Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions 2021

Henry v. Media General Operations, Inc.  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: 18-169

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants in this case involving an allegedly defamatory report that was broadcast on the evening news, holding that the hearing justice did not...

State v. Gonzalez  
Date: July 2, 2021
Docket Number: 19-67

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder, assault with intent to commit a felony, and two counts of discharging a firearm while committing a crime of viole...

State v. Resiner  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 18-27

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court finding Defendant guilty of possession of child pornography and sentencing him to a suspended term of incarceration, with probation, and ordering him to meet s...

Terrapin Development, LLC v. Irene M. O'Malley Revocable Trust  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 18-346

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Plaintiff's claim for specific performance of a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) in favor of Defendants - Irene M. O'Malley Revocable Trust and John...

Commerce Park Realty, LLC,v. HR2-A Corp.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-468

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving complex and protracted litigation regarding multiple high-interest loans between commercial borrowers and lenders the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting partial summ...

Kyros v. R.I. Department of Health  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 20-104

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment and order of the superior court reversing a decision and order of the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (the Board) that required Pl...

Commerce Park Realty, LLC v. HR2-A Corp.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 20-33

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving complex litigation surrounding usurious loans between commercial borrowers and letters the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs...

Kumble v. Voccola  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Numbers: 2019-49, 2019-47

Justia Opinion Summary: In this litigation between the beneficiaries and trustees of two trusts the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting the trustees' petition for their services and expenses, including attorneys'...

Beagan v. Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training, Board of Review  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: 19-11

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the order of the district court that denied Appellant's request for attorneys' fees pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 28-44-57(c) after Appellant successfully appealed a denial of unemployment benefits...

State v. Rivera  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: 19-196

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

Belmore v. Petterutti  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: 19-490

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this personal injury case, holding that, contrary to precedent, the hearing justice passed upon an issue tha...

State v. Hampton-Boyd  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: 19-100

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count of first-degree robbery and other firearm-related offenses, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. On appeal, Defendant argued that the t...

Doe v. Brown University  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: 19-167

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against Defendants - Brown University and two of its officials - seeking damages and equitable relief arising out of Defendan...

Dextraze v. Bernard  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: 20-48

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendant's motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial and from the judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in this case arising from an assa...

State v. Vidot  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Numbers: 20-84, 20-18

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count of second-degree murder and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, holding that the trial justice did not err in failing to grant a m...

State v. Chadha  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-438

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of two counts of second-degree child molestation sexual assault, holding that the trial justice did not err. On appeal, Defendant argued...

Epic Enterprises LLC v. 10 Brown & Howard Wharf Condominium Ass'n  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 20-194

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court granting the request of Petitioners to appoint a temporary receiver for Respondent, Bard Group, LLC, holding that Petitioners lacked standing to seek the appointm...

State v. Segrain  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 18-144

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of five counts related to conduct stemming from a drive-by shooting, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Specifica...

State v. Sheridan  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 18-234

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's entry of a judgment of conviction and commitment reflecting the fact that a jury found Defendant guilty of one count of first-degree sexual assault, holding that the trial...

Koback v. Municipal Employees' Retirement System of R.I.  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 19-423

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decree of the Appellate Division of the Workers' Compensation Court (WCC) awarding attorneys' fees and costs to Petitioner, holding that the WCC's Appellate Division acted in excess of its s...

In re J.T.  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 20-253

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court committing Respondent to a residential living facility for adults with developmental disabilities, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. The R...

Patel v. Patel  
Date: June 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-144

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action alleging breach of contract and seeking declaratory judgment the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court finding in favor of Plaintiffs and the order denying Defendants' motion for a new...

Machado v. Narragansett Bay Insurance Co.  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Number: 19-374

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment to Defendant, Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC), in this dispute as to whether Plaintiffs, pursuant to their homeowners insu...

In re Manuel P.  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Numbers: 19-452, 2019-453, 2019-454, 2019-455

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights to her four minor children pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 15-7-7(a)(2)(vii) and 15-7-7(a)(3), holding that this Court will not di...

DeCurtis v. Visconti, Boren & Campbell Ltd.  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-245

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the partial final judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants - Visconti, Boren & Campbell Ltd. and Richard Boren - in this legal malpractice action, holding that the summary judgment...

State v. Avila  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-440

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder after a jury trial, holding that the trial justice did not err in denying Defendant's motion for a new trial. On...

Andrade v. Andrade  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-467

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court denying Mother's motion to relocate with the parties' minor child and vacated the order granting Father's motion to modify child support, holding that the trial ju...

Middle Creek Farm, LLC v. Portsmouth Water & Fire District  
Date: June 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-95

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiffs - Middle Creek Farm, LLC; Middlecreek, LLC; and Douglas and Catherine Politi - holding that the hearing justi...

State v. Ricker  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: 18-293

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count of driving under the influence, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief as to her allegations of error. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial...

Read's Landscape Construction, Inc. v. Town of West Warwick  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: 19-313

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the partial judgment of the order of the superior court granting injunctive relief in favor of Plaintiff, Read's Landscape Construction, Inc., holding that the trial justice did not err. Plain...

Joplin v. Cassin  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: 18-242

Justia Opinion Summary: In this medical malpractice action, the Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court granting Plaintiff's motion for a new trial after the jury found that Defendant breached the duty of care owed to the patient...

Decathlon Investments v. Medeiros  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-404

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the superior court foreclosing Defendants' rights of redemption in property purchased at a tax sale by Plaintiff, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. As t...

Alessandro v. Caniglia  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-463

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the family court entered in favor of Plaintiff granting her motion for relief after final judgment and ordering that Defendant comply with the terms of a previously entered cons...

Lowney v. Canteen Realty, LLC  
Date: June 3, 2021
Docket Number: 19-403

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action arising from a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk the Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, holding that the grant of su...

Aspen American Insurance Co. v. East Coast Precast & Rigging LLC  
Date: June 2, 2021
Docket Number: 19-379

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendants' appeal of a superior court order denying their "motion to vacate" a foreign judgment rendered in New York, which was brought in accordance wi...

State v. Michaud  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 18-277

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the family court convicting Defendant of cruelty to or neglect of a child and sentencing her to a one-year suspended term of imprisonment, with probation, holding that a new tria...

Laprocina v. Lourie  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-191

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, the Narragansett Electric Company, holding that a public utility generally owes no common law duty to indivi...

Brooks v. Brooks  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-238

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court denying Defendant's motion seeking visitation with his minor daughter, whom he shared with Plaintiff, holding that the family court did not err or abuse its discre...

State v. Isom  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-318

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant on eight criminal counts related to a robbery and the resulting exchange of gunshots, holding that there was no error in the proceedings...

State v. Johnson  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-35

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for first-degree murder, discharging a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and carrying a firearm without a license, holding that there was no prejudic...

State v. Molina  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Numbers: 19-432, 20-265, 20-232, 19-450, 20-231

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court adjudicating Defendant a probation violator, affirmed the order denying Defendant's motions to dismiss and to reconsider, and affirmed the hearing justice's d...

In re Gelvin B.  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-443

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights to her son, holding that Mother's arguments on appeal were unavailing. The trial justice found that was not in the child's b...

Estate of Everett Joseph Hopkins v. Hopkins  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-451

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of the Estate of Everett Joseph Hopkins in the Estate's action to declare a warranty deed null and void for failure of delivery, holding that the tri...

City of Woonsocket v. RISE Prep Mayoral Academy  
Date: May 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-99

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants - RISE Prep Mayoral Academy and the City of Woonsocket building inspector and zoning official - and dismissing the City's request for d...

Murray v. Jones  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-152

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court denying Plaintiff's motion to modify visitation and contact with the two children he shared with Defendant, holding that the family court did not err. In denying...

Harris v. Evans  
Date: May 13, 2021
Docket Numbers: 19-249, 20-79

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the family court granting joint custody of the parties' minor child to Mother and Father, with physical placement awarded to Mother, and finding Mother in contempt of a prior v...

Georges v. State  
Date: May 11, 2021
Docket Number: 19-219

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Warwick and the State and dismissing this negligence action for personal injuries, holding that the public d...

Sullivan v. Sullivan  
Date: May 11, 2021
Docket Number: 19-394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial justice in this case terminating Defendant's marriage to Plaintiff on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, holding that the trial court did not err. After a tri...

In re Elana W.  
Date: May 10, 2021
Docket Number: 19-239

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Father's parental rights to his daughter, holding that the family court did not abuse its discretion. After a termination trial, the trial justice te...

Estate of John P. Garan  
Date: May 10, 2021
Docket Number: 19-406

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Appellee on the basis that Appellant failed to perfect her probate appeal under R.I. Gen. Laws 33-23-1, holding that App...

Retirement Board of Employees' Retirement System of State of R.I. v. Randall  
Date: May 5, 2021
Docket Number: 18-212

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court revoking Appellant's pension benefits and denying his request for return of his retirement contributions paid into the Employees'...

New Castle Realty Co. v. Dreczko  
Date: April 13, 2021
Docket Number: 18-65

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and quashed in part the judgment of the superior court affirming a decision of the Town of Charlestown Zoning Board of Review denying a special-use permit and a dimensional variance, ho...

Shorr v. Harris  
Date: April 7, 2021
Docket Number: 19-203

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant, as trustee of the Trust of Anna H. Blankstein, and dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for an accounting pursuan...

Salvatore v. Palangio  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: 18-92

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendant's renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, a motion for a new trial, holding that the trial justice did not er...

State v. Baribault  
Date: March 31, 2021
Docket Number: 19-59

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of second-degree murder, receiving stolen goods, conspiracy, operating a vehicle on a suspended license, and carrying a knife greater tha...

State v. Acosta  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-106

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of one count of first-degree sexual assault and three counts of second-degree child molestation after a jury trial, holding that there wa...

Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Medina  
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-241

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court confirming the judicial foreclosure of Defendant's home in favor of Plaintiff, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, holding that the superior court did not err. On appeal...

Wiggins v. Pianka  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-268

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court confirming an arbitration award in favor of Petitioner, holding that there was no error by the hearing justice in granting the motion to confirm and denying t...

Citizens Bank, N.A. v. Palermo  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-366

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Citizens Bank, N.A. arising from two delinquent student loans, holding that the superior court did not err. In 2007, Defendant entered into two s...

Martin v. Wilson  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 18-339

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court entered in favor of Plaintiffs, Charles and Nicole Martin, on their claim for injunctive relief allowing them to access a common driveway for the purpose of e...

IDC Clambakes, Inc. v. Carney  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 18-340

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the individual unit owners of the Goat Island South Condominium (GIS Condominium) and the Goat Island South...

Estate of Michael F. Cassiere v. Cassiere  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-236

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff, the Estate of Michael F. Cassiere, on Plaintiff's claim for distribution of assets held in the Carmen D. Neum...

Marzett v. Letendre  
Date: March 10, 2021
Docket Number: 19-186

Justia Opinion Summary: In this landlord-tenant dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court dismissing Landlord's complaint as well as Tenants' counterclaims, holding that the superior court properly dismissed the compla...

State v. Depina  
Date: March 3, 2021
Docket Number: 19-136

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of conviction and commitment entered in the superior court reflecting the fact that Defendant was found guilty of second-degree murder, holding that the trial justice did not err w...

Butler v. Gavek  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-124

Justia Opinion Summary: In this partition action, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court ruling that Plaintiff's death terminated her interest in a joint tenancy, holding that R.I. Gen. Laws 34-15-12 abrogates the common l...

Premier Home Restoration, LLC v. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-24

Justia Opinion Summary: In this foreclosure action, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court, holding that questions of disputed material facts existed regarding Plaintiff's claims for breach of...

State v. Phillips  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Numbers: 19-240, 20-38

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for six counts of first-degree child molestation sexual assault, three counts of second-degree child molestation sexual assault, and second-degree child abuse, holding th...

State v. Narcovich  
Date: February 12, 2021
Docket Number: 18-131

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's conviction for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in physical injury, reckless driving resulting in physical injury, and violatin...

Starnino v. Employees' Retirement System of City of Providence  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: 18-233

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Retirement Board of the Employees' Retirement System of the City of Providence denying Petitioner's application for an accidental disability retirement, holding that the Boa...

Fuoco v. Polisena  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: 19-54

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant in this defamation case, holding that the trial justice did not err by granting summary judgment as a matter of law. The jury returned...

Mondoux v. Vanghel  
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: 18-219

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant and dismissing Plaintiffs' claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability, holding that Plaintiffs'...

State v. Smith  
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: 18-64

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of possession of child pornography and sentencing him to a term of imprisonment of five years, with two years suspended, with probation, h...

State v. Segrain  
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: 19-13

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court declaring Defendant to be a probation violator and sentencing Defendant to the nine years remaining on his suspended sentence, holding that there was no error...

Sousa v. Roy  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-140

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's grant of judgment as matter of law in favor of Defendant, individually and as trustee of The Gilbert F. Roy, Jr. Residence Trust - 2005, holding that the trial justice did...

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