Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions 2020

State v. Doyle  
Date: July 8, 2020
Docket Number: 17-312

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of eighteen counts of financial fraud crimes and sentencing him to a total of seven years to serve in prison, with the balance of the eig...

In re Rylee A.  
Date: July 1, 2020
Docket Numbers: 18-173, 18-174

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Respondents' parental rights to their daughter, holding that the findings of the family court justice were based on clear and convincing evidence and...

Thompson v. Millard Wire Co.  
Date: July 1, 2020
Docket Number: 18-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Division of the Workers' Compensation Court affirming the decree of the trial judge that Petitioner had failed to prove that he sustained a neck injury arising out...

Poletti v. Glynn  
Date: July 1, 2020
Docket Number: 19-109

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Gonsalves-Pastore Realty, LLC and dismissing Mauro Poletti's negligence complaint, holding that summary judgment was proper...

Quattrucci v. Lombardi  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: 17-248

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiffs' petition alleging that the City of Providence violated the terms of two superior court consent judgments entered in 2004 and seeking to...

Andrews v. Lombardi  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Numbers: 2017-255, 2017-256, 2017-257, 2017-260

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action challenging an ordinance passed in 2011 requiring retirees from the City's police and fire departments to enroll in the federal Medicare program upon reaching the age of eligibility instead of continuing t...

Andrews v. Lombardi  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: 17-262

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case challenging the City of Providence's ordinance suspending annual cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) for retired members of its police and fire departments until the pension fund achieved a seventy percent fu...

State v. Alvarado  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: 18-191

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant on two counts of first-degree child molestation sexual assault, holding that the trial justice did not err in denying Defendant's motion...

State v. Lamontagne  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: 18-241

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of first-degree robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon in a dwelling with intent to rob, holding that the trial justice did not abus...

Polanco v. Lombardi  
Date: June 29, 2020
Docket Number: 18-198

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence case, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court for Defendants on all counts in Plaintiffs' complaint, holding that Plaintiffs' claims were filed after the three-year statute of lim...

In re Indiana M.  
Date: June 26, 2020
Docket Number: 18-187

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court denying, without prejudice, Mother's motion to intervene, as well as her motion to vacate or, in the alternative, to revoke a guardianship regarding her daughter,...

Vicente v. Pinto's Auto & Truck Repair, LLC  
Date: June 26, 2020
Docket Number: 19-181

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, Pinto's Auto & truck Repair, LLC, in this action alleging that Defendant's repairs to Plaintiff's 2004 Freightliner Columbia were fault...

City of Cranston v. International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Local 301  
Date: June 23, 2020
Docket Number: 18-249

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants, including a Union and an Employee, and ordering the City of Cranston to arbitrate the Union's grievance filed on behalf of Employee af...

In re Adele B.  
Date: June 17, 2020
Docket Number: 16-87

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights her to her daughter, holding that the family court justice's findings were not clearly wrong, and the justice did not overloo...

State v. Querido  
Date: June 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-134

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court suppressing the DNA results of a buccal swab taken from Defendant pursuant to a valid search warrant while he was incarcerated, holding that the trial justice err...

Dominguez v. Otero  
Date: June 16, 2020
Docket Number: 18-343

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Plaintiffs' motion for a new trial following a jury verdict in favor of Defendant, holding that the trial justice did not abus...

Frazier v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.  
Date: June 12, 2020
Docket Number: 18-288

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, holding that the trial justice did not err in holding that the statute of limitations barr...

Graham v. State  
Date: June 12, 2020
Docket Number: 19-55

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Appellant's application for postconviction relief, holding that Appellant's claims lacked merit. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder, disc...

Nelson v. Allstate Insurance Co.  
Date: June 11, 2020
Docket Number: 19-166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's breach of contract case against Defendant, her homeowner's insurance carrier, after a hearing justice granted Defendant's motion for su...

In re Joseph I. Lamontagne  
Date: June 5, 2020
Docket Number: 18-290

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the superior court adjudicating Defendant to be in criminal contempt, holding that the trial justice's two-year consecutive sentence was clearly beyond...

State v. Parrillo  
Date: June 2, 2020
Docket Number: 18-14

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count of felony assault and one count of simple assault, holding that none of the trial justice's rulings challenged on appeal was erroneous. Specifically, the Su...

Woel v. Christiana Trust  
Date: June 2, 2020
Docket Number: 18-347

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against Defendants and declaring that a foreclosure sale of Plaintiff's property was valid, holding that the foreclosure sale was...

ACP Land, LLC v. Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: 17-415

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approving the interconnection tax which National Grid (NG) charged Petitioners to interconnect to NG's distribution system then paid to the In...

In re William E. Paplauskas, Jr.  
Date: May 29, 2020
Docket Number: 18-161

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in this case in what situations a non-attorney who performs one or more of the various services that are associated with a real estate transaction is engaging in the unauthorized practice of la...

Colpitts v. W.B. Mason Co., Inc.  
Date: May 29, 2020
Docket Number: 18-337A

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Employer on Employee's claim that Employer had violated the Rhode Island employer drug testing statute, R.I. Gen. Laws 28-6.5-1(a)(1) when it requ...

Federal Hill Capital, LLC v. City of Providence  
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 18-114

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court, holding that an amendment to the City of Providence's zoning ordinance that restricted the number of college students who may live together in single-family...

Providence Teachers' Union Local 958, AFT, AFL-CIO v. Hemond  
Date: May 19, 2020
Docket Number: 18-326

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court denying the motion filed by a teachers' union and Jennifer Leyden (collectively, the Union) to vacate an arbitration award and granting the City of Providence's m...

State v. Mensah  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Number: 19-75

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of two counts of first-degree child molestation sexual assault and two counts of second-degree child molestation sexual assault, holding...

McElroy v. Stephens  
Date: May 6, 2020
Docket Number: 18-352

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and declaring that Plaintiffs were entitled to unobstructed access to a beach easement and may cross Defendant...

Crenshaw v. State  
Date: May 5, 2020
Docket Number: 19-113

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of the State and Lieutenant Scott Raynes and the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), the Council on Postsecondary Education, and Captain Timoth...

CFS 915, LLC v. Unetixs Vascular, Inc.  
Date: May 1, 2020
Docket Number: 18-237

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court for possession of certain property in favor of Plaintiff pursuant to the granting of summary judgment for Plaintiff, holding that when Plaintiff purchased the...

Town of Exeter v. State  
Date: April 29, 2020
Docket Numbers: 18-274, 18-307

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court denying the motion for summary judgment filed by the Town of Exeter and the Town of Richmond (together, the Towns) and granting summary judgment for the State,...

Clark v. Buttonwoods Beach Ass'n  
Date: April 15, 2020
Docket Number: 18-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, holding that the trial justice did not misconceive or misconstrue the evidence at trial or err as a matter of...

Diorio v. Hines Road, LLC  
Date: March 30, 2020
Docket Number: 18-207

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on the ground of prosecutorial immunity, holding...

Evans v. Evans  
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 18-83

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied and dismissed Defendant's appeal from an order of the family court denying what Father characterized as a motion to receive a child support credit for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)...

Osifodurin v. Residential Credit Solutions, Inc., et al.  
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 19-14

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's claims against Defendants seeking a declaratory judgment concerning the propriety of the foreclosure of Plaintiff's property, holding that...

State v. Chandler  
Date: March 17, 2020
Docket Number: 19-28

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendant's motion to vacate an illegal sentence and judgment, holding that the hearing justice did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when he found...

In re 38 Studios Grand Jury  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 17-301

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court concluding that the superior court is not vested with the inherent supervisory authority to order the public disclosure of grand jury materials that could pot...

State v. Franco  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 19-15

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of three counts of first-degree child molestation sexual assault, holding that Defendant's argument alleging an instructional error was w...

NESC, Inc. v. Bacon Construction Co.  
Date: February 17, 2020
Docket Numbers: 17-423, 18-107, 18-111

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute between a general contractor, Bacon Construction Co., Inc., and a subcontractor, NESC, Inc., regarding an agreement to install flooring in a college dormitory the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of th...

Yanku v. Walgreen Co.  
Date: February 6, 2020
Docket Number: 18-356

Justia Opinion Summary: In this slip-and-fall case, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants, holding that the trial justice properly granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. Plaintiff susta...

K&W Automotive, LLC v. Town of Barrington  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 18-250

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting Plaintiffs' request for declaratory and injunctive relief and ruling that the Town of Barrington lacked authority under its Home Rule Charter to enac...

State ex rel. Coventry Police Department v. Charlwood  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: 17-388

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion to seal his records under R.I. Gen. Laws 12-1-12 on the grounds that because Defendant was charged with a civil violation rather than a...

Boschetto v. Boschetto  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: 18-217

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the family court terminating Plaintiff's marriage to Defendant on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, holding that the trial justice neither erred nor abused her discreti...

Zanni v. Town of Johnston  
Date: January 23, 2020
Docket Number: 19-51

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court entering summary judgment in favor of the Town of Johnston and dismissing Plaintiff's suit alleging claims of governmental promissory estoppel and deprivation...

Banki v. Fine  
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Numbers: 15-96, 17-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed an order and judgment of the superior court granting the Rhode Island Department of Health's (Department) motion to dismiss Physicians' complaint, quashed a later judgment of the superior court...

Conley v. Crown Realty, LLC  
Date: January 17, 2020
Docket Number: 19-66

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the superior court foreclosing Crown Realty LLC's right of redemption to real property that was the subject of a 2017 tax sale, holding that that the superior court justice proper...

State v. Bozzo  
Date: January 15, 2020
Docket Number: 17-220

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's judgment of conviction on one count of first-degree child molestation sexual assault and remanded the case to the superior court for a new trial, holding that the trial justice erred...

State v. Gumkowski  
Date: January 9, 2020
Docket Number: 18-42

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder and first-degree arson, holding that the trial justice was not clearly wrong in denying Defendant's motion for a n...

Shine v. Moreau  
Date: January 9, 2020
Docket Numbers: 18-84, 18-85, 18-86

Justia Opinion Summary: In this consolidated appeal from an order of the superior court concluding that former Central Falls Mayor and former members of the Central Falls City Council (collectively, the elected officials) were not entitled to i...

Willner v. South County Hospital  
Date: January 7, 2020
Docket Number: 19-63

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of South County Hospital, Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island and Emmy Mahoney, M.D. (collectively, Defendants), and dismissing all claims alleged by...

State v. Medina  
Date: January 6, 2020
Docket Number: 18-138

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of one count of domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, holding that the trial justice did not abuse her discretion in her evidentiary...

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