Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions 2012

Vasquez v. Sportsman’s Inn, Inc.  
Date: December 19, 2012
Docket Number: 11-26

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a civil action against Sportsman's Inn, Inc., a hotel and lounge, and DLM, Inc., the corporation that leased the premises to the hotel, alleging that he was shot as a result of the failure of Defendants t...

Drago Custom Interiors, LLC v. Carlisle Bldg. Sys., Inc.  
Date: December 19, 2012
Docket Number: 11-280

Justia Opinion Summary: A general contractor (Carlisle) for a construction project contracted with Plaintiff to perform carpentry work for the project. A bond was issued for the project. Carlisle was the principal on the bond, and International...

State v. Cosme  
Date: December 14, 2012
Docket Number: 2010-225

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver and possession of cocaine in an amount between one ounce and one kilogram. In his appeal, Defendant challenged the denial of his motion to suppr...

State v. LaPierre  
Date: December 14, 2012
Docket Number: 2010-341

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of three counts of first-degree child molestation and three counts of second-degree child molestation. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial justice's denial of his motion...

Swain v. Estate of Tyre  
Date: December 13, 2012
Docket Number: 09-297

Justia Opinion Summary: After Shelley Tyre died, her parents brought a wrongful-death action against Shelley's husband, David Swain, alleging that he caused Shelley's wrongful death, that he was a slayer pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 33-1.1-1(3),...

Boyer v. Bedrosian  
Date: December 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-369

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs in this case included fifteen minor children and their parents who participated in the family court's truancy court diversion calendar program. The diversion program allowed family court magistrates to conduct...

Richards v. Fiore  
Date: December 12, 2012
Docket Number: 11-255

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a divorce decree, Plaintiff was awarded sole custody of her and Defendant's daughter, as well as all personal property in her possession, with a few exceptions, including a pair of diamond earrings. Later, Pl...

State v. Ford  
Date: December 12, 2012
Docket Number: 11-43

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of violating his probation. The superior court executed thirty months of Defendant's previously imposed suspended sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court, holding (...

Campbell v. State  
Date: December 12, 2012
Docket Number: 2006-98

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction. Nearly a decade later, Defendant filed a pro se application for postconviction relief, claiming six allegations of error. The tri...

State v. Gonzalez  
Date: December 10, 2012
Docket Number: 11-194

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of one count of first degree child molestation and two counts of second degree of child molestation. Defendant was the great-uncle of the complaining witness. On appeal, Defendant argued that the...

Bido v. State  
Date: December 10, 2012
Docket Number: 11-77

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of aiding and abetting murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. The Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. Defendant subsequently filed an application for postconviction relief, setting forth fi...

Carbone v. Ward  
Date: December 7, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-276

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sent a notice of claim to Defendants, a town and its finance director, for injuries she sustained on the town's sidewalk. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the complaint should be dis...

State Dep't of Envtl. Mgmt. v. Admin. Adjudication Div.  
Date: December 6, 2012
Docket Number: 11-81

Justia Opinion Summary: Two enforcement officers of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) boarded a boat owned by Daniel Barlow when Barlow was not on board and allegedly discovered the amount of summer flounder Barlow c...

Lomastro v. Iacovelli  
Date: December 6, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-379

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, who was employed as a school bus driver, broadcasted that the bus she was driving, which was full of elementary-school children, had been struck by gunfire and that panic had spread among the children. Displea...

Fatulli v. Bowen’s Wharf Co.  
Date: December 5, 2012
Docket Number: 2010-215

Justia Opinion Summary: Bowen's Wharf was a tourist destination including a marina and a variety of retailers, restaurants, and art galleries. In this appeal, the Supreme Court was called upon to decide a question that would clarify the rights...

State v. Bellem  
Date: December 3, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-157

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed from a superior court judgment of conviction declaring him to be in violation of his probation and executing four years of his previously imposed suspended sentence. On appeal, Defendant argued there w...

Pichardo v. Stevens  
Date: November 27, 2012
Docket Number: 11-243

Justia Opinion Summary: An automobile registered to Defendant struck a parked car that was registered to Plaintiff. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint against Defendant seeking damages pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 31-33-6 and 31-33-7. Secti...

Jaiman v. State  
Date: November 16, 2012
Docket Number: 09-147

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon. Appellant subsequently filed an application for postconviction relief, which the superior court denied....

State v. Tep  
Date: November 14, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-70

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed from a judgment of conviction on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence. Defendant argued on appeal that the trial jus...

State v. Ricci  
Date: November 8, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-164

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of burglary, robbery in the first degree, and assault on a person over the age of sixty. The complainant, who was seventy-one years old at the time of trial, had suffered a...

City of Newport v. Local 1080, Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, AFL-CIO  
Date: November 8, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-69

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the terms of a collective-bargaining agreement, the City of Newport provided health insurance benefits to its retired firefighters. After the City decided to modify those benefits, Local 1080, International Associa...

State v. Musterd  
Date: November 2, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-159

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed from a superior court judgment of conviction for first-degree murder and three related crimes. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial justice erred in denying his pretrial motions to suppress evide...

State v. Chum  
Date: October 25, 2012
Docket Number: 11-254

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed from a conviction of two felony counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence. On appeal, Defendant argued (1) his statement to p...

In re Amiah P.  
Date: October 25, 2012
Docket Number: 11-342

Justia Opinion Summary: The family court terminated the parental rights of Father and Mother (collectively, Respondents) to their daughter, Amiah P., after finding that both parents presented troubling histories involving imprisonment and drugs...

Sacco v. Cranston Sch. Dep't  
Date: October 17, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-21

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs brought suit against Defendant, the Cranston School Department, seeking grievance arbitration of adverse actions taken against them as to their respective coaching positions at Cranston West High School. Plain...

Mutual Development Corporation v. Ward Fisher & Company, LLP et al.  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: 09-168

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Mutual Development Corporation appealed a Superior Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants Ward Fisher & Company, LLP (Ward Fisher) and WF Realty & Investment, LLC (WF Realty). On appeal, plain...

Rhode Island v. Kluth  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: 09-31

Justia Opinion Summary: After a consolidated trial, a Providence County Superior Court jury found Defendant John Kluth guilty of thirty counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Thereafter, the trial justice sentenced Defendant to a total o...

Rhode Island v. Richardson  
Date: July 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-216

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant James S. Richardson appealed his conviction by jury of first degree murder and burglary charges for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On appeal, Defendant argued th...

Rhode Island v. Diaz  
Date: July 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-236

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Juan Diaz appealed his conviction on second-degree murder and one count of using a firearm while committing a crime of violence. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial justice erred in failing to grant his...

Guerrero v. Rhode Island  
Date: July 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-429

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Eddy Guerrero appealed the denial of his application for postconviction relief. His sole contention on appeal was that the hearing justice erred in holding that his trial counsel provided effective assistance o...

Rhode Island v. Robat  
Date: July 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-61

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Julie Robat appealed her conviction on one count of second-degree murder. The victim was Defendant's newborn daughter. On appeal, Defendant contended that the trial justice erred in failing to grant her motion...

Zharkova v. Gaudreau  
Date: July 11, 2012
Docket Number: 11-295

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Sofya Zharkopva appealed a family court judgment that dismissed her complaint against Defendant Paul Gaudreau. In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged she and Defendant were in a common-law marriage. At trial, afte...

Rhode Island v. Viveiros  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 09-249

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, Kenneth Viveiros appealed his conviction on four counts of simple assault against three inmates at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI), occurring while the defendant was employed as a lieutenant at the A...

Haviland v. Simmons  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-231

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Brown University appealed a Superior Court judgment in favor of Plaintiff Beverly Haviland in her action for declaratory relief. The issue arose over placement of Haviland in a tenured teaching position as a co...

Reilly Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Rhode Island  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-266

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this petition was whether G.L. 1956 section 5-6-2 permits only licensed electricians to install underground hollow polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material that is devoid of any electrical...

Rhode Island v. Cook  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-363

Justia Opinion Summary: At the end of a trial held in Kent County Superior Court, a jury found the defendant, James Cook guilty of twenty-two counts ranging from first-degree sexual assault to identity fraud. On appeal, defendant contended that...

McGarry v. Pielech  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-386

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Roderick McGarry appealed a final judgment in favor of Defendant Town of Cumberland School Department which granted defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law. The trial justice concluded that plaintiff...

Hazard v. East Hills, Inc.  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 11-316

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Laurel Y. Hazard appealed the grant of a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, East Hills, Inc., declaring that the plaintiff was barred by the doctrine of laches from prosecuting a claim of ow...

Rhode Island v. McWilliams  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 09-379

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Raymond McWilliams was found guilty on one count of first-degree robbery and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. In light of his "impressive" criminal history, the trial justice sentenced him to life...

Rhode Island v. Ciresi  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-253

Justia Opinion Summary: In early 2008, over the course of a lengthy jury trial, the state presented approximately thirty witnesses, including known criminals, against Defendant Michael Ciresi who was once a decorated North Providence police off...

Jessup & Conroy, P.C. v. Seguin  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-264

Justia Opinion Summary: Pro se Defendant Mary Y. Seguin challenged a Superior Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiff Jessup & Conroy, P.C. (the law firm), on her counterclaim in this collection action. In late 2001, Seguin...

Drescher v. Johannessen  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-269

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was the Plaintiff Allen Drescher's appeal of a Superior Court judgment declaring that he failed to establish an easement by prescription over a right-of-way owned by Defend...

Iozzi v. City of Cranston  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-87

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Joseph and Josephine Iozzi owned a home located in Cranston. On October 15, 2005, excessive rainfall overwhelmed the sewer system servicing the Iozzis's home, causing water and sewage to back up and enter thei...

GSM Industrial, Inc. v. Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Company, Inc.  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 11-140

Justia Opinion Summary: The facts of this case were "clear and undisputed; in point of fact, they are a textbook example of a mechanic's-lien dispute." Plaintiff, GSM Industrial, Inc., was a subcontractor that entered into an agreement with Air...

Burke v. Gregg  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 11-148

Justia Opinion Summary: The controversy at the center of this case arose from a newspaper article written by Defendant Katherine Gregg that sparked an "acrimonious and childish on-air rant" by Defendant Dan Yorke, a well-known radio talk show h...

Sullivan v. Reilly  
Date: July 5, 2012
Docket Number: 11-171

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, the State of Rhode Island Tax Administrator, filed this collection action against Defendants William J. and Marielle Reilly, in pursuit of more than $1 million in assessed-but-unpaid personal income taxes. In...

Tworog v. Tworog  
Date: July 2, 2012
Docket Number: 09-307

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff John J. Tworog appealed two Family Court orders pertaining to his divorce proceedings with Defendant Dolores M. Tworog. John first appealed an order denying his motion to reopen the final judgment of divorce, a...

Takian v. Rafaelian  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 10-372

Justia Opinion Summary: The dispute at the center of this case arose from a business relationship that "rapidly turned sour." Plaintiffs Charles and Marguerite Takian and Defendants Ralph and Lucia Rafaelian together purchased property in South...

Cumberland Teachers Association v. Cumberland School Committee  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 11-145

Justia Opinion Summary: The Cumberland Teachers Association (union), appealed to the Supreme Court that confirmed an arbitrator's award in favor of the Cumberland School Committee (school committee). After protracted contract negotiations, the...

In re Estate of Aram Dermanouelian  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 11-195

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Estate of Aram Dermanouelian (the Estate) appealed a superior court judgment which granted a "Motion for Summary Reversal" filed by Appellee Co-Executor Jo-Ann Dermanouelian. The effect of the Superior Court’s...

Higham v. Rhode Island  
Date: June 28, 2012
Docket Number: 11-87

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant David Higham appealed a superior court judgment that denied his second application for postconviction relief. In 2000, a jury found that Applicant committed two acts of first-degree child molestation against th...

Pelletier v. Laureanno  
Date: June 27, 2012
Docket Number: 10-203

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Philip and Eileen Pelletier challenged a Superior Court judgment in favor of their neighbor Aphrodite Laureanno which dismissed their complaint for injunctive relief and monetary damages. The Pelletiers believ...

Anderson v. Rhode Island  
Date: June 27, 2012
Docket Number: 10-218

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Randy Anderson appealed a Superior Court judgment that dismissed his application for post-conviction relief. On appeal, Applicant contended that the hearing justice erred by (1) deeming his claim of prosecutori...

Butterfly Realty et al. v. James Romanella & Sons, Inc.  
Date: June 27, 2012
Docket Number: 11-120

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court was a dispute over the existence of an alleged prescriptive easement that was necessary for large commercial vehicles to get to the loading dock of a commercial building. The plaintiff...

Almonte v. Kurl  
Date: June 26, 2012
Docket Number: 10-315

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from a wrongful death action. Plaintiffs alleged medical negligence. The civil suit and eventual trial took place in the wake of the death of Peter Almonte, who in 2000, killed himself approximately thi...

Rhode Island v. Lopez  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 09-280

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Hamlet M. Lopez appealed a Superior Court judgment of conviction for first-degree murder, for which he received a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On appeal, Defendant argued tha...

Rhode Island v. Alston  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 09-83

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jeffrey Alston (alias John Doe) appealed his conviction for conspiracy to break and enter, breaking and entering of a dwelling, and assault with a dangerous weapon. He also appealed the denial of his motions fo...

Great American E&S Ins. Co. v. End Zone Pub & Grill of Narragansett, Inc.  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 10-375

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case concerned the applicability of an assault and/or battery exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy. Great American E&S Insurance Company filed a declarat...

Rhode Island v. Bunnell  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 10-388

Justia Opinion Summary: On October 31, 2004, three-year-old Thomas J. Wright died as a result of extensive injuries that tragically had been inflicted upon him by his aunt and her boyfriend after they returned home from a night of drinking. Def...

Town Houses at Bonnet Shores Condominium Association v. Langlois  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 11-181

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael A. Langlois appealed a Superior Court's declaratory judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff Townhouses at Bonnet Shores Condominium Association. The judgment decreed that a lease agreement that Defendant...

Riel v. Harleysville Worcester Ins. Co.  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 11-63

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the decedent Robert Daniel George, who was struck and killed by an uninsured motorist in 2006, qualified as an insured under an insurance policy provided by Har...

New London County Mutual Ins. Co. v. Fontaine  
Date: June 21, 2012
Docket Number: 10-49

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court concerned the extent of uninsured motorist coverage provided under an automobile insurance policy issued to a husband and wife who were both injured by an uninsured motorist while ridin...

Hazard v. Hazard  
Date: June 20, 2012
Docket Number: 11-116

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties to this appeal were former spouses, and the issue before the Supreme Court involved the marital settlement agreement they entered into in connection with their divorce. The dispute centered around the apprais...

DePrete v. DePrete  
Date: June 19, 2012
Docket Number: 10-233

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, Beth DePrete, appealed from an order of the family court reflecting the court's denial of her motion seeking leave of court to relocate the parties' two minor children from Rhode Island to Texas and seeking mo...

Reynolds v. Town of Jamestown  
Date: June 18, 2012
Docket Number: 10-261

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a 1966 property division that created Lot 733, an undeveloped parcel owned by Plaintiffs. When Plaintiffs requested a zoning certificate from the zoning enforcement officer for the town, the off...

State v. Rolon  
Date: June 14, 2012
Docket Number: 09-193

Justia Opinion Summary: On August 27, 2007, an eighty-seven-year-old woman's purse was stolen in a supermarket parking lot. As a result, Defendant Nelson Rolon was charged with and ultimately convicted of first-degree robbery. Rolon appealed, a...

Olamuyiwa v. Zebra Atlantek, Inc.  
Date: June 14, 2012
Docket Number: 10-14

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an African-American male of Nigerian origin, was hired by Atlantek, Inc. Zebra Technologies later acquired Atlantek. Three years later, Plaintiff was laid off. Plaintiff signed a release document and submitted...

Turacova v. DeThomas  
Date: June 14, 2012
Docket Number: 10-385

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Daniela Turacova and Ronald DeThomas (DeThomas) formed a limited liability company known as TAMA. After DeThomas passed away, a dispute arose regarding the buyout of his interest in TAMA. Because Plaintiff and...

Pelosi v. Pelosi  
Date: June 13, 2012
Docket Number: 09-202

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Milton Pelosi appealed from two orders of the family court, an order denying Defendant's motion to vacate the entry of the interlocutory judgment and the final judgment of divorce and the order granting Plainti...

Sola v. Leighton  
Date: June 13, 2012
Docket Number: 11-186

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Cheryl Sola appealed from a superior court decision dismissing her defamation claim as time-barred and granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the City of Newport and Detective Michael Caruolo, indivi...

Tarzia v. State  
Date: June 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Nicola Tarzia was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. After Tarzia successfully completed a diversion program, the State dismissed the charge. Tarzia later filed a motion to expunge the charge, whi...

DePetrillo v. Belo Holdings, Inc.  
Date: June 11, 2012
Docket Number: 11-172

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Thomas DePetrillo filed suit against Belo Holdings, Inc. and Citadel Broadcasting Company, challenging the validity of Citadel's right of first refusal to purchase a broadcasting tower and surrounding real esta...

Warwick Sewer Auth. v. Carlone  
Date: June 11, 2012
Docket Number: 11-24

Justia Opinion Summary: The underlying action in this case concerned real property located in the City of Warwick that Defendant, Felix Carlone, dedicated to the City in 1979. Plaintiffs, Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA) and the City, brought a co...

LaFreniere v. Dutton  
Date: June 7, 2012
Docket Number: 11-244

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, Defendant's employee, was traveling as a passenger in a pickup truck owned and operated by Defendant when the truck collided with another vehicle, resulting in injuries to Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued Defendant a...

State ex rel. City of Providence v. Auger  
Date: June 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-169

Justia Opinion Summary: A justice of the superior court found Defendant guilty of having violated section 16-93 of the Providence Code of Ordinances for allowing the emanation of loud music from his vehicle. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding...

Gallagher v. Nat'l Grid USA/Narragansett Elec.  
Date: June 5, 2012
Docket Number: 11-111

Justia Opinion Summary: Dennis Gallagher was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, an occupational disease, and ultimately succumbed to the disease. A trial judge of the workers' compensation court entered decrees holding USGEN New England, In...

Alessi v. Bowen Court Condo.  
Date: June 4, 2012
Docket Number: 10-436

Justia Opinion Summary: Declarant Bowen Court Associates created a condominium by declaration in 1989. Declarant retained a ten-year reservation to withdraw a portion of the land from the condominium. In 1992 the owner of the property foreclose...

Barbosa v. State  
Date: June 4, 2012
Docket Number: 11-46

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant Emmanuel Barbosa was found guilty of felony assault, carrying a pistol without a license, and possession of a firearm after previous conviction of a crime of violence. The Supreme Court affi...

State v. Murray  
Date: May 30, 2012
Docket Number: 11-217

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jeffrey Murray was charged by criminal information with a felony pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 12-29-5 for violating a no-contact order. Defendant pleaded nolo contendere to the charges and was sentenced under the...

Watson v. Fox  
Date: May 22, 2012
Docket Number: 09-215

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Robert Watson, together with nine Republican colleagues from the Rhode Island House of Representatives, sought a declaration that the process the General Assembly used to allocate $2.3 million in state money fo...

Tassone v. State  
Date: May 21, 2012
Docket Number: 10-333

Justia Opinion Summary: Gary Tassone was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Tassone subsequently filed an application for postconviction relief, alleging that his constitutional rights had...

State v. Washington  
Date: May 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-408

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shurron Washington sought review of an adjudication of a probation violation after a hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing justice found that Defendant had violated the terms and conditions of...

Habershaw v. Michaels Stores, Inc.  
Date: May 17, 2012
Docket Number: 11-94

Justia Opinion Summary: This negligence and breach of contract action arose out of Plaintiff's fall in one of Defendant's stores. Plaintiff Maureen Habershaw appealed from the superior court's grant of a motion for summary judgment in favor of...

State v. Carpio  
Date: May 14, 2012
Docket Number: 09-28

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Esteban Carpio was convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer, discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and felony assault with a dangerous weapon. The superior court sentenced Defe...

Gushlaw v. Milner  
Date: May 10, 2012
Docket Number: 09-376

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the driver of a motor vehicle, who is an adult but underage drinker, has a duty to protect third parties from the tortious conduct of an intoxicated individual he or she has agreed to tr...

State v. Brown  
Date: May 10, 2012
Docket Number: 10-102

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Defendant Kayborn Brown was convicted of first-degree robbery and sentenced to forty years' incarceration. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, holding that the trial justice (1)...

Sifuentes v. State  
Date: May 7, 2012
Docket Number: 10-7

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found Applicant Rudy Sifuentes guilty of first-degree murder in a manner involving torture and aggravated battery, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Applicant subsequently filed a pro se application...

Empire Fire & Marine Ins. Cos. v. Citizens Ins. Co. of Am./Hanover Ins.  
Date: May 7, 2012
Docket Number: 11-33

Justia Opinion Summary: This insurance-coverage dispute arose after a driver of a leased vehicle struck and seriously injured a pedestrian. The vehicle, a BMW, was owned by BMW Financial Services. The pedestrian and her family sued the driver a...

Lyons v. State  
Date: May 7, 2012
Docket Number: 11-73

Justia Opinion Summary: Kevin Lyons was convicted of two counts of first-degree child molestation. The Supreme Court affirmed. Lyons subsequently filed an application for postconviction relief, arguing that he had been prejudiced by ineffective...

State v. Gromkiewicz  
Date: May 4, 2012
Docket Number: 11-90

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Gary Gromkiewicz entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of first-degree robbery and was sentenced to twenty years incarceration, thirteen years suspended with probation. The superior court subsequently...

Derderian v. Essex Ins. Co.  
Date: April 27, 2012
Docket Number: 09-358

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal concerned the 2003 fire that occurred at the Station nightclub, wherein one hundred people died. The nightclub was co-owned by Plaintiffs, Michael and Jeffrey Derderian. A grand jury returned separate crimina...

Mendes v. Factor  
Date: April 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-171

Justia Opinion Summary: Several years after Decedent died and his will was probated, Plaintiffs, Decedent's three children, filed a verified complaint against Defendants, two of the trustees named by Decedent to manage and control Decedent's tr...

Narragansett Elec. Co. v. Saccoccio  
Date: April 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-176

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Cranston, by and through its tax assessor, valued Plaintiff Narragansett Electric Company's tangible personal property located within that municipality at $23,290,814. Plaintiff appealed the tax assessment. T...

Krivitsky v. Krivitsky  
Date: April 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-267

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Brian Krivitsky appealed pro se from two family court orders authorizing a commissioner to sell Defendant's real property to satisfy the child-support arrearage he owed to Plaintiff, Jo-An Krivitsky. The Suprem...

AVCORR Mgmt., LLC v. Cent. Falls Detention Facility Corp.  
Date: April 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-343

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether the terms of an agreement between the plaintiff, AVCORR Management, and the defendant, Central Falls Detention Facility, required the Facility to arbitrate certain disputed fees. AVCOR...

Reagan v. City of Newport  
Date: April 17, 2012
Docket Number: 10-428

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of a dispute over real property in the City of Newport. Plaintiffs, four individuals, filed an action to clear title to a portion of the Washington Street Extension. The trial court entered judgment i...

Quality Concrete Corp. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am.  
Date: April 16, 2012
Docket Number: 10-263

Justia Opinion Summary: A young boy died after he trespassed onto plaintiff Corporation's property and played on industrial equipment. A settlement was eventually reached with the decedent's estate. Corporation thereafter filed suit against its...

Spratt v. State  
Date: April 13, 2012
Docket Number: 10-205

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Wesley Spratt was found guilty of murder while committing or attempting to commit robbery, first-degree robbery, carrying a pistol without a license, and committing a crime of violence while armed wit...

Hernandez v. JS Pallet Co.  
Date: April 12, 2012
Docket Number: 11-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a diesel mechanic, brought suit against Defendant, his former employer, for damages to his tools that allegedly occurred after Defendant fired him. The superior court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff for...

Palin v. Palin  
Date: April 11, 2012
Docket Number: 10-211

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether a family court justice erred in finding that loans taken out by Defendant JoAnne Palin to pay for the the college educations of her and Plaintiff Steven Palin's children were not marit...

Koziol v. Peerless Ins. Co.  
Date: April 11, 2012
Docket Number: 10-244

Justia Opinion Summary: When Plaintiffs' efforts to act as general contractors on a new home foundered because of faulty work performed by a framing subcontractor, they made a claim on the homeowner's insurance policy issued to them by Defendan...

Cheaters, Inc. v. United Nat'l Ins. Co.  
Date: April 10, 2012
Docket Number: 09-312

Justia Opinion Summary: In two civil actions, Plaintiffs in the underlying action alleged that Cheaters, Inc. and Cheaters Holding Corporation negligently and/or recklessly served alcoholic beverages to William Powers, who afterwards drove a ve...

State v. Jensen  
Date: April 10, 2012
Docket Number: 10-334

Justia Opinion Summary: After a probation violation hearing, Defendant Santo Jensen was found to have violated the terms and conditions of his probation for allegedly sexually assaulting a six-year-old. Jensen was sentenced to serve the seven-y...

Sophie F. Bronowiski Mulligan Irrevocable Trust v. Bridges  
Date: April 10, 2012
Docket Number: 11-20

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an irrevocable trust, filed a complaint against Defendant, a university graduate student, alleging that he breached his lease agreement by painting over expensive historical wallpaper inside Plaintiff's ninete...

McCain v. Town of N. Providence  
Date: April 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-161

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of North Providence hired Everett McCain and appointed him as a lineman in the communications division of the fire department. McCain subsequently sustained injuries during the performance of his duties. Accordi...

Casale v. City of Cranston  
Date: April 4, 2012
Docket Number: 10-162

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff James Casale was employed by Defendant City of Cranston when he was injured. During his incapacity, Plaintiff received injured-on-duty (IOD) benefits from the City. In accordance with its policy with Plaintiff,...

State v. Steele  
Date: March 30, 2012
Docket Number: 10-270

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Jerry Steele entered a plea of nolo contedere to assault with a dangerous weapon. Applicant subsequently filed a pro se motion for postconviction relief, alleging, inter alia, that he was forced against his wil...

Ims v. Audette  
Date: March 29, 2012
Docket Number: 10-271

Justia Opinion Summary: Trustee sought an order allowing him to remove the life tenant (Defendant) from property owned by the trust. The probate court issued an order in conformity with Trustee's petition after Defendant was defaulted for faili...

State v. Delarosa  
Date: March 29, 2012
Docket Number: 11-12

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Yoneiry Delarosa appealed from a superior court judgment adjudicating him a violator of probation. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court, holding that the hearing justice did not err (1)...

State v. Smith  
Date: March 27, 2012
Docket Number: 10-367

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Christopher Smith was found guilty of first-degree child molestation sexual assault and second-degree child molestation sexual assault arising from a series of assaults upon a thirteen-year-old girl. The Suprem...

In re Gabrielle D.  
Date: March 26, 2012
Docket Number: 2011-40

Justia Opinion Summary: The family court terminated Father's parental rights to his daughter, Gabrielle D., after Gabrielle had been placed with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) for at least twelve months. Father appealed....

State v. Taveras  
Date: March 22, 2012
Docket Number: 09-102

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Isabel Traveras was convicted of possession of an enumerated quantity of cocaine, for which she received a ten-year suspended sentence, with probation. On appeal, Defendant challenged the denial of her motion t...

State v. Payette  
Date: March 14, 2012
Docket Number: 10-151

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Robert Payette was convicted of first-degree murder, for which he received a sentence of life imprisonment. Payette appealed, contending that the trial justice erred (1) by instructing the jury that malice may...

Medeiros v. Bankers Trust Co.  
Date: March 13, 2012
Docket Number: 10-145

Justia Opinion Summary: Because Property Owner failed to pay real estate taxes on his property, the Town held a tax sale of Property Owner's property. Buyer purchased the property after Property Owner defaulted on the action. The superior court...

State v. Wray  
Date: March 9, 2012
Docket Number: 10-209

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Allen Wray was convicted by a jury of two counts of first-degree robbery after robbing two women at gunpoint. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial justice erred in (1) denying Defendant's motion for a new...

State v. Quattrucci  
Date: March 9, 2012
Docket Number: 10-97

Justia Opinion Summary: After failing two field sobriety tests, Respondent Lewis Quattrucci was arrested for DUI and later charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test. The charge was subsequently dismissed by a traffic tribunal magistrat...

State v. Vieira  
Date: March 7, 2012
Docket Number: 09-380

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found Defendant Jose Vieira guilty on five counts of second-degree child molestation. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, holding (1) the trial justice did not err when she denied Defendant's mo...

Rice v. State  
Date: March 6, 2012
Docket Number: 09-344

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Kenneth Rice was convicted of first-degree child molestation sexual assault, second-degree child molestation sexual assault, and solicitation with the intent to commit a felony. The Supreme Court...

State v. St. Michel  
Date: March 6, 2012
Docket Number: 10-121

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant Kimberly St. Michel was convicted for embezzlement of funds in excess of $100 and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction, holding tha...

Yi Gu v. R.I. Pub. Transit Auth.  
Date: March 5, 2012
Docket Number: 2010-73

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Yi Gu was struck by Edmund Hathaway, a driver for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), while crossing an intersection. Plaintiff brought suit against RIPTA and Hathaway (collectively, Defendants),...

State v. Dubois  
Date: February 20, 2012
Docket Number: 09-292

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant David Dubois was convicted of five counts of second-degree child molestation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial justice (1) properly weighed the potential impact of potentially inflammatory sta...

State v. Lomba  
Date: February 13, 2012
Docket Number: 10-96

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant John Lomba was charged with three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of simple assault. After a jury trial, Defendant was acquitted of the three felony counts but convicted of simple assaul...

In re Town of Little Compton  
Date: February 9, 2012
Docket Number: 11-101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Little Compton filed a complaint against the town firefighters union, contending that the union, or its representative, had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when the union allowed its nonlawyer bus...

Esposito v. Esposito  
Date: January 30, 2012
Docket Number: 10-328

Justia Opinion Summary: Former spouses disputed the property settlement agreement that was entered into in connection with their divorce. The dispute centered around a minority interest in Prime Time Manufacturing, Inc. The agreement specified...

State v. Rosario  
Date: January 24, 2012
Docket Number: 09-110

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Heriberto Rosario was convicted of two counts of first-degree child molestation. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial justice erred in failing to grant his motion for a new trial because the evidence was...

Narragansett Elec. Co. v. Pub. Utils. Comm'n  
Date: January 23, 2012
Docket Number: 10-142

Justia Opinion Summary: National Grid filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in which it sought additional revenues for its electricity distribution operations in Rhode Island, requesting an increase in electric distrib...

Higgins v. R.I. Hosp.  
Date: January 18, 2012
Docket Number: 10-260

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff brought a patient to the hospital while working as an EMT/firefighter for the city. After he had delivered his patient but while he was still at the hospital, a nurse asked Plaintiff to assist her with a disord...

State v. Bouffard  
Date: January 17, 2012
Docket Number: 09-343

Justia Opinion Summary: George Bouffard pled nolo contendere to breaking and entering associated for an incident occurring in 2000 and was adjudged a violator of his suspended and probationary sentences associated with two earlier cases, in 199...

State v. Delestre  
Date: January 12, 2012
Docket Number: 09-175

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Defendant Gilbert Delestre was found guilty of second-degree murder and of conspiracy to commit the offense of murder. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court, holding that t...

Henderson v. Nationwide Ins. Co.  
Date: January 12, 2012
Docket Number: 10-374

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a professional limousine driver, was injured when he was struck by a car while unloading luggage from a limousine at an airport. Plaintiff reached settlements with his employer's insurance company and the driv...

Lett v. Giuliano  
Date: January 9, 2012
Docket Number: 09-118

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Louis Giuliano, Jr. contested the will of Testator, Louis Guiliano, Sr. The jury found the will was properly executed, and the superior court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff, the executrix and the primar...

Empire Acquisition Group, LLC v. Atlantic Mortgage Co.  
Date: January 9, 2012
Docket Number: 10-66

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff and Defendant executed an agreement in which Plaintiff agreed to purchase from Defendant an unimproved parcel of real property. The agreement included a due diligence clause, which provided Plaintiff with a nin...

State v. Lancellotta  
Date: January 5, 2012
Docket Number: 10-425

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Giulio Lancellotta pled nolo contendere to second-degree robbery and was sentenced to twelve years in prison, which sentence was suspended, and twelve years probation. A magistrate later found that Defendant ha...

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