediate physical possession or control, and that the person, at the time of the attestation, has no firearms in his or her immediate physical possession or control or subject to his or her immediate physical possession or control.
(ii) If a person restrained under this section transfers a firearm(s) to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to this section, the person restrained under this section may instruct the federally licensed firearms dealer to sell the firearm(s) or to transfer ownership in accordance with state and federal law, to a qualified named individual who is not a member of the person's dwelling house, who is not related to the person by blood, marriage, or relationship as defined by § 15-15-1(7), and who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law. The owner of any firearm(s) sold shall receive any financial value received from its sale, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and transferring of the firearm(s).
(iii) Every individual to whom possession of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall be prohibited from transferring or returning any firearm(s) to the person restrained under this section while the protective order remains in effect and shall be informed of this prohibition. Any knowing violation of this subsection is a felony that shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than five (5) years, or both.
(iv) An individual to whom possession of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall return a firearm(s) to the person formerly restrained under this section only if the person formerly restrained under this section provides documentation issued by a court indicating that the restraining order issued pursuant to this section that prohibited the person from purchasing, carrying, transporting, or possessing firearms has expired and has not been extended.
(b) After notice to the respondent and after a hearing, which shall be held within fifteen (15) days of surrendering said firearms, the court, in addition to any other restrictions, may, for any protective order issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2017, continue the order of surrender, and shall further order a person restrained under this section not to purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms while the protective order is in effect.
(c) The district court shall provide a notice on all forms requesting a protective order that a person restrained under this section shall be ordered pursuant to § 11-47-5, to surrender possession or control of any firearms and not to purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms while the restraining order is in effect. The form shall further provide that any person who has surrendered their firearms shall be afforded a hearing within fifteen (15) days of surrendering their firearms.
(d) Any firearm surrendered in accordance with this section to the Rhode Island state police or local police department shall be returned to the person formerly restrained under this section upon their request when:
(1) The person formerly restrained under this section produces documentation issued by a court indicating that the restraining order issued pursuant to this section that prohibited the person from purchasing, carrying, transporting, or possessing firearms has expired and has not been extended; and
(2) The law enforcement agency in possession of the firearms determines that the person formerly restrained under this section is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.
(3) The person required to surrender his or her firearms pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for any costs of storage of any firearms surrendered pursuant to this section.
(e) The Rhode Island state police are authorized to develop rules and procedures pertaining to the storage and return of firearms surrendered to the Rhode Island state police or local police departments pursuant to this section. The Rhode Island state police may consult with the Rhode Island Police Chiefs' Association in developing rules and procedures.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit, expand, or in any way modify orders issued under §§ 12-29-4 or 15-5-19.
(g) Nothing in this section shall limit a defendant's right under existing law to petition the court at a later date for modification of the order.
(h) The court shall immediately notify the person suffering from domestic abuse whose complaint gave rise to the protective order and the law enforcement agency where the person restrained under this section resides of the hearing.
(i) The person suffering from domestic abuse, local law enforcement, and the person restrained under this section shall all have an opportunity to be present and to testify when the court considers the petition.
(j) At the hearing, the person restrained under this section shall have the burden of showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that, if his or her firearm rights were restored, he or she would not pose a danger to the person suffering from domestic abuse or to any other person.
(1) In determining whether to restore a person's firearm rights, the court shall examine all relevant evidence, including, but not limited to: the complaint seeking a protective order; the criminal record of the person restrained under this section; the mental health history of the person restrained under this section; any evidence that the person restrained under this section has, since being served with the order, engaged in violent or threatening behavior against the person suffering from domestic abuse or any other person.
(2) If the court determines, after a review of all relevant evidence and after all parties have had an opportunity to be heard, that the person restrained under this section would not pose a danger to the person suffering from domestic abuse or to any other person if his or her firearm rights were restored, then the court may grant the petition and modify the protective order and lift the firearm prohibition.
(3) If the court lifts a person's firearms prohibition pursuant to this subsection, the court shall issue the person written notice that he or she is no longer prohibited under this section from purchasing or possessing firearms while the protective order is in effect.
(k) The prohibition against possessing a firearm(s) due solely to the existence of a domestic violence restraining order issued under this section shall not apply with respect to sworn peace officers as defined in § 12-7-21 and active members of military service, including members of the reserve components thereof, who are required by law or departmental policy to carry departmental firearms while on duty or any person who is required by his or her employment to carry a firearm in the performance of his or her duties. Any individual exempted pursuant to this exception may possess a firearm only during the course of his or her employment. Any firearm required for employment must be stored at the place of employment when not being possessed for employment use; all other firearm(s) must be surrendered in accordance with this section.
(l) Any violation of the aforementioned protective order shall subject the defendant to being found in contempt of court.
(m) No order shall issue under this section that would have the effect of compelling a defendant who has the sole legal interest in a residence to vacate that residence.
(n) The contempt order shall not be exclusive and shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. Any relief granted by the court shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed three (3) years, at the expiration of which time the court may extend any order upon motion of the plaintiff for such additional time as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse. The court may modify its order at any time upon motion of either party.
(o) Any violation of a protective order under this chapter of which the defendant has actual notice shall be a misdemeanor that shall be punished by a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(p) The penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties provided under § 12-29-5.
(q) “Actual notice” means that the defendant has received a copy of the order by service thereof or by being handed a copy of the order by a police officer pursuant to § 8-8.1-5(d).
(r) The district court shall have criminal jurisdiction over all violations of this chapter.

8-8.1-4. Temporary orders--Ex parte proceedings

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) (1) Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, the court may enter any temporary orders that it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse.

(2) If it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff, before notice can be served and a hearing held, the court may enter any temporary order without notice that it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff. Every order granted without notice shall expire by its terms within the time after entry, not to exceed twenty-one (21) days, as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed the order: (i) by consent, or (ii) due to a failure to make service of process upon the defendant despite diligent efforts, or (iii) for good cause shown and after hearing of argument by the parties or counsel, is extended for an additional period. In case a temporary order is granted without notice, the matter shall be set down for hearing within a reasonable time and shall be given precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character, and when the matter comes on for hearing the party who obtained the temporary order shall proceed with the complaint for an order pursuant to § 8-8.1-3, and, if she or he does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary order.

(b)(1)(i) When the court is unavailable after the close of business a complaint may be filed before any available district court judge who may grant relief to the plaintiff under this chapter upon cause shown in an ex parte proceeding.

(ii) In addition, when there is no district court in session at a location when the family court is in session, the family court judge at that location is authorized to grant relief to the plaintiff under this chapter upon cause shown in an ex parte proceeding.

(2) No temporary order shall be granted pursuant to the provisions of this section unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown by the affidavit or by verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before notice can be served and a hearing held.

(c) Any order issued under this section and any documentation in support of an order shall be filed immediately with the clerk of the district court. The filing shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under this chapter and invoking the other provisions of this chapter.

(d) The clerk of the district court shall have a certified copy of any order issued under this chapter forwarded immediately to the law enforcement agency designated by the plaintiff. The clerk shall also provide the plaintiff with two (2) certified copies of any order issued under this chapter.

8-8.1-4.1. Report to law enforcement agency

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Whenever the court grants a temporary order pursuant to § 8-8.1-4 based on a complaint alleging that a minor is suffering from domestic abuse, the court shall ensure that the appropriate law enforcement agency is notified of the complaint.

8-8.1-4.2. Return of service--Alternate service

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) The complaint and any order issued under this chapter shall be personally served upon the defendant by a deputy sheriff or certified constable except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (f) of this section. Service shall be made without payment of any fee when service is made by a deputy sheriff. At the election of the plaintiff, service pursuant to this subsection may also be made by a certified constable authorized to serve process of the district court pursuant to § 9-5-10.1. The certified constable shall be entitled to receive the fee allowed by law for the service of a district court summons.

(b) Return of service shall be forwarded by the deputy sheriff or certified constable to the clerk of court prior to the date set down for hearing on the complaint. If service has not been made, the deputy sheriff or certified constable shall indicate on the summons the reason therefor and the attempts made to serve the defendant.

(c) At the time the return of service is sent to the clerk of the court, the deputy sheriff or certified constable shall cause a copy of the return of service to be sent to the plaintiff and to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(d) If, at the time of hearing on the complaint, the court determines that after diligent effort the deputy sheriff or certified constable has been unable to serve the defendant personally, the judge may order an alternate method of service designed to give reasonable notice of the action to the defendant and taking into consideration the plaintiff's ability to afford the means of service ordered. Alternative service shall include, but not be limited to: service by certified and regular mail at defendant's last-known address (excluding the residence that he or she has been ordered to vacate) or place of employment; leaving copies at the defendant's dwelling or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein; or by publication in a newspaper for two (2) consecutive weeks. The court shall set a new date for hearing on the complaint and shall extend the temporary order until that date.

(e) If the defendant appears in person before the court, the necessity for further service is waived and proof of service of that order is not necessary.

(f) If the defendant is served notice regarding the complaint and hearing, but does not appear at the hearing, the clerk of the district court shall mail the defendant a copy of the resulting order.

8-8.1-5. Duties of police officers

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Whenever any police officer has reason to believe that a cohabitant or minor 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 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 person pursuant to the arrest provisions as contained in § 12-29-3.

(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; minor(s) in a substantive dating or engagement relationship:

"If your attacker is your spouse, former spouse, 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 are 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 ask the court to issue an order restraining your attacker from abusing you or your minor child; 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 (3) years or substantive dating or engagement relationship within 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, 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 she or he has the sole legal interest in the household."

"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 insured."

"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 the protective order issued pursuant to this chapter including but not limited to accompanying a cohabitant to his or her dwelling or residence in order to secure possession of the dwelling or residence when a vacate order against the defendant has been issued.

(d) When service of the temporary order issued pursuant to § 8-8.1-4 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.

8-8.1-6. Form of complaint

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A form in substantially the following language shall suffice for the purpose of filing a complaint under this chapter:

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND DISTRICT COURT

COUNTY OF

DIVISION

Plaintiff :

VS : NO :

Defendant :

COMPLAINT FOR PROTECTION FROM ABUSE

Pursuant to chapter 8.1 of title 8 I request that the court enter an order protecting me from abuse.

(1) My full name, present street address, city and telephone number are as follows:

(2) My former residence, at which I resided with the defendant, is as follows (street address and city):

(3) My former residence is a house:

_______ I own

_______ Defendant owns

_______ We jointly own

My former residence is an apartment:

_______ There is no lease

_______ My name is on lease and defendant's is not

_______ Defendant's name is on lease and mine is not

_______ Both our names are on lease

(4) The full name, present street address, city and telephone number of the person causing me abuse (the defendant) are as follows:

(5) On or about __________, without cause or provocation I suffered abuse when the defendant:

_______ Threatened or harmed with a weapon:

(type of weapon used:

_______ Attempted to cause me physical harm;

_______ Caused me physical harm;

_______ Placed me in fear of imminent physical harm;

_______ Caused me to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress

Specifically, the defendant:

(6) I ask that:

_______ The court order that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street or elsewhere.

_______ The court order the defendant to immediately leave the household which is located at:

I request that the above relief be ordered without notice because it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that I will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon. I understand that the court will schedule a hearing no later than twenty-one (21) days after such order is entered on the question of continuing such temporary order.

(7) I have not sought protection from abuse from any other judge of the district court arising out of the same facts or circumstances alleged in this complaint.

___________________
(Signature)

___________________
(Date)

Subscribed and sworn to before me in ___ in the County of ___in the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, this _______day of __________ A.D. 20____.

___________________
(Notary Public)

Note: If this complaint is filed by an attorney, the attorney's certificate should appear below:

ATTORNEY CERTIFICATE

Signed:_____________

Attorney for Plaintiff

Address: ____________

Date: _____________________, 20_______

WHITE COPY _______ Court

YELLOW COPY _______ Plaintiff

PINK COPY _______ Defendant

GOLDENROD COPY _______ Police Department

(b) A form in substantially the following language shall suffice for the purpose of requesting temporary orders under this chapter:

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND DISTRICT COURT

COUNTY OF_____________________

_____________________ DIVISION:

Plaintiff : ____________________________

VS : NO:

Defendant : ____________________________

(TEMPORARY) ORDER PURSUANT TO CHAPTER _______ OF THE G.L. OF R.I.

Upon consideration of plaintiff 's complaint, (and having found that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the plaintiff before a notice can be served and a hearing had thereon) it is ORDERED:

_______ That the defendant is restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting, or otherwise interfering with plaintiff at home, on the street or elsewhere.

_______ That the defendant vacate forthwith the household located at

A hearing on the continuation of this ORDER will be held at the District Court, __ County, __Division, at (A.M.) (P.M.) on ___. If the defendant wishes to be heard, she/he will be heard at that time. If she/he does not appear at that time, this ORDER shall remain in effect.

This ORDER is effective forthwith, and will remain in effect until the time and date of the above-mentioned hearing.

A copy of this ORDER shall be transmitted to the appropriate local law enforcement agency forthwith, and shall be served in-hand on the defendant herein.

ENTERED as an Order of Court this__ day of __ A.D. 20__.

ENTER: _____________________PER ORDER:

Judge _____ Clerk _

Presented by:

___________________________________
(Attorney for Plaintiff)

WHITE COPY _______ Court

YELLOW COPY _______ Plaintiff

PINK COPY _______ Defendant

GOLDENROD COPY _______ Police Department

8-8.1-7. Notice of penalties--Notice of renewal

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Each protective order issued under this chapter, including a temporary ex-parte order, shall have the following statements printed in bold-faced type or in capital letters:

A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ORDER MAY BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND MAY BE PUNISHED BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS $1,000 AND/OR BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR AS LONG AS ONE (1) YEAR, AND MAY BE ORDERED TO ATTEND COUNSELING. IF THE VICTIM WANTS THIS ORDER TO CONTINUE BEYOND THE EXPIRATION DATE, THE VICTIM MUST APPLY FOR A RENEWAL OF THE ORDER BEFORE THE EXPIRATION DATE.

8-8.1-8. Appeal

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

An order granting relief pursuant to § 8-8.1-3 shall remain in effect during the pendency of the appeal to the superior court unless the order is stayed by a justice of the superior court.

Title 10. Courts and Civil Procedure--Procedure in Particular Actions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 16. Small Claims and Consumer Claims

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

10-16-1. Actions subject to chapter

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

In all ex contractu civil actions and in any action to recover the amount of any tax for money only not in excess of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) exclusive of interest and costs, and in all actions or suits to recover damages resulting from a retail sale of tangible personal property to a member of the general public or from services rendered to a member of the general public in which the plaintiff seeks to recover an amount of money only not in excess of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) exclusive of interest and costs, and in all actions or suits based upon a negotiable instrument involving an amount of money only not in excess of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) exclusive of interest and costs, the procedure shall, at the plaintiff's election, shown by his or her waiver of appeal, be as provided by this chapter.

Title 11. Criminal Offenses

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-1-2. Felony, misdemeanor--Petty misdemeanor and violation distinguished

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Unless otherwise provided, any criminal offense which at any given time may be punished by imprisonment for a term of more than one year, or by a fine of more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), is declared to be a felony; any criminal offense which may be punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, is declared to be a misdemeanor; any criminal offense which may be punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both, is declared to be a petty misdemeanor; and any offense which may be punished by only a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) is declared to be a violation.

Chapter 5. Assaults

11-5-3. Simple assault or battery

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 11-5-2, every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
(b) Where the provisions of “The Domestic Violence Prevention Act”, chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

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Chapter 26. Kidnapping

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-26-1.2. Abduction of child prior to court order

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any parent, or any person acting pursuant to directions from the parent, who shall, after being served with process in an action affecting the family, but prior to the issuance of a temporary or final order determining custody of a minor child, take or entice a child away from the family unit, whether within or without the state of Rhode Island, for the purpose of depriving the other parent of physical custody of the child for a period greater than fifteen (15) days, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term up to two (2) years, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.

(b) No person shall be deemed to have violated this section if the action:

(1) Is taken to protect the child from imminent physical harm;

(2) Is taken by a parent fleeing from imminent physical harm to himself or herself;

(3) Is consented to by both parents; or

(4) Is otherwise authorized by law.

11-26-1. Kidnapping

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Whoever, without lawful authority, forcibly or secretly confines or imprisons another person within this state against his or her will, or forcibly carries or sends another person out of this state, or forcibly seizes or confines or inveigles or kidnaps another person with intent either to cause him or her to be secretly confined or imprisoned within this state against his or her will or to cause him or her to be sent out of this state against his or her will, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years.

(b) Where the provisions of The Domestic Violence Prevention Act, chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

11-26-1.1. Childsnatching

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any person who intentionally removes, causes the removal of, or detains any child under the age of eighteen (18) years, whether within or without the state of Rhode Island, with intent to deny another person's right of custody under an existing decree or order of the family court, shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not more than two (2) years, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense that:

(1) The person at the time of the alleged violation had lawful custody of the child pursuant to a court order granting legal custody or visitation rights;

(2) The person had physical custody of the child pursuant to a court order granting legal custody or visitation rights and failed to return the child as a result of circumstances beyond his or her control, and the person notified and disclosed to the other parent or legal custodian the specific whereabouts of the child and a means by which the child could be contacted or made a reasonable attempt to notify the other parent or lawful custodian of the child of the circumstances and made that disclosure within twenty-four (24) hours after the visitation period had expired and returned the child as soon as possible; or

(3) The person was fleeing an incidence or pattern of domestic violence.

Chapter 35. Public Utilities

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-35-17. Crank or obscene telephone calls

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Whoever shall originate a transmission by facsimile machine, or other telecommunication device or shall telephone any person repeatedly or cause any person to be telephoned repeatedly for the sole purpose of harassing, annoying, or molesting the other person or his or her family, whether or not conversation ensues; or whoever shall originate a transmission by facsimile machine, or other telecommunication device or shall telephone any person for the purpose of using any threatening, vulgar, indecent, obscene, or immoral language over the telephone, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(b) This section shall not be construed to impose any liability upon providers of telecommunications services.

Chapter 45. Disorderly Conduct

11-45-1. Disorderly conduct

(a) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.
(8) [Deleted by P.L. 2008, ch. 183, § 1, eff. July 2, 2008].
(b) Any person, including a police officer, may be a complainant for the purposes of instituting action for any violation of this section.
(c) Any person found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct shall be imprisoned for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
(d) In no event shall subdivisions (a)(2) -- (5) of this section be construed to prevent lawful picketing or lawful demonstrations including, but not limited to, those relating to a labor dispute.

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Chapter 47. Weapons

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-47-2. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

When used in this chapter, the following words and phrases are construed as follows:

(1) “Antique firearm” is defined as that term is defined under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 921.

(2) “Crime of violence” means and includes any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them: murder, manslaughter, rape, first or second degree sexual assault, first or second degree child molestation, kidnapping, first and second degree arson, mayhem, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, any felony violation involving the illegal manufacture, sale, or delivery of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance classified in schedule I or schedule II of § 21-28-2.08, any violation of § 21-28-4.01.1 or 21-28-4.01.2 or conspiracy to commit any violation of these statutes, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault or battery involving grave bodily injury, and/or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable as a felony; upon any conviction of an offense punishable as a felony offense under § 12-29-5.

(3) “Firearm” includes any machine gun, pistol, rifle, air rifle, air pistol, “blank gun,” “BB gun,” or other instrument from which steel or metal projectiles are propelled, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, except crossbows, recurve, compound, or longbows, and except instruments propelling projectiles which are designed or normally used for a primary purpose other than as a weapon. The frame or receiver of the weapon shall be construed as a firearm under the provisions of this section.

(4) “Fugitive from justice” means any person who has fled from any state, territory, the District of Columbia, or possession of the United States to avoid prosecution for a crime of violence or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.

(5) “Licensing authorities” means the board of police commissioners of a city or town where the board has been instituted, the chief of police or superintendent of police of other cities and towns having a regular organized police force, and, in towns where there is no chief of police or superintendent of police, it means the town clerk who may issue licenses upon the recommendation of the town sergeant, and it also means any other person or body duly authorized by the city or town charter or by state law.

(6) “Machine gun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term also includes the frame or receiver of the weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(7) “Person” includes an individual, partnership, firm, association, or corporation.

(8) “Pistol” includes any pistol or revolver, and any shotgun, rifle, or similar weapon with overall length less than twenty-six inches (26″), but does not include any pistol or revolver designed for the use of blank cartridges only.

(9) “Sawed-off rifle” means any rifle with overall length of less than twenty-six inches (26″) and/or barrel length of less than sixteen inches (16″).

(10) “Sawed-off shotgun” means any shotgun with overall length of less than twenty-six inches (26″) and/or barrel length of less than eighteen inches (18″).

(11) “Sell” includes let or hire, give, lend, and transfer, and “purchase” includes hire, accept, and borrow, and “purchasing” shall be construed accordingly.

11-47-5.3. Surrender of firearms by persons convicted of domestic violence offenses

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Pleading nolo contendere to or conviction of an offense under § 12-29-2 which is punishable as a felony shall prohibit the defendant from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession or control any firearm. Upon such a plea or conviction, the court shall issue an order declaring that the defendant surrender all firearm(s) owned by the defendant, or in the defendant's possession, care, custody, or control as described in this section.

(1) Surrender shall be made within twenty-four (24) hours of prohibition to a law-enforcement agency or to a federally licensed firearms dealer. The arresting law-enforcement agency shall be immediately notified of the order to surrender firearm(s). A law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer taking possession of a firearm(s) shall issue proof of surrender to the person surrendering the firearm(s). The proof of surrender shall include the name of the person; the name of the law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer; the date of surrender; the serial number; the manufacturer; and model of all surrendered firearm(s).

(2) The defendant may transport their firearm(s) during the twenty-four hour (24) surrender period directly to the law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer, provided that the firearm(s) is broken down, unloaded, and carried as openly as circumstances will permit, or provided that the pistols or revolvers are unloaded and secured in a separate container suitable for the purpose.

(3) The defendant shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after being served with the order, either:

(i) File a copy of proof of surrender with the court and attest that all firearm(s) owned by the defendant, or in the defendant's possession, care, custody, or control at the time of the plea or conviction, have been surrendered in accordance with this section and that the defendant currently owns no firearm(s) or has any firearm(s) in their care, custody, or control; or

(ii) Attest that, at the time of the plea or conviction, the defendant owned no firearm(s) and had no firearm(s) in their care, custody, or control, and that the defendant currently owns no firearm(s) and has no firearm(s) in their possession, care, custody, or control.

(4) The list of firearm(s) surrendered shall be kept under seal and shall not be part of the public record.

(5)(i) If the defendant chooses to surrender a firearm(s) to a law-enforcement agency, the law-enforcement agency shall follow the policies established by the police officer's commission on standards and training for the return or disposal of the firearm(s).

(ii) The police officer's commission on standards and training shall establish policies for the return or disposal of firearms that are surrendered pursuant to any court order, provided that such policies require that the defendant be notified of the return or disposal, and that the owner receive any financial value received from the disposal, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and disposing of the firearm(s) and provided that no disposal shall occur while any appeal of the conviction is pending.

(6) If the defendant, or their designee, transfers a firearm(s) to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to this section, the defendant may instruct the federally licensed firearms dealer to sell the firearm(s) or to transfer ownership pursuant to state and federal law to a qualified named individual who is not a member of the defendant's dwelling house. The owner of any firearm(s) sold shall receive any financial value received from their sale, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and transferring of the firearm(s).

(7) Every individual, to whom ownership of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this section, shall be prohibited from transferring or returning any firearm(s) to the defendant and shall be informed of this prohibition.

(i) Any knowing violation of subsection (a)(7) of this section is a felony which shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than five (5) years, or both.

11-47-5. Possession of arms by person convicted of crime of violence or who is a fugitive from justice

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) No person shall purchase, own, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm if that person:
(1) Has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of a crime of violence;
(2) Is a fugitive from justice;
(3) Has, in this state or elsewhere, entered a plea of nolo contendere to or been convicted of an offense punishable as a felony under § 12-29-5; or
(4) Has, in this state or elsewhere, entered a plea of nolo contendere to or been convicted of any of the following offenses punishable as a misdemeanor under § 12-29-5:
(i) Simple assault (§ 11-5-3);
(ii) Cyberstalking and cyberharassment (§ 11-52-4.2);
(iii) Violation of a protective order (as set forth in § 12-29-2(a)(10); or
(iv) Disorderly conduct (§ 11-45-1).
(A) A disorderly conduct conviction shall result in prohibition under this section if and only if the offense involves the use or attempted use of force or the threatened use of a dangerous weapon.
(5) The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all persons who enter a plea of nolo contendere to or have been convicted of any of the offenses specified in subsections (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this section, unless and until that person's matter has been expunged, or upon the completion of the sentence of a one-year filing, or the end of a one-year probationary period that no longer constitutes a conviction pursuant to § 12-18-3.
(b) No person shall purchase, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm if that person is subject to an order issued pursuant to chapter 15 of title 15, chapter 8.1 of title 8, or an equivalent order in this state or elsewhere, which order was issued after the person restrained has received notice of the proceedings and had an opportunity to be heard.
(c) No person who is in community confinement pursuant to the provisions of § 42-56-20.2, or who is otherwise subject to electronic surveillance or monitoring devices as a condition of parole, shall purchase, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm. This subsection shall not apply to any person who has not been convicted of (or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to) a crime of violence in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) Every person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment for not less than two (2) nor more than ten (10) years; and for penalties provided in this section he or she shall not be afforded the benefit of suspension or deferment of sentence nor of probation.

11-47-6. Mental incompetents and drug addicts prohibited from possession of firearms

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

No person who is under guardianship or treatment or confinement by virtue of being a mental incompetent, or who has been adjudicated or is under treatment or confinement as a drug addict, shall purchase, own, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession or under his or her control any firearm. Any person affected by the provisions of this section, other than a person who has been pronounced criminally insane by competent medical authority, after the lapse of a period of five (5) years from the date of being pronounced cured by competent medical authority, may, upon presentation of an affidavit issued by competent medical authority to the effect that he or she is a mentally stable person and a proper person to possess firearms, make application for the purchase of the firearm(s). Any person affected by the provisions of this section, in making application for the purchase of firearms and in executing the application, voluntarily waives his or her right to refuse or refrain from disclosing any confidential information, including, but not limited to, any information arising from the physician-patient relationship, pertinent to a determination by the proper authorities regarding the approval or disapproval of this application. Any person affected by the provisions of this section, in making application for the purchase of firearms and in executing the application, further agrees to allow the proper authorities to investigate any and all medical records of the applicant pertinent to a determination by the authorities regarding the approval or disapproval of this application. In the event that the application is approved, and if the person has no other disqualifying record, he or she will be allowed to purchase and possess firearms.

Chapter 49.1. Impersonation and Identity Fraud

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-49.1-3 Identity fraud

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any person who shall: (1) knowingly and without lawful authority produce an identification document or a false identification document; (2) knowingly transfer an identification document or a false identification document knowing that the document was stolen or produced without lawful authority; (3) knowingly possess with intent to use unlawfully or transfer unlawfully five (5) or more identification documents (other than those issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or false identification documents; (4) knowingly possess an identification document (other than one issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or a false identification document, or financial information with the intent that the document or financial information be used to defraud the United States, the State of Rhode Island, any political subdivision of it or any public or private entity; (5) knowingly transfer, or possess a document-making implement with the intent that the document-making implement will be used in the production of a false identification document or another document-making implement which will be so used; (6) knowingly possess a false identification document that is or appears to be a genuine identification document of the United States, the State of Rhode Island or any political subdivision of it or any public or private entity which is stolen or produced without lawful authority knowing that the document was stolen or produced without such authority; or (7) knowingly transfer or use with intent to defraud, without lawful authority, a means of identification or financial information of another person living or dead, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal, state or local law; shall be guilty of a felony and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 11-49.1-4.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person who has not reached his or her twenty-first (21st) birthday who misrepresents or misstates his or her age through the presentation of any document in order to enter any premises licensed for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of purchasing or having served or delivered to him or her alcoholic beverages or attempting to purchase or have another person purchase for him or her any alcoholic beverage pursuant to § 3-8-6.

Chapter 52. Computer Crime

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-52-4.2. Cyberstalking and cyberharassment prohibited

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Whoever transmits any communication by computer or other electronic device to any person or causes any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this section, “harassing” means any knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be of a kind that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct”.

(b) A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($6,000), or both.

Chapter 59. Stalking

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-59-1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

For the purpose of this chapter:

(1) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."

(2) "Harasses" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury.

11-59-2. Stalking Prohibited

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any person who: (1) harasses another person; or (2) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, is guilty of the crime of stalking.

(b) Stalking shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.

Chapter 69. Electronic Tracking of Motor Vehicles

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

11-69-1. Electronic Tracking of Motor Vehicles

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, it is an offense for a person to knowingly install, conceal, or otherwise place or use an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle without the consent of the operator and all occupants of the vehicle for the purpose of monitoring or following the operator, occupant, or occupants of the vehicle.

(2) Definitions. As used in this section:

(i) The term “dealer” has the same meaning as set forth in § 31-5-5 and includes, for purposes of this section, an assignee of the dealer;

(ii) The term “person” does not include the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, provider of telematics equipment and services, or entities that rent motor vehicles; and

(iii) The term “starter interrupt technology” means technology used to remotely disable the starter of a motor vehicle.

(b)(1) It shall not be a violation if the installation, concealment, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a law enforcement officer in furtherance of a criminal investigation and is carried out in accordance with the applicable state and federal law.

(2) If the installation, concealment, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a parent or legal guardian who owns or leases the vehicle, and if the device is used solely for the purpose of monitoring the minor child of the parent or legal guardian when the child is an occupant of the vehicle, then the installation, concealment, placement, or use of the device in or on the vehicle without the consent of any or all occupants in the vehicle shall not be a violation, unless the person utilizing the tracking device has an active restraining order or no contact order against them for the protection of any vehicle occupant.

(3) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device is attached to stolen goods for the purpose of tracking the location of the stolen goods, whether or not they may be transported in a vehicle, or if installed, concealed, placed, or used in or on a vehicle as a vehicle theft recovery device.

(4) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device, including but not limited to devices also containing technology used to remotely disable the starter of a motor vehicle, is installed and/or used by a motor vehicle dealer in connection with the credit sale, loan, or lease of a motor vehicle with the express written consent of the vehicle's purchaser, lessor, or lessee.

(5) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device is installed and/or used by a business that is authorized to transact business in this state and the tracking device is used by the business for the purpose of tracking vehicles that are owned or leased by the business and driven by employees of that business, its affiliates, or contractors of that business or its affiliates.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a tracking system installed by the manufacturer of a motor vehicle, a provider of telematics equipment and services, or installed and/or used by an entity renting out vehicles, or installed or provided by an insurance company with the vehicle owner's or vehicle lessee's permission to monitor driving habits for insurance rating purposes.

(d) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, or up to a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine, or both.

Title 12. Criminal Procedure

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 1. Identification and Apprehension of Criminals

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

12-1-12. Destruction or sealing of records of persons acquitted or otherwise exonerated

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a)(1) Any fingerprint, photograph, physical measurements, or other record of identification, heretofore or hereafter taken by or under the direction of the attorney general, the superintendent of state police, the member or members of the police department of any city or town or any other officer authorized by this chapter to take them, of a person under arrest, prior to the final conviction of the person for the offense then charged, shall be destroyed by all offices or departments having the custody or possession within sixty (60) days after there has been an acquittal, dismissal, no true bill, no information, or the person has been otherwise exonerated from the offense with which he or she is charged, and the clerk of court where the exoneration has taken place shall, consistent with § 12-1-12.1, place under seal all records of the person in the case including all records of the division of criminal identification established by § 12-1-4.

(2) Any person previously convicted of any felony offense shall not be entitled to relief under this section except for those records in cases of acquittal after trial.

(3) Any person who shall violate any provision of this section shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).

(b) Requirements of this section shall also apply to persons detained by police, but not arrested or charged with an offense, or to persons against whom charges have been filed by the court, and the period of such filing has expired.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any person who has been charged with a complaint for a crime involving domestic violence where the complaint was filed upon a plea of not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to § 12-10-12, must wait a period of three (3) years from the date of filing before the records associated with the charge can be expunged, sealed or otherwise destroyed.

12-1-12.1. Motion for sealing of records of persons acquitted or otherwise exonerated

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any person who is acquitted or otherwise exonerated of all counts in a criminal case, including, but not limited to, dismissal or filing of a no true bill or no information, may file a motion for the sealing of his or her court records in the case, provided, that no person who has been convicted of a felony shall be entitled to relief under this section except for those records in cases of acquittal after trial.

(b) Any person filing a motion for sealing his or her court records pursuant to this section shall give notice of the hearing date set by the court to the department of the attorney general and the police department that originally brought the charge against the person at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing.

(c) If the court, after the hearing at which all relevant testimony and information shall be considered, finds that the person is entitled to the sealing of the records, it shall order the sealing of the court records of the person in that case.

(d) The clerk of the court shall, within forty-five (45) days of the order of the court granting the motion, place under seal the court records in the case in which the acquittal, dismissal, no true bill, no information or other exoneration has been entered.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, in all cases involving a filing subsequent to a plea of not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere to a charge of a crime involving domestic violence, the court having jurisdiction over the case shall retain the records of the case for a period of three (3) years from the date of filing. The records shall not be expunged or sealed for a period of three (3) years from the date of the filing.

(f) The defendant shall be advised at the hearing that any and all bail money relating to a case that remains on deposit and is not claimed at the time of sealing shall be escheated to the state's general treasury in accordance with chapter 12 of title 8.

Chapter 10. Preliminary Proceedings in District Courts

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

12-10-12. Filing of complaints

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Subject to any other provisions of law relative to the filing of complaints for particular crimes, any judge of the district court or superior court may place on file any complaint in a criminal case other than a complaint for the commission of a felony or a complaint against a person who has been convicted of a felony or a private complaint. The court may in its discretion require, as a condition of the filing, the performance of services for the public good or may attach any other conditions to it that the court shall determine; provided, in cases where the court ordered restitution totals less than two hundred dollars ($200) to an injured party pursuant to this section or § 12-19-34, the court shall require that full restitution be made at the time of sentencing if the court determines that the defendant has the present ability to make the restitution.
(b) Express conditions of any filing in accordance with this section shall be that the defendant at all times during the one year keep the peace and be of good behavior and shall have paid all outstanding court-imposed or court-related fees, fines, costs, assessments, charges, and/or any other monetary obligations unless reduced or waived by order of the court. A violation of any condition set by the court may be deemed a violation of the filing and the matter that was filed may be resurrected by the court, or the court may impose a sanction. A determination of whether a violation has occurred shall be made by the court in accordance with the procedures relating to a violation of probation, §§ 12-19-9 and 12-19-14.
(c) In the event the complaint was originally filed under this section subsequent to the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the charges, the court, if it finds there to have been a violation but does not impose a sanction, may sentence the defendant. In the event the court filed the complaint under this section while the defendant maintained a plea of not guilty, if the court finds there to have been a violation but does not impose a sanction, it may proceed to the further disposition of the complaint according to law. If no action is taken on the complaint for a period of one year following the filing, the complaint shall be automatically expunged. No criminal record shall result; provided, that in any civil action for a tort, a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty should be admissible notwithstanding the fact that the complaint has been filed.
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, in the event a complaint for a crime involving domestic violence was originally filed under this section subsequent to the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the charges, the court, if it finds there to have been a violation, may sentence the defendant. In the event the court filed the complaint for a crime involving domestic violence under this section while the defendant maintained a plea of not guilty, if the court finds there to have been a violation, it may proceed to the further disposition of the complaint for a crime involving domestic violence according to law. If, for a period of one year after the date of filing, the defendant is not charged with a violation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the filed complaint for the crime involving domestic violence shall be automatically quashed and shall not be resurrected. If, for a period of three (3) years after the date of filing, the defendant is not charged with a crime involving domestic violence, or if so charged, is acquitted or the complaint is dismissed, all records relating to the filed complaint for a crime involving domestic violence shall be expunged without the requirement of filing a motion pursuant to chapter 1.3 of title 12. No criminal records shall result, unless in any civil action for a tort, in which a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty is admissible notwithstanding the fact that the complaint has been filed. Provided, however, that in sentencing a defendant for a crime involving domestic violence of which the defendant was charged within three (3) years after the filing of a prior crime involving domestic violence to which the defendant pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, the court may take the plea into consideration.
(e) The defendant shall be advised that any and all bail money relating to a case that remains on deposit and is not claimed at the time of expungement shall be escheated to the state's general treasury in accordance with chapter 12 of title 8.

Chapter 29. Domestic Violence Prevention Act

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

12-29-1. Legislative purpose

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to recognize the importance of domestic violence as a serious crime against society and to assure victims of domestic violence the maximum protection from abuse which the law and those who enforce the law can provide.

(b) While the legislature finds that the existing criminal statutes are adequate to provide protection for victims of domestic violence, previous societal attitudes have been reflected in policies and practices of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and courts which have resulted in differing treatment of crimes occurring between family or household members and of the same crimes occurring between strangers. Only recently has public perception of the serious consequences of domestic violence to society and to the victims led to the recognition of the necessity for early intervention by law enforcement agencies.

(c) It is the intent of the legislature that the official response to cases of domestic violence shall stress the enforcement of the laws to protect the victim and shall communicate the attitude that violent behavior is not excused or tolerated. Furthermore, it is the intent of the legislature that criminal laws be enforced without regard to whether the persons involved are or were married, cohabitating, or involved in a relationship.

12-29-1.1. Full faith and credit

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any protective order issued by another jurisdiction, as defined in § 12-29-2, shall be given full faith and credit throughout the state and enforced as if it were issued in the state for as long as the order is in effect in the issuing jurisdiction.

(b) A person entitled to protection under a protective order issued by another jurisdiction may file the order in the superior court, family court, or district court by filing with the court a certified copy of the order which shall be entered into the restraining order, no contact order system (R.O.N.C.O.). The person shall swear under oath in an affidavit, to the best of the person's knowledge, that the order is presently in effect as written. A law enforcement officer shall presume the validity of the order and enforce the order issued by another jurisdiction which has been provided to the law enforcement officer; provided, that the officer is also provided with a statement by the person protected by the order that the order remains in effect. Law enforcement officers shall rely on the statement by the person protected by the order.

12-29-1.2. Issuance of protective orders

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Every order of this court made pursuant to chapter 8.1 of title 8, chapter 15 of title 15, and this chapter, after proper notice and hearing, shall contain the following language:

"THIS COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE PARTIES AND THE SUBJECT MATTER WHEN IT ISSUED THIS PROTECTIVE ORDER. RESPONDENT WAS AFFORDED BOTH NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD IN THE HEARING THAT GAVE RISE TO THIS ORDER. PURSUANT TO THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT OF 1994, 18 USC 2265, THIS ORDER IS VALID AND ENFORCEABLE IN ALL FIFTY STATES, ANY TERRITORY OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO AND TRIBAL LANDS."

12-29-2. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) “Domestic violence” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another:

(1) Simple assault (§ 11-5-3);

(2) Felony assaults (chapter 5 of title 11);

(3) Vandalism (§ 11-44-1);

(4) Disorderly conduct (§ 11-45-1);

(5) Trespass (§ 11-44-26);

(6) Kidnapping (§ 11-26-1);

(7) Child-snatching (§ 11-26-1.1);

(8) Sexual assault (§§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4);

(9) Homicide (§§ 11-23-1 and 11-23-3);

(10) Violation of the provisions of a protective order entered pursuant to § 15-5-19, chapter 15 of title 15, or chapter 8.1 of title 8 where the respondent has knowledge of the order and the penalty for its violation, or a violation of a no contact order issued pursuant to § 12-29-4;

(11) Stalking (chapter 59 of title 11);

(12) Refusal to relinquish or to damage or to obstruct a telephone (§ 11-35-14);

(13) Burglary and Unlawful Entry (chapter 8 of title 11);

(14) Arson (chapter 4 of title 11);

(15) Cyberstalking and cyberharassment (§ 11-52-4.2);

(16) Domestic assault by strangulation § 11-5-2.3; and

(17) Electronic tracking of motor vehicles (§ 11-69-1).

(b) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past three (3) years, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together, or persons who are, or have been, in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year which shall be determined by the court's consideration of the following factors:

(1) The length of time of the relationship;

(2) The type of the relationship;

(3) The frequency of the interaction between the parties.

(c) “Protective order” means an order issued pursuant to § 15-5-19, chapter 15 of title 15, or chapter 8.1 of title 8.

(d) “Victim” means a family or household member who has been subjected to domestic violence.

12-29-3. Law enforcement officers -- Duties and immunity

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) The primary duty of law enforcement officers when responding to a domestic violence situation is to enforce the laws allegedly violated and to protect the victim.

(b)(1) When a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence situation and has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the officer shall exercise arrest powers pursuant to §§ 12-7-3 and 12-7-4; provided, that the officer shall arrest and take into custody the alleged perpetrator of the crime when the officer has probable cause to believe that any of the following acts has occurred:

(i) A felonious assault;

(ii) An assault that has resulted in bodily injury to the victim, whether or not the injury is observable by the responding officer;

(iii) Physical action that was intended to cause another person reasonably to fear imminent serious bodily injury or death. “Bodily injury” means physical pain, illness, or an impairment of physical condition; or

(iv) Violation of a protective order and the violator has previous knowledge of the order and the terms of it;

(v) Violation of a no-contact order issued pursuant to § 12-29-4.

(2) The decision to arrest and charge shall not:

(i) Be dependent on the specific consent of the victim;

(ii) Consider the relationship of the parties; or

(iii) Be based solely on a request by the victim.

(3) An arrest without warrant made under this section shall be made within twenty-four (24) hours of the alleged crime.

(4) If an arrest without warrant cannot be made pursuant to this section, the officer shall advise the victim of the right to file a criminal complaint and shall seek a warrant for arrest if there is probable cause to do so.

(c)(1) When more than one family or household member involved in a domestic violence incident states a complaint, the officer shall investigate each complaint to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The officer shall not dismiss the incident by presuming two-party (2) guilt.

(2) When the officer has probable cause to believe that family or household members have assaulted each other, the officer is not required to arrest both persons. The officer shall arrest the person whom the officer believes to be the primary physical aggressor.

(d) A law enforcement officer shall not be held liable for false arrest in any civil action for an arrest based on probable cause or for enforcement in good faith of a court order issued pursuant to this chapter or pursuant to § 15-5-19, chapter 15 of title 15, or chapter 8.1 of title 8.

(e) It shall be the responsibility of the law enforcement officer at the scene of a domestic violence incident to provide immediate assistance to the victim. This assistance shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Assisting the victim to obtain medical treatment if treatment is required, including transportation to an emergency medical treatment facility;

(2) Giving the victim notice of her or his right to obtain a protective order in family court pursuant to chapter 15 of title 15 or district court pursuant to chapter 8.1 of title 8 as appropriate according to the relationship of the parties. This notice shall be provided 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 notice to that person when possible:

“If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to have the officer present drive you to the nearest hospital or otherwise assist you.

“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 obtained.

“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.

“Married/blood relatives/children in common. If your attacker is your spouse, former spouse, 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, you have the right to go to family court and ask the court to issue:

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

(ii) An order awarding you exclusive use of your domicile; and

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

“Unmarried. 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 or your attacker are in, or have been in, a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year, you have the right to go to district court and request:

(i) An order restraining your attacker from abusing you; and

(ii) An order directing your attacker to leave your household, unless he or she has the sole legal interest in the household”;

(3) Informing the victim of available services; and

(4) In cases where the officer has determined that no cause exists for an arrest, assistance shall also include:

(i) Remaining at the scene as long as there is danger to the safety of the person or until the person is able to leave the dwelling. The officer shall transport the person if no reasonable transportation is available; and

(ii) Informing the person that she or he has the right to file a criminal complaint with the responding officer or the local police department.

(f) An officer responding to a domestic violence call shall complete a domestic violence report pursuant to § 12-29-8.

(g)(1) It shall be the responsibility of the attorney general to develop a model Uniform Policy for Police Response to Domestic Violence which is consistent with the provisions of this section. This written policy shall be developed after conferring with the staff of the department of human services' domestic violence unit and with the council on domestic violence and shall be made available to any law enforcement agency.

(2) Each law enforcement agency shall develop a Policy for Police Response to Domestic Violence which is consistent with the Uniform Policy for Police Response to Domestic Violence developed by the attorney general and shall file a copy of the policy with the attorney general within sixty (60) days of receiving the model policy.

12-29-4. Restrictions upon and duties of court

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a)
(1) Because of the likelihood of repeated violence directed at those who have been victims of domestic violence in the past, when a person is charged with or arrested for a crime involving domestic violence, that person may not be released from custody on bail or personal recognizance before arraignment without first appearing before the court or bail commissioner. The court or bail commissioner authorizing release shall issue a no-contact order prohibiting the person charged or arrested from having contact with the victim.

(2) At the time of arraignment or bail hearing the court or bail commissioner shall determine whether a no-contact order shall be issued or extended.

(3) Willful violation of a court order issued under subdivision (1), (2), or as part of disposition of this subdivision of this subsection is a misdemeanor. The written order releasing the person charged or the written order issued at the time of disposition shall contain the court's directive and shall bear the legend: "Violation of this order is a criminal offense under this section and will subject a violator to arrest". A copy of the order shall be provided to the victim.

(4) Whenever an order prohibiting contact is issued, modified, or terminated under subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order on or before the next judicial day to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order.

(b) Because of the serious nature of domestic violence, the court in domestic violence actions:

(1) Shall not dismiss any charge or delay disposition because of concurrent dissolution of marriage or other civil proceedings;

(2) Shall not require proof that either party is seeking a dissolution of marriage prior to instigation of criminal proceedings;

(3) Shall identify by reasonable means on docket sheets those criminal actions arising from acts of domestic violence; and

(4) Shall make clear to the defendant and victim that the prosecution of the domestic violence action is determined by the prosecutor and not the victim.

(c) To facilitate compliance with the provisions of this section, the district court shall assure that the misdemeanor and felony complaint forms indicate whether the crime charged involves domestic violence and, if so, the relationship of the victim and defendant.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 12-10-12, the filing of any complaint for a crime involving domestic violence shall be conditioned upon the defendant keeping the peace and being of good behavior for a period of three (3) years. In the event a particular case involving domestic violence is filed on a plea of not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to section 12- 10-12, the court having jurisdiction shall retain the records of the case for a period of three (3) years from the date of the filing. These records shall not be expunged, sealed, or otherwise destroyed for a period of three (3) years from the date of filing. Furthermore, the destruction or sealing of records in the possession of the department of attorney general bureau of criminal identification, the superintendent of the state police, or the police departments of any city or town after a filing related to a crime involving domestic violence shall be governed by section 12-1-12.

12-29-4.1. Speedy trial

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

In any action under this chapter, the court and the attorney general's office shall take appropriate action to ensure a speedy trial to minimize the length of time the victim must endure the stress of involvement in the proceeding. In ruling on any motion or request for a delay or continuance of proceedings, the court shall consider any adverse impact the delay or continuance may have on the well-being of the victim. This provision establishes a right to a speedy trial to the victim and shall not be construed as creating any additional rights for, or diminishing any rights of the defendant.

12-29-5. Disposition of domestic violence cases

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Every person convicted of, or placed on probation for, a crime involving domestic violence or whose case is filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere, in addition to any other sentence imposed or counseling ordered, shall be ordered by the judge to attend, at his or her own expense, a batterer's intervention program appropriate to address his or her violent behavior; provided, however, that the court may permit a servicemember or veteran to complete any court-approved counseling program administered or approved by the Veterans' Administration. This order shall be included in the conditions of probation. Failure of the defendant to comply with the order shall be a basis for violating probation and/or the provisions of § 12-10-12. This provision shall not be suspended or waived by the court.
(b) Every person convicted of, or placed on probation for, a crime involving domestic violence as enumerated in § 12-29-2, or whose case is filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, in addition to other court costs or assessments imposed, shall be ordered to pay a one hundred twenty-five dollar ($125) assessment. Eighty percent (80%) of the assessment collected pursuant to this section shall be provided to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for programs to assist victims of domestic violence and twenty percent (20%) of the assessment shall be deposited as general revenue.
(c)(1) Every person convicted of an offense punishable as a misdemeanor involving domestic violence as defined in § 12-29-2 shall:
(i) For a second violation, be imprisoned for a term of not less than ten (10) days and not more than one year.
(ii) For a third and subsequent violation, be deemed guilty of a felony and be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year and not more than ten (10) years.
(2) No jail sentence provided for under this section can be suspended.
(3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the discretion of the judges to impose additional sanctions authorized in sentencing.
(d) The court shall determine, for every person who pleads nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, an offense involving domestic violence as enumerated in § 12-29-2, whether, as a result of the plea or conviction, the defendant is prohibited under § 11-47-5(a)(3) or § 11-47-5(a)(4) from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in his or her possession any firearm.
(1) Prior to the entry of a plea of nolo contendere to an offense involving domestic violence as enumerated in § 12-29-2, the court shall advise the defendant that a plea of nolo contendere has the same legal effect and collateral consequences as a plea of guilty.
(2) Prior to the entry of a plea of nolo contendere to an offense punishable as a felony involving domestic violence as enumerated in § 12-29-2, or an offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4), the court shall advise the defendant that, in addition to any other sentence or penalty, the defendant shall, as result of the plea, be prohibited from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearm under § 11-47-5.
(3) The person required to surrender his or her firearms pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for any costs of storage of any firearms surrendered pursuant to this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section, “batterers intervention program” means a program that is certified by the batterers intervention program standards oversight committee according to minimum standards, pursuant to §§ 12-29-5.1, 12-29-5.2, and 12-29-5.3.
(f) For purposes of this section, “servicemember” means a person who is presently serving in the armed forces of the United States, including the Coast Guard, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard. “Veteran” means a person who has served in the armed forces, including the Coast Guard of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard, and has been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
(g) The court shall indicate on every record of conviction or a plea of nolo contendere for an offense punishable as a felony involving domestic violence, as defined in § 12-29-2, that the defendant is prohibited under §§ 11-47-5 and 11-47-5.3 from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession, any firearm(s). The court shall inform the defendant of their prohibited status and shall order the defendant to surrender any firearm(s) in their ownership, possession, care, custody or control in accordance with § 11-47-5.3.
(h) The court shall indicate on every record of conviction or a plea of nolo contendere for an offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4) that the defendant is prohibited under §§ 11-47-5 and 11-47-5.4 from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession, any firearm(s). The court shall inform the defendant of their prohibited status, shall order the defendant to surrender any firearm(s) in their ownership, possession, care, custody or control, and shall ensure that surrender is made in accordance with § 11-47-5.4.
(i) No proceeds shall be provided to any person if the firearm(s) is destroyed pursuant to this section.
(j) Any firearm(s) used in the commission of the offense leading to the conviction pursuant to this section shall be forfeited to the state upon conviction.

12-29-7. Domestic abuse court advocacy project

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) There is established within the court system a domestic abuse court advocacy project to provide the services as set forth in subsection (b) of this section. The administrator of the court system may contract with a nonprofit agency or organization which has a demonstrated record of service to victims of domestic violence for the purpose of operating the project.

(b) The responsibilities of the project shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Advising victims of domestic violence crimes of their rights pursuant to chapter 28 of this title, and assisting victims in securing those rights;

(2) Informing victims of the availability of protective orders and assisting victims in obtaining those orders as appropriate;

(3) Referring victims to shelter services, counseling, and other social services, as appropriate; and

(4) Monitoring the justice system's response to and treatment of victims of domestic violence crimes.

(c) The project shall assure coordination with other victims services programs, shelters, and other organizations or agencies offering services to victims of domestic abuse.

12-29-8. Domestic violence reports

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A law enforcement officer who responds to or investigates a domestic violence incident shall complete a domestic violence report, whether or not an arrest occurs.

(b) For the purpose of establishing accurate data on the extent and severity of domestic violence in the state and on the degree of compliance with the requirements of § 12-29-3, the domestic violence training and monitoring unit of the court system shall prescribe a form for making domestic violence reports. The form shall include, but is not limited to, the following information:

(1) Name of the parties;

(2) Relationship of the parties;

(3) Sex of the parties;

(4) Date of birth of the parties;

(5) Time and date of the incident;

(6) Whether children were involved or whether the alleged act of domestic violence was committed in the presence of children;

(7) Type and extent of the alleged abuse;

(8) Number and types of weapons involved;

(9) Existence of any prior court order; and

(10) Any other data that may be necessary for a complete analysis of all circumstances leading to the arrest.

(c) Each police department shall forward copies of the reports to the unit at the end of each month.

12-29-8.1. Restraining order no-contact order system (R.O.N.C.O.)

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) All domestic violence and sexual assault protective orders must be filed in the R.O.N.C.O. system at the attorney general's bureau of criminal identification (B.C.I.) unit.

(b)(1) All protective orders from district court, superior court, family court, police departments and bail commissioners must be filed upon issuance by faxing or delivering the orders to the B.C.I. unit no later than the end of the day of issuance. Orders shall include the following: the terms of the order, the date of issuance, the date of the second hearing (if any), the dates of birth of the parties, and the date of expiration.

(2) All modifications and terminations of the orders must also be faxed or delivered to the B.C.I. unit no later than the end of the day of the modification. Any protective order issued pursuant to chapter 15 of title 15, chapter 8.1 of title 8, and chapter 5 of title 15 which is terminated or expires for any reason, and any no-contact order issued by any superior court, district court or family court which is removed, rescinded or expired for any reason shall be expunged within thirty (30) days from the R.O.N.C.O. system and the prior existence of the protective order or no-contact order shall not be disclosed except by court order.

(c) A person entitled to protection under an existing protection order shall, upon request, be given a certified copy of the order by the court clerk. The attorney general's B.C.I. unit shall accept the certified copy and enter that copy into the R.O.N.C.O. system.

(d) For purposes of this section, "protective orders" includes all family, district, and superior court restraining orders, as well as district and superior court no-contact orders.

12-29-9. Medical data collection reports

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a)
(1) For the purpose of documenting incidents of family violence resulting in injuries treated at medical facilities or by medical providers and of providing statistically valid information on the extent of family violence, the domestic violence training and monitoring unit of the court system shall prescribe a form for making medical data collection reports. The form shall include, but is not limited to the following:

(i) Relationship of the parties;

(ii) Sex of the parties;

(iii) Date of birth of the parties;

(iv) Time and date of the incident;

(v) Whether the incident is verified by the victim;

(vi) Type of injuries;

(vii) Whether medical attention or hospitalization is required;

(viii) Whether the victim has previously sustained injuries as a result of family violence;

(ix) Action taken;

(x) Source of the report;

(xi) Address of the reporter.

(2) The report shall not contain the name of the parties nor any other identifying information.

(b) A report shall be completed for any victim being treated for injuries which the victim states resulted from domestic violence or which the mandated medical provider has reasonable cause to believe resulted from domestic violence.

(c) The report shall be submitted to the unit on a quarterly basis for quarters ending on September 30, December 31, March 31, and June 30.

12-29-10. Severability

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.

Title 15. Domestic Relations

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 5. Divorce and Separation

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

15-5-2. Additional grounds for divorce

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Divorces from the bond of marriage shall also be decreed for the following causes:

(1) Impotency;

(2) Adultery;

(3) Extreme cruelty;

(4) Willful desertion for five (5) years of either of the parties, or for willful desertion for a shorter period of time in the discretion of the court;

(5) Continued drunkenness;

(6) The habitual, excessive, and intemperate use of opium, morphine, or chloral;

(7) Neglect and refusal, for the period of at least one year next before the filing of the petition, on the part of the husband to provide necessaries for the subsistence of his wife, the husband being of sufficient ability; and

(8) Any other gross misbehavior and wickedness, in either of the parties, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant.

15-5-3.1. Divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A divorce from the bonds of matrimony shall be decreed, irrespective of the fault of either party, on the ground of irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

(b) In any pleading or hearing for divorce under this section, allegations or evidence of specific acts of misconduct shall be improper and inadmissible, except for the purpose of making a determination pursuant to §§ 15-5-16 and 15-5-16.1, or where child custody is in issue and the evidence is relevant to establish that parental custody would be detrimental to the child, or at a hearing where it is determined by the court to be necessary to establish the existence of irreconcilable differences.

(c) Upon hearing of an action for divorce under this section, the acts of one party shall not negate the acts of the other nor bar the divorce decree.

15-5-12. Domicile and residence requirements

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) No complaint for divorce from the bond of marriage shall be granted unless the plaintiff has been a domiciled inhabitant of this state and has resided in this state for a period of one year next before the filing of the complaint; provided, that if the defendant has been a domiciled inhabitant of this state and has resided in this state for the period of one year next before the filing of the complaint, and is actually served with process, the requirement of this subsection as to domicile and residence on the part of the plaintiff is deemed satisfied and fulfilled. The residence and domicile of any person immediately prior to the commencement of his or her active service as a member of the armed forces or of the merchant marine of the United States, or immediately prior to his or her absence from the state in the performance of services in connection with military operations as defined in subsection (c) of this section, shall, for the purposes of this section, continue to be his or her residence and domicile during the time of his or her service and for a period of thirty (30) days after this. Testimony to prove domicile and residence may be received through the ex parte affidavit of one witness.

(b) Every word importing the masculine gender only shall be construed in this section to extend to and include females as well as males.

(c) The term “services in connection with military operations” shall be construed in this section to include persons serving with the American Red Cross, the Society of Friends, the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots, and the United Service Organizations.

15-5-16. Alimony and counsel fees--Custody of children

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) In granting any petition for divorce, divorce from bed and board, or relief without the commencement of divorce proceedings, the family court may order either of the parties to pay alimony or counsel fees, or both, to the other.

(b)(1) In determining the amount of alimony or counsel fees, if any, to be paid, the court, after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each party, shall consider:

(i) The length of the marriage;

(ii) The conduct of the parties during the marriage;

(iii) The health, age, station, occupation, amount and source of income, vocational skills, and employability of the parties; and

(iv) The state and the liabilities and needs of each of the parties.

(2) In addition, the court shall consider:

(i) The extent to which either party is unable to support herself or himself adequately because that party is the primary physical custodian of a child whose age, condition, or circumstances make it appropriate that the parent not seek employment outside the home, or seek only part-time or flexible-hour employment outside the home;

(ii) The extent to which either party is unable to support herself or himself adequately with consideration given to:

(A) The extent to which a party was absent from employment while fulfilling homemaking responsibilities, and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience of that party have become outmoded and his or her earning capacity diminished;

(B) The time and expense required for the supported spouse to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop marketable skills and find appropriate employment;

(C) The probability, given a party's age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming self-supporting;

(D) The standard of living during the marriage;

(E) The opportunity of either party for future acquisition of capital assets and income;

(F) The ability to pay of the supporting spouse, taking into account the supporting spouse's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, debts, and standard of living;

(G) Any other factor which the court expressly finds to be just and proper.

(c)(1) For the purposes of this section, “alimony” is construed as payments for the support or maintenance of either the husband or the wife.

(2) Alimony is designed to provide support for a spouse for a reasonable length of time to enable the recipient to become financially independent and self-sufficient. However, the court may award alimony for an indefinite period of time when it is appropriate in the discretion of the court based upon the factors set forth in subdivision (b)(2)(ii)(B). After a decree for alimony has been entered, the court may from time to time upon the petition of either party review and alter its decree relative to the amount and payment of the alimony, and may make any decree relative to it which it might have made in the original suit. The decree may be made retroactive in the court's discretion to the date that the court finds that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred; provided, the court shall set forth in its decision the specific findings of fact which show a substantial change in circumstances and upon which findings of facts the court has decided to make the decree retroactive. Nothing provided in this section shall affect the power of the court as subsequently provided by law to alter, amend, or annul any order of alimony previously entered. Upon the remarriage of the spouse who is receiving alimony, the obligation to pay alimony shall automatically terminate at once.

(d)(1) In regulating the custody of the children, the court shall provide for the reasonable right of visitation by the natural parent not having custody of the children, except upon the showing of cause why the right should not be granted or as provided in subdivision 15-5-16(d)(4). The court shall mandate compliance with its order by both the custodial parent and the children. In the event of noncompliance, the noncustodial parent may file a motion for contempt in family court. Upon a finding by the court that its order for visitation has not been complied with, the court shall exercise its discretion in providing a remedy, and define the noncustodial parent's visitation in detail. However, if a second finding of noncompliance by the court is made, the court shall consider this to be grounds for a change of custody to the noncustodial parent.

(2) In regulating the custody and determining the best interests of children, the fact that a parent is receiving public assistance shall not be a factor in awarding custody.

(3) A judicial determination that the child has been physically or sexually abused by the natural parent shall constitute sufficient cause to deny the right of visitation. However, when the court enters an order denying visitation under this section, it shall review the case at least annually to determine what, if any, action the parent has taken to rehabilitate himself or herself and whether the denial of visitation continues to be in the child's best interests.

(4) No person shall be granted custody of or visitation with a child if that person has been convicted under or pled nolo contendere to a violation of §§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4, or 11-37-8.1 or other comparable law of another jurisdiction, and the child was conceived as a result of that violation; unless after hearing the family court finds that the natural mother or legal guardian consents to visitation with the child, and the court determines that visitation is in the best interest of the child, then the court may order supervised visitation and counseling.

(5) The court may order a natural parent who has been denied the right of visitation due to physical or sexual abuse of his or her child to engage in counseling. The failure of the parent to engage in counseling, ordered by the court pursuant to this section, shall constitute sufficient cause to deny visitation.

(e) In all hearings regarding denial of visitation, the court shall make findings of fact.

(f) This chapter does not affect the right of the family court to award alimony or support pendente lite.

(g)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and § 15-5-19, the court, when making decisions regarding child custody and visitation, shall consider evidence of past or present domestic violence. Where domestic violence is proven, any grant of visitation shall be arranged so as to best protect the child and the abused parent from further harm.

(2) In addition to other factors that a court must consider in a proceeding in which the court has made a finding of domestic or family violence, the court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child and of the parent who is the victim of domestic or family violence. The court shall also consider the perpetrator's history of causing physical harm, bodily injury or assault to another person.

(3) In a visitation or custody order, as a condition of the order, the court may:

(i) Order the perpetrator of domestic violence to attend and successfully complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a certified batterer's intervention program;

(ii) Order the perpetrator to attend a substance abuse program whenever deemed appropriate;

(iii) Require that a bond be filed with the court in order to ensure the return and safety of the child;

(iv) Order that the address and telephone number of the child be kept confidential;

(v) Order an exchange of the child to occur in a protected setting, or supervised by another person or agency; provided that, if the court allows a family or household member to supervise visitation, the court shall establish conditions to be followed during visitation;

(vi) Order the perpetrator of domestic violence to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation; and

(vii) Impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of domestic violence, or other family or household member.

(4) “Domestic violence” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between spouses or people who have a child in common:

(i) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(ii) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(iii) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress.

(5) In every proceeding in which there is at issue the modification of an order for custody or visitation of a child, the finding that domestic or family violence has occurred since the last custody determination constitutes a prima facie finding of a change of circumstances.

(6) The fact that a parent is absent or relocates because of an act of domestic or family violence by the other parent shall not weigh against the relocating or absent parent in determining custody and visitation.

(7) A party's absence, relocation, or failure to comply with custody and visitation orders shall not, by itself, be sufficient to justify a modification of a custody or visitation order if the reason for the absence, relocation, or failure to comply is the party's activation to military service or deployment out of state.

(h) If there is no existing order establishing the terms of parental rights and responsibilities or parent-child contact and it appears that deployment or mobilization is imminent, upon motion by either parent, the court shall expedite a hearing to establish temporary parental rights and responsibilities and parent-child contact to ensure the deploying parent has access to the child, to ensure disclosure of information, to grant other rights and duties set forth herein, and to provide other appropriate relief. Any initial pleading filed to establish parental rights and responsibilities for or parent-child contact with a child of a deploying parent shall be so identified at the time of filing by stating in the text of the pleading the specific facts related to deployment.

Chapter 15-15. Domestic Abuse Prevention

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

15-15-1. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The following words as used in this chapter have the following meanings:
(1) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct”.
(2) “Courts” means the family court.
(3) “Cyberstalking” means transmitting any communication by computer to any person or causing any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family.
(4) “Domestic abuse” means:
the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between present or former family members, parents, stepparents, or persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year in which at least one of the persons is a minor:
(i) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
(ii) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
(iii) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress; or
(iv) Stalking or cyberstalking.
(5) “Harassing” means following a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury.
(6) “Parents” mean persons who together are the legal parents of one or more children, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time.
(7) “Present or former family member” means the spouse, former spouse, minor children, stepchildren, or persons who are related by blood or marriage.
(8) “Sexual exploitation” means the occurrence of any of the following acts by any person who knowingly or willfully encourages, aids, or coerces any child under the age of eighteen (18) years:
(i) Recruiting, employing, enticing, soliciting, isolating, harboring, transporting, providing, persuading, obtaining, or maintaining, or so attempts, any minor for the purposes of commercial sex acts or sexually explicit performances; or selling or purchasing a minor for the purposes of commercial sex acts.
(A) “Commercial sex act” means any sex act or sexually explicit performance on account of which anything of value is given, promised to, or received, directly or indirectly, by any person.
(B) “Sexually-explicit performance” means an act or show, intended to arouse, satisfy the sexual desires of, or appeal to the prurient interests of patrons or viewers, whether public or private, live, photographed, recorded, or videotaped.
(9) “Stalking” means harassing another person or willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.
(10) “Substantive dating” or “engagement relationship” means a significant and personal/intimate relationship which shall be adjudged by the court's consideration by the following factors:
(i) The length of time of the relationship;
(ii) The type of relationship; and
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the parties.

15-15-2. Filing of complaint

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Proceedings under this chapter shall be filed, heard, and determined in the family court of the county in which the plaintiff resides and shall be independent of divorce proceedings.

(b) Any proceedings under this chapter shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies.

(c) A party filing a complaint under this chapter may do so without payment of any filing fee, but shall be required to disclose any prior or pending actions for divorce or separation.

(d) If the plaintiff has left the residence or household to avoid abuse, he or she may bring the action in the court of previous residence or the court of present residence. There shall be no minimum residence requirements for the bringing of an action under this chapter.

15-15-3. Protective orders--Penalty--Jurisdiction

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A person, or a parent, custodian, or legal guardian on behalf of a minor child or the director of the department of children, youth and families (“DCYF”) or its designee for a child in the custody of DCYF, pursuant to §§ 40-11-7 and 40-11-7.1, suffering from domestic abuse or sexual exploitation as defined in § 15-15-1, may file a complaint in the family court requesting any order that will protect and support her or him from abuse or sexual exploitation, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Ordering that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting, sexually exploiting, or interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street, or elsewhere, whether the defendant is an adult or a minor;
(2) Ordering the defendant to vacate the household immediately;
(3) Awarding the plaintiff custody of the minor children of the parties, if any;
(4) Ordering the defendant to surrender physical possession of all firearms in his or her possession, care, custody, or control and shall further order a person restrained not to purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms while the protective order is in effect. The defendant shall surrender said firearms within twenty-four (24) hours of notice of the protective order to the Rhode Island state police or local police department or to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
(i) A person ordered to surrender possession of any firearm(s) pursuant to this section shall, within seventy-two (72) hours after being served with the order, either:
(A) File with the court a receipt showing the firearm(s) was physically surrendered to the Rhode Island state police or local police department, or to a federally licensed firearms dealer; or
(B) Attest to the court that, at the time of the order, the person had no firearms in his or her immediate physical possession or control, or subject to their immediate physical possession or control, and that the person, at the time of the attestation, has no firearms in their immediate physical possession or control, or subject to their immediate physical possession or control.
(ii) If a person restrained under this section transfers a firearm(s) to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to this section, the person restrained under this section may instruct the federally licensed firearms dealer to sell the firearm(s) or to transfer ownership, in accordance with state and federal law, to a qualified named individual who is not a member of the person's dwelling house, who is not related to the person by blood, marriage, or relationship as defined by § 15-15-1(7), and who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law. The owner of any firearm(s) sold shall receive any financial value received from its sale, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and transferring of the firearm(s).
(iii) Every individual to whom ownership of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall be prohibited from transferring or returning any firearm(s) to the person restrained under this section while the protective order remains in effect and shall be informed of this prohibition, Any knowing violation of this subsection is a felony that shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than five (5) years, or both.
(iv) An individual to whom ownership of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall return a firearm(s) to the person formerly restrained under this section only if the person formerly restrained under this section provides documentation issued by a court indicating that the restraining order issued pursuant to this section that prohibited the person from purchasing, carrying, transporting, or possessing firearms has expired and has not been extended;
(5) After notice to the respondent and a hearing, ordering either party to make payments for the support of a minor child or children of the parties as required by law for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days, unless the child support order is for a child or children receiving public assistance pursuant to chapter 5.1 of title 40. In these cases, legal counsel for the division of taxation, child support enforcement, shall be notified as a party in interest to appear for the purpose of establishing a child support order under a new or existing docket number previously assigned to the parties and not under the protective docket number. The child support order shall remain in effect until the court modifies or suspends the order.
(b) After notice to the respondent and a hearing, which shall be held within fifteen (15) days of surrendering said firearms, the court, in addition to any other restrictions, may, for any protective order issued after or renewed on or after July 1, 2017, continue the order of surrender, and shall further order a person restrained under this section not to purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms while the protective order is in effect.
(c) The Family Court shall provide a notice on all forms requesting a protective order that a person restrained under this section shall be ordered pursuant to § 11-47-5 to surrender possession of any firearms while the protective order is in effect. The form shall further provide that any person who has surrendered his or her firearms shall be afforded a hearing within fifteen (15) days of surrendering his or her firearms.
(d) Any firearm surrendered in accordance with this section to the Rhode Island state police or local police department shall be returned to the person formerly restrained under this section upon his or her request when:
(1) The person formerly restrained under this section produces documentation issued by a court indicating that the restraining order issued pursuant to this section that prohibited the person from purchasing, carrying, transporting, or possessing firearms has expired and has not been extended; and
(2) The law enforcement agency in possession of the firearms determined that the person formerly restrained under this section is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.
(3) The person required to surrender their firearms pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for any costs of storage of any firearms surrendered pursuant to this section.
(e) The Rhode Island state police are authorized to develop rules and procedures pertaining to the storage and return of firearms surrendered to the Rhode Island state police or local police departments pursuant to this section. The Rhode Island state police may consult with the Rhode Island Police Chiefs' Association in developing rules and procedures.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit, expand, or in any way modify orders issued under § 12-29-7 or § 15-5-19.
(g) Nothing in this section shall limit a defendant's right under existing law to petition the court at a later date for modification of the order.
(h) The court shall immediately notify the person suffering from domestic abuse whose complaint gave rise to the protective order, and the law enforcement agency where the person restrained under this section resides, of the hearing.
(i) The person suffering from domestic abuse, local law enforcement, and the person restrained under this section shall all have an opportunity to be present and to testify when the court considers the petition.
(j) At the hearing, the person restrained under this section shall have the burden of showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that, if his or her firearm rights were restored, he or she would not pose a danger to the person suffering from domestic abuse or to any other person.
(1) In determining whether to restore a person's firearm rights, the court shall examine all relevant evidence, including, but not limited to: the complaint seeking a protective order; the criminal record of the person restrained under this section; the mental health history of the person restrained under this section; any evidence that the person restrained under this section has, since being served with the order, engaged in violent or threatening behavior against the person suffering from domestic abuse or any other person.
(2) If the court determines, after a review of all relevant evidence and after all parties have had an opportunity to be heard, that the person restrained under this section would not pose a danger to the person suffering from domestic abuse or to any other person if his or her firearm rights were restored, then the court may grant the petition and modify the protective order and lift the firearm prohibition.
(3) If the court lifts a person's firearms prohibition pursuant to this subsection, the court shall issue the person written notice that he or she is no longer prohibited under this section from purchasing or possessing firearms while the protective order is in effect.
(k) The prohibition against possessing a firearm(s) due solely to the existence of a domestic violence restraining order issued under this section shall not apply with respect to sworn peace officers as defined in § 12-7-21 and active members of military service, including members of the reserve components thereof, who are required by law or departmental policy to carry departmental firearms while on duty or any person who is required by his or her employment to carry a firearm in the performance of his or her duties. Any individual exempted pursuant to this exception may possess a firearm only during the course of his or her employment. Any firearm required for employment must be stored at the place of employment when not being possessed for employment use; all other firearm(s) must be surrendered in accordance with this section.
(l) Upon motion by the plaintiff, his or her address shall be released only at the discretion of the family court judge.
(m)(1) Any violation of the protective orders in subsection (a) of this section shall subject the defendant to being found in contempt of court.
(2) The contempt order shall not be exclusive and shall not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. Any relief granted by the court shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed three (3) years, at the expiration of which time the court may extend any order, upon motion of the plaintiff, for any additional time, that it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse. The court may modify its order at any time upon motion of either party.
(n)(1) Any violation of a protective order under this chapter of which the defendant has actual notice shall be a misdemeanor that shall be punished by a fine of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(2) The penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided by § 12-29-5.
(o) Actual notice means that the defendant has received a copy of the order by service or by being handed a copy of the order by a police officer pursuant to § 15-15-5(d).
(p)(1) The district court shall have criminal jurisdiction over all adult violations of this chapter.
(2) The family court shall have jurisdiction over all juvenile violations of this chapter.

15-15-4. Temporary orders--Ex parte proceedings

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a)

(1) Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, the court may enter any temporary orders that it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse, including relief as provided in chapter 5 of this title..

(2) If it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before notice can be served and a hearing held on the matter, the court may enter any temporary order without notice that it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff. Every order granted without notice shall expire by its terms within any time after entry, not to exceed twenty-one (21) days, that the court fixes, unless within the time fixed the order, by consent or for good cause shown and after hearing of argument by the parties or counsel, is extended for an additional period. In case a temporary order is granted without notice, the matter shall be set down for a hearing within a reasonable time and may be given precedence of all matters except older matters of the same character, and when the matter comes on for a hearing, the party who obtained the temporary order shall proceed with the complaint for an order pursuant to § 15-15-3 and, if he or she does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary order

(b)

(1) When the court is unavailable after the close of business a family court judge may grant relief to the plaintiff as provided in this chapter. At the discretion of the judge, the relief may be granted and communicated by telephone to an officer of the appropriate law enforcement agency who shall record the order on a form of order promulgated for such use by the chief judge of the family court and shall deliver a copy of the order on the next court day to the clerk of the court.

(2) In addition, when there is no family court in session at a location when a division of the district court is in session, the district court judge at the division is authorized to grant relief to the plaintiff under this chapter upon cause shown in an ex parte proceeding.

(3) No temporary order shall be granted pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown in plaintiff 's written statement that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before notice can be served and a hearing held on the matter.

(4) Any temporary order granted pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection expires at close of the next business day unless a longer time is granted by the family court judge.

(c) Any order issued under this section and any documentation in support of it shall be filed immediately with the clerk of the family court. Filing shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under this chapter and invoking the other provisions of this chapter, but shall not be deemed necessary for an emergency order issued under this chapter to take effect.

(d) The clerk of the family court shall have a certified copy of any order issued under this chapter forwarded immediately to the law enforcement agency designated by the plaintiff. The clerk shall also provide the plaintiff with two (2) certified copies of any order issued under this chapter.

15-15-4.1. Return of service/alternate service

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) The complaint and any order issued under this chapter shall be personally served upon the defendant by a member of the division of sheriffs except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (f) of this section. Service shall be made without payment of any fee when service is made by a deputy sheriff. At the election of the plaintiff, service, pursuant to the subsection, may also be made by a certified constable authorized to serve process pursuant to § 9-5-10.1. The constable shall be entitled to receive the fee allowed by law for the service of a family court summons. Where the defendant is a minor, the complaint and any order issued under this chapter shall also be personally served upon a parent or guardian of the minor.

(b) Return of service shall be forwarded by the deputy sheriff or certified constable to the clerk of court prior to the date set down for a hearing on the complaint. If service has not been made, the deputy sheriff or constable shall indicate on the summons the reason and the attempts made to serve the defendant.

(c) At the time the return of service is sent to the clerk of the court, the deputy sheriff or certified constable shall cause a copy of the return of service to be sent to the plaintiff and to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(d) If, at the time of the hearing on the complaint, the court determines that after diligent effort the deputy sheriff or certified constable has been unable to serve the defendant personally, the judge may order an alternate method of service designed to give reasonable notice of the action to the defendant and taking into consideration the plaintiff's ability to afford the means of service ordered. Alternative service shall include, but not be limited to: service by certified and regular mail at defendant's last known address (excluding the residence which he or she has been ordered to vacate) or place of employment, leaving copies at the defendant's dwelling or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at the defendant's dwelling or usual place of abode, or by publication in a newspaper for two (2) consecutive weeks. The court shall set a new date for the hearing on the complaint and shall extend the temporary order until that date.

(e) If the defendant appears in person before the court, the necessity for further service is waived and proof of service of that order is not necessary.

(f) If the defendant is served notice regarding the complaint and hearing, but does not appear at the hearing, the clerk of the family court will mail the defendant a copy of the resulting order.

15-15-5. Duties of police officers

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(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.

15-15-6. Form of complaint

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A form in substantially the following language shall suffice for the purpose of filing a complaint under this chapter:

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND FAMILY COURT

COUNTY OF

Plaintiff :

VS. : F.C. NO.

Defendant :

COMPLAINT FOR PROTECTION FROM ABUSE

Pursuant to Chapter 15 of this title, I request that the court enter an order protecting me from abuse.

(1) My full name, present street address, city, and telephone number are as follows:

(2) My former residence, which I have left to avoid abuse, is as follows (street address and city):

(3) The full name, present street address, city, and telephone number of the person causing me abuse (the defendant) are as follows:

(4) My relationship to the defendant is as follows:

_______We (are) (were formerly) married to one another.

_______I am the defendant's (child) (parent).

_______ I am the blood relative or relative by marriage of the defendant; specifically, the defendant is my .

_______I and the defendant are together the legal parents of one or more children.

(5) On or about _____, I suffered abuse when the defendant:

_______ Threatened or harmed me with a weapon; (type of weapon used:

_______Attempted to cause me physical harm;

_______ Caused me physical harm;

_______ Placed me in fear of imminent physical harm;

_______ Caused me to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress. Specifically, the defendant

(6) I ask that:

_______ The court order that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting, or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street or elsewhere.

_______ The court order the defendant to immediately leave the household which is located at

_______ The court award me temporary custody of the following minor child(ren)(the defendant and I are husband and wife):

Names, Date of Birth:
That_I request that the above relief be ordered without notice because it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that I will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon. I understand that the court will schedule a hearing no later than twenty-one (21) days after the order is entered on the question of continuing the temporary order.

(7) I have not sought protection from abuse from any other judge of the family court arising out of the facts or circumstances alleged in this complaint.

(8) That the court award me support for my minor children as required by law for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days.

_____________________
(Signature)

_____________________
(Date)

Subscribed and sworn to before me in __in the county of ___ in

the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, this __ day of __
A.D. 20_______.

____________________________
Notary Public

Note: If this complaint is filed by an attorney, the attorney's certificate should appear as below:

ATTORNEY CERTIFICATE

Signed: ________________

Attorney for Plaintiff

Address:

Date: _____________________, 20_______

WHITE COPY – Court

YELLOW COPY – Plaintiff

PINK COPY – Defendant

GOLDENROD COPY – Police Department

(b) A form in substantially the following language shall suffice for the purpose of requesting temporary orders under this chapter:

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND FAMILY COURT

COUNTY OF

Plaintiff :

VS. : F.C. NO.

Defendant :

TEMPORARY ORDER PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 15 OF THIS TITLE GENERAL LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND

Upon consideration of plaintiff 's complaint and having found that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before a notice can be served and a hearing had thereon it is ORDERED:

_______That the defendant is restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting, or otherwise interfering with plaintiff at home, on the street, or elsewhere.

_______That the defendant vacate forthwith the household located at_

_______That the plaintiff, being the [husband] [wife] of the defendant, be and [s]he hereby is awarded temporary custody of the minor child[ren], to wit, .

_______That the defendant pay to the plaintiff the support of the minor child(ren) the sum of $_______ per _______.

_______That _

A hearing on the continuation of this ORDER will be held at the family court, __County, at

____ [A.M.] [P.M.] on ____. If the defendant wishes to be heard,

[s]he will be heard at that time. If [s]he does not appear at that time, this ORDER shall remain in effect.

This ORDER is effective forthwith, and will remain in effect until the time and date of the above-mentioned hearing.

A copy of this ORDER shall be transmitted to the appropriate local law enforcement agency forthwith, and shall be served in-hand on the defendant herein.

ENTERED as an order of court this ______________ day of __ A.D. 20__.

15-15-7. Notice of penalty

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Each protective order issued under this chapter, including a temporary ex parte order, shall have the following statement printed in bold faced type or in capital letters:

A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS ORDER MAY BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND MAY BE PUNISHED BY A FINE OF AS MUCH AS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000) AND/OR BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR AS LONG AS ONE YEAR, AND MAY BE ORDERED TO ATTEND COUNSELING.

Chapter 15.1. The Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

15-15.1-1. Short title

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

This chapter shall be known and maybe cited as the "Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act".

15-15.1-2. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Court" means the family court.

(2) "Foreign protection order" means a protection order issued by a tribunal of another state.

(3) "Issuing state" means the state whose tribunal issues a protection order.

(4) "Mutual foreign protection order" means a foreign protection order that includes provisions in favor of both the protected individual seeking enforcement of the order and the respondent.

(5) "Protected individual" means an individual protected by a protection order.

(6) "Protection order" means an injunction or other order, issued by a tribunal under the domestic-violence, family-violence, or anti-stalking laws of the issuing state, to prevent an individual from engaging in violent or threatening acts against, harassment of, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to, another individual.

(7) "Respondent" means the individual against whom enforcement of protection order is sought.

(8) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band that has jurisdiction to issue protection orders.

(9) "Tribunal" means a court, agency, or other entity authorized by law to issue or modify a protection order.

15-15.1-3. Judicial enforcement of order

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A person authorized by the law of this state to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in a tribunal of this state. The court shall enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that the court would lack power to provide but for this chapter. The court shall enforce the order, whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding, if it is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protection order, the court shall follow the procedures of this state for the enforcement of protection orders.

(b) The court may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by a tribunal of a state that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order.

(c) The court shall enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order which govern custody and visitation, if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing state.

(d) A foreign protection order is valid if it:

(1) identifies the protected individual and the respondent;

(2) is currently in effect;

(3) was issued by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under the law of the issuing state; and

(4) was issued after the respondent was given reasonable notice and had an opportunity to be heard before the tribunal issued the order or, in the case of an order ex parte, the respondent was given notice and has had or will have an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time after the order was issued, in a manner consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.

(e) A foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity.

(f) Absence of any of the criteria for validity of a foreign protection order is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of the order.

(g) The court may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if:

(1) the respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protection order from the tribunal of the issuing state; and

(2) the tribunal of the issuing state made specific findings in favor of the respondent.

15-15.1-4. Nonjudicial enforcement of order

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A law enforcement officer of this state, upon determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists and that the order has been violated, shall enforce the order as if it were the order of a tribunal of this state. Presentation of a protection order that identifies both the protected individual and the respondent and on its face, is currently in effect constitutes probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists. For the purposes of this section, the protection order may be inscribed on a tangible medium or may have been stored in an electronic or other medium if it is retrievable in perceivable form. Presentation of a certified copy of a protection order is not required for enforcement.

(b) If a foreign protection order is not presented, a law enforcement officer of this state may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists.

(c) If a law enforcement officer of the state determines that an other wise valid foreign protection order cannot be enforced because the respondent has not been notified or served with the order, the officer shall inform the respondent of the order, make a reasonable effort to serve the order upon the respondent, and allow the respondent a reasonable opportunity to comply with the order before enforcing the order.

(d) Registration or filing of an order in this state is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protection order pursuant to this chapter.

15-15.1-4.1. Form of certification or confirmation

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

A form in substantially the following language shall suffice for the purposes of filing of certificate or confirmation:

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND FAMILY COURT

__________, SC

__________(Name) Petitioner

vs.

__________(Name) C.A. No. Respondent

CERTIFICATION OF PROTECTION/RESTRAINING ORDER
It is hereby certified that the attached is a true and correct copy of the order entered in the above-captioned action on __(date) and that the original of the attached order was duly executed by the judicial authority whose signature appears thereon. The order expires on _(date).
The order is: [ ] a civil protection/restraining order.
OR [ ] a criminal protection/restraining order, that recognizes the standing of the plaintiff to seek enforcement of the order.
It is further certified that:

(a) the issuing court determined that it had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter under the laws of _(state or Indian tribe).

(b) the respondent was given reasonable notice and had opportunity to be heard before this order was issued; or if the order was issued ex parte, the respondent was given notice and had opportunity to be heard after the order was issued, consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.

(c) the order was otherwise issued in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic-Violence Protection Orders Act, and the Violence Against Women Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2265.
For custody and visitation orders:

(d) the order was otherwise issued in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act of this state/territory and is consistent with the provisions of the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. 28 U.S.C. section 1738A.
The attached order shall be presumed to be valid and enforceable in this and other jurisdictions.
Signature of Clerk of court or other authorized official:

15-15.1-5. Registration of order

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) Any individual may register a foreign protection order in this state. To register a foreign protection order, an individual shall:

(1) present a certified copy of the order to the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(2) present a certified copy of the order to the department of attorney general and request that the order be registered with the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(b) Upon receipt of a foreign protection order the appropriate law enforcement agency shall register the order in accordance with this section. After the order is registered the appropriate law enforcement agency shall furnish to the individual registering the order a certified copy of the registered order.

(c) The appropriate law enforcement agency shall register an order upon presentation of a copy of a protective order which has been certified by the issuing state. A registered foreign protection order that is inaccurate or is not currently in effect must be corrected or removed from the registry in accordance with the law of this state.

(d) An individual registering a foreign protection order shall file an affidavit by the protected individual stating that, to the best of the protected individual's knowledge, the order is currently in effect.

(e) A foreign protection order registered under this chapter may be entered in any existing state or federal registry of protection orders, in accordance with applicable law.

(f) A fee may not be charged for the registration of a foreign protection order.

15-15.1-6. Immunity

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The state or a local governmental agency, or a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of court, or any state or local governmental official acting in an official capacity, is immune from civil and criminal liability for an act or omission arising out of the registration or enforcement of a foreign protection order or the detention or arrest of an alleged violator of a foreign protection order if the act or omission was done in good faith in an effort to comply with this chapter.

15-15.1-7. Other remedies

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

A protected individual who pursues remedies under this chapter is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent.

15-15.1-8. Uniformity of application and construction

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

15-15.1-9. Severability

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Title 17. Elections

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 28. Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

17-28-1. Purpose

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The general assembly finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence frequently establish new addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of this chapter is to enable victims of domestic violence and members of their household to participate in the electoral process by providing address confidentiality.

17-28-2. Definitions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

(a) “Address” means a residential street address, of an individual, as specified on the individual's application to be a program participant under this chapter.

(b) “Program participant” means a person certified as a program participant under § 17-28-3.

(c) “Victim of domestic violence” means an individual who has a restraining order issued by the family, superior, or district court pursuant to §§ 15-15-1, 15-15-9, or 8-8.1-3 or a domestic violence no contact order issued by the superior or district court pursuant to § 12-29-4 or a restraining order or no contact order issued by a court in another state for their protection and any individual living within the same household as the recipient of the restraining order or no contact order.

17-28-3. Address confidentiality program -- Application -- Certification

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) An adult person who is a victim of domestic violence and any member of his/her household may apply to the secretary of state to have an address designated by the secretary of state serve as the person's address. The secretary of state shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the secretary of state and if it contains:

(1) A sworn statement by the applicant:

(i) That the applicant is a victim of domestic violence, as defined in § 17-28-2(c) of this chapter;

(ii) That the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her children's safety, or;

(iii) That the applicant resides in the same household as a victim of domestic violence, as defined in subsection 17-28-2(c); and

(iv) That the individual who committed the domestic violence has knowledge that the applicant lives in the same household as the victim of domestic violence, as defined in subsection 17-28-2(c).

(2) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the secretary of state, and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the secretary of state;

(3) The new address or addresses that the applicant requests not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic violence;

(4) The signature of the applicant, and of any individual or representative of any office designated in writing under § 17-28-6 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date on which the applicant signed the application.

(b) Applications shall be filed with the office of the secretary of state.

(c) Upon filing a properly completed application, the secretary of state shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for four (4) years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date. The secretary of state shall establish by rule a renewal procedure.

(d) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure of the applicant's address would endanger the applicant's safety or the safety of the applicant's children, or who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon making an application, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).

17-28-4. Certification cancellation

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) If the program participant obtains a name change, he or she shall lose certification as a program participant.

(b) The secretary of state may cancel a program participant's certification if there is a change in the residential address from the one listed on the application, unless the program participant provides the secretary of state with seven (7) days' prior notice of the change of address.

(c) The secretary of state may cancel certification of a program participant if mail forwarded by the secretary to the program participant's address is returned as non-deliverable.

(d) The secretary of state shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.

17-28-5. Voting by program participant -- Use of designated address by board of canvassers

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) A program participant qualified to vote may apply for a mail ballot for all elections in the city or town in which that individual resides in the same manner as mail ballot voters who qualify under § 17-20-1 et seq. The program participant may use his or her designated address on the mail ballot application. The board of canvassers shall transmit the ballot to the program participant at the address designated in the application. Neither the name nor the address of a program participant shall be included in any list of registered voters available to the public.

(b) The board of canvassers may not make the participant's address contained in voter registration records available for public inspection or copying except under the following circumstances:

(1) If requested by a law enforcement agency, to the law enforcement agency; and

(2) If directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order.

17-28-6. Disclosure of address prohibited -- Exceptions

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The secretary of state may not make a program participant's address, other than the address designated by the secretary of state, available for inspection or copying, except under the following circumstances:

(a) If requested by a law enforcement agency, to the law enforcement agency;

(b) If directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order; and

(c) If certification has been canceled.

17-28-7. Assistance for program applicants

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The secretary of state shall designate state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence to assist persons applying to be program participants. Any assistance and counseling rendered by the office of the secretary of state or its designee to applicants shall in no way be construed as legal advice.

17-28-8. Adoption of rules

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

The secretary of state and board of elections shall adopt rules to facilitate the administration of this chapter by state and local agencies and boards of canvassers.

Title 28. Labor and Labor Relations

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 28-52. Workplace Violence Protection

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

28-52-1. Short title

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "The Rhode Island Workplace Violence Prevention Act."

28-52-2. Workplace violence protection

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) If an employer, or an employer's employee(s) or invitee(s), have: (1) Suffered unlawful violence by an individual; or (2) Received a threat of violence by an individual that can reasonably be construed as a threat that may be carried out at the worksite; or (3) Been stalked or harassed at the worksite; the employer may (in addition to, or instead of, filing criminal charges against the individual) seek a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and an injunction pursuant to Rule 65 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure, prohibiting further unlawful acts by that individual at the worksite that shall include any place at which work is being performed on behalf of the employer.

(b) Proof (by affidavit in an ex parte hearing, or by a preponderance of the evidence in any other hearing) of any action described in subsection (a) of this section shall constitute irreparable harm or damage to the employer, or employer's employee(s) or invitee(s). Upon granting of any restraining order, preliminary injunction, or injunction, the court may, among other appropriate orders:

(1) Order the defendant not to visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the employer or the employer's operations, or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(2) Order the defendant to cease stalking the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(3) Order the defendant to cease harassment of the employer or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(4) Order the defendant not to abuse or injure the employer, including the employer's property, or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(5) Order the defendant not to telephone the employer or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(6) Order any other necessary and appropriate relief as deemed appropriate in the discretion of the court.

(c) When necessary to protect the employer or the employer's employee(s), invitee(s), or property, and when authorized by the court, temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and injunctions granted pursuant to the provisions of this act may be served upon the defendant by a peace officer, sheriff, certified constable, or police officer, or other officer whose duty it is to preserve the peace, with appropriate orders to these officials to enforce the court's order.

(d) All orders and injunctions issued pursuant to the provisions of this act shall have statewide validity, unless specifically modified or terminated by the issuing judge, and may be enforced by the issuing court for any violation anywhere in the state, and by any court of competent jurisdiction within the state for violations which may occur within that court's jurisdiction.

(e) An employer and an employer's agents who or that act in accord with the provisions of this act shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is shown by clear and convincing evidence, are immune from civil liability for actions taken under this chapter.

(f) Any employer, or its employee(s) or invitee(s), who or that does not utilize the procedures authorized by this act, shall not be liable for negligence nor shall evidence of the same be admissible as evidence of negligence.

(g) In no event shall this chapter be construed to prevent lawful picketing or lawful demonstrations including, but not limited to, those related to a labor dispute.

28-52-3. Severability

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and to that end, the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.

Title 34. Property

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Chapter 18. Presidential Landlord and Tenent Act

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

34-18-6. Temporary restraining orders--Ex parte proceedings

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

(a) No temporary restraining order shall be granted without notice to the adverse party unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon. Every temporary restraining order granted without notice shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance; shall be filed forthwith in the clerk's office and entered of record; and shall expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed ten (10) days, as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed, the order by consent or for good cause shown and after hearing of argument by the parties or counsel, is extended for an additional period. In case a temporary order is granted without notice, the motion for a preliminary injunction shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time and shall be given precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character; and when the motion comes on for hearing, the party who obtained the temporary restraining order shall proceed with the application for a preliminary injunction, and, if he or she does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order.

(b) On two (2) days' notice to the party who obtained the temporary restraining order without notice, or on such shorter notice to that party as the court may prescribe, the adverse party may appear and move its dissolution or modification, and in that event the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

(c) Every order granting an injunction and every restraining order shall be specific in terms; shall describe in reasonable detail the act or acts sought to be restrained; and is binding only upon the parties to the action, their officers, agents, managers, employees, and attorneys, and upon those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.

Chapter 34-37. Rhode Island Fair Housing Practices Act

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

34-37-2.4. Right to equal housing opportunities.

Updated: 
April 27, 2018

Victims of domestic violence status. – It shall be unlawful and against public policy to discriminate against a tenant or applicant for housing solely on the basis that said tenant or applicant is a victim of domestic violence.