Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions 2022

Johnston Equities Associates, LP v. Town of Johnston  
Date: July 1, 2022
Docket Numbers: 20-150, 20-224

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiffs, Johnston Equities Associates, LP and Stay Away From the Cans, LLC on their trespass claim against…

West Warwick Housing Authority v. R.I. Council 94  
Date: July 1, 2022
Docket Number: 20-21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant-union and denying Plaintiff's motion to vacate an arbitration award, granting Defendant's motion to confirm the award, and awarding…

Anton v. Houze  
Date: July 1, 2022
Docket Number: 20-234

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of Plaintiffs and denying declaratory and injunctive relief requested in a counterclaim filed by…

State v. Jimenez  
Date: June 29, 2022
Docket Number: 19-68

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting and committing Defendant for one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree child abuse, holding that there was no prejudicial…

Suncar v. Jordan Realty  
Date: June 29, 2022
Docket Number: 21-57

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants - Jordan Realty and Smart Homes, LLC - and dismissing Plaintiff's complaint alleging that his due process rights were violated…

Town of North Providence v. Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 13  
Date: June 29, 2022
Docket Number: 21-58

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 13 (the Union), in which the Court denied the Town of North Providence's petition to vacate an…

Town of Coventry v. Forsons Realty LLC  
Date: June 23, 2022
Docket Number: 20-64

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court entering final judgment in favor of Defendants - Forsons Realty, LLC, Ferrara Mechanical Services Inc., and Daniel Ferrara - and dismissing the complaint brought…

Peter Scotti & Associates, Inc. v. Yurdin  
Date: June 23, 2022
Docket Number: 21-51

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying and dismissing all claims in Plaintiffs' complaint challenging a contested amendment to the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance that would allow the…

Ricci v. R.I. Commerce Corp.  
Date: June 21, 2022
Docket Number: 21-140

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the order of the superior court granting declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of Plaintiff in this action brought under the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of…

In re Narragansett Electric Co.  
Date: June 17, 2022
Docket Number: 18-40

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Energy Facility Siting Board (the board or EFSB) concerning the relocation of power lines across the Providence and Seekonk Rivers, holding that Petitioners had standing and…

Andrade v. Westlo Management LLC  
Date: June 17, 2022
Docket Number: 20-112

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the portion of the superior court order granting partial summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs as to liability against Westlo Management, LLC on counts one, two, three, and seven of…

State v. Kenner  
Date: June 17, 2022
Docket Number: 21-101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court finding Defendant to be in violation of the terms of his probation and sentencing him to serve portions of previously imposed suspended sentences, holding…

In re Jae'La G.  
Date: June 17, 2022
Docket Number: 21-23

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Father's parental rights to his two children pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 15-7-7(a)(3), holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. On…

State v. Jilling  
Date: June 16, 2022
Docket Number: 20-200

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court dismissing several counts of the criminal information against Defendants alleging accessing a computer system for fraudulent purposes and conspiracy, holding…

In re Nolan V-S  
Date: June 15, 2022
Docket Number: 21-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the decrees of the family court denying the Department of Children, Youth, and Families' (DCYF) petition to terminate the parental rights of Parents to their child, holding that the trial…

In re Donnell R-H  
Date: June 15, 2022
Docket Number: 21-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights to her son, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. After a trial, the trial justice concluded that the…

R.I. Housing & Mortgage Finance Corp. v. Gordon  
Date: June 6, 2022
Docket Number: 20-166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the superior court foreclosing Respondent's rights of redemption in property purchased by Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation (RIHMFC) through exercise of its…

Borgo v. Narragansett Electric Co.  
Date: June 6, 2022
Docket Number: 21-21

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court ruling that Defendant did not owe a duty of care to eighteen-year-old Plaintiff at the time of an accident in a utility substation, holding that there was no…

Riley v. Narragansett Pension Board  
Date: June 2, 2022
Docket Number: 20-272

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated in part the judgment of the superior court reversing the decision of the Board to revoke Plaintiff's pension, ordering the permanent reinstatement of the pension, and declaring the pension…

EDC Investment, LLC v. UTGR, Inc.  
Date: June 1, 2022
Docket Number: 21-63

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting a motion to dismiss filed by Defendant and dismissed this complaint alleging, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract,…

Ho-Rath v. Corning Inc.  
Date: May 27, 2022
Docket Numbers: 20-227, 20-228

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court entered in favor of Defendants in two consolidated medical malpractice cases, holding that the hearing justice did not err in finding that Defendants owed no…

In re Rachelle L-B.  
Date: May 27, 2022
Docket Number: 21-35

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree entered in the family court terminating Father's parental rights to his daughter, holding that there sufficient evidence to support the trial justice's finding that Father was unfit…

State v. Corcoran  
Date: May 26, 2022
Docket Number: 20-121

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting Defendant's motion to suppress the statements he made to police at the scene of an automobile collision, holding that the superior court did not abuse…

Faella v. Town of Johnston  
Date: May 25, 2022
Docket Numbers: 19-445, 19-447

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the superior court granting declaratory judgment in favor of Plaintiffs, holding that the trial justice abused his discretion by granting Plaintiffs' request for declaratory…

Loffredo v. Shapiro  
Date: May 25, 2022
Docket Number: 20-233

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on all eight counts set forth in Plaintiffs' third amended complaint, holding…

Freepoint Solar LLC v. Richmond Zoning Board of Review  
Date: May 11, 2022
Docket Number: 20-207

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court reversing a decision of the Town of Richmond Zoning Board of Review that denied Plaintiff's application for a special-use permit to construct a solar energy…

Mitola v. Providence Public Buildings Authority  
Date: May 9, 2022
Docket Number: 19-240

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court awarding Plaintiffs final judgment in the amount of $498,309, holding that the superior court erred in denying Plaintiffs' petition to compel purchase in…

Phillips v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. of Rhode Island  
Date: May 6, 2022
Docket Number: 20-120

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decree of the appellate division of the workers' compensation court denying and dismissing Petitioner's petition for surviving-spouse compensation benefits and funeral expenses, holding that…

State v. McGuire  
Date: May 5, 2022
Docket Number: 19-324

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting Defendants' motion to dismiss all electronic, wire, or oral communications obtained through the use of wiretaps and any subsequently-obtained evidence…

Battaglia v. Lombardi  
Date: May 5, 2022
Docket Number: 20-91

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court in favor of the Treasurer for the City of Providence (the City) and dismissing Plaintiff's personal injury claim, holding that the trial justice erred in…

Benson v. McKee  
Date: May 4, 2022
Docket Number: 20-66

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiffs' claims based on lack of standing, holding that there was no error. In 2019, the General Assembly enacted the Reproductive Privacy…

State v. Regan  
Date: May 2, 2022
Docket Number: 21-47

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the decision and order of the superior court declaring Defendant to be in violation of his probation, holding that because Defendant was compliant with court-ordered restitution payments and ran…

State v. Hansen  
Date: April 27, 2022
Docket Number: 19-22

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count of possession of child pornography, holding that the State's interesting protecting children from the sexual exploitation portrayed in the images at issue…

State v. Hudgen  
Date: April 27, 2022
Docket Number: 19-281

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and other crimes, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on her allegations of…

Lacera v. Department of Children, Youth & Families  
Date: April 27, 2022
Docket Number: 21-193

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court dismissing Petitioner's verified miscellaneous petition for declaratory judgment, holding that there was no error. This action stemmed from the Department of…

Boss v. Chamberland  
Date: April 26, 2022
Docket Number: 21-12

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants due to Plaintiff's having failed to comply with her discovery obligations, which had earlier been the subject of a conditional…

EdgengG (Private), Ltd. v. Fiberglass Fabricators, Inc.  
Date: April 25, 2022
Docket Number: 21-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In this commercial dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants based on Plaintiffs' failure to comply with orders to provide discovery, holding that there was no…

Family Dollar Stores of Rhode Island, Inc. v. Araujo  
Date: April 14, 2022
Docket Number: 20-163

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action for declaratory judgment the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the superior court denying Family Dollar Stores of Rhode Island, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment for…

Dulong v. Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co.  
Date: April 12, 2022
Docket Number: 20-173

Justia Opinion Summary: In this insurance dispute, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant following the denial of Plaintiff's request for declaratory judgment and the grant of Defendant's motion for…

In re Lucas D.  
Date: April 12, 2022
Docket Number: 20-24

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights to her son, Lucas D, holding that the trial justice did not err in deciding that Mother's parental rights should be…

Smile of the Child v. Estate of Papadopouli  
Date: April 11, 2022
Docket Number: 20-29

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in this probate case involving an international will dispute impacting the probate of he estate of Matoula Papadopouli (the decedent), holding that the…

Leon v. Krikorian  
Date: April 6, 2022
Docket Number: 20-28

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court denying Mother's motion for relocation with the minor child of the parties, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion. The parties in this case were…

Houle v. Liberty Insurance Corp.  
Date: March 30, 2022
Docket Number: 21-30

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the superior court granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by Defendant in this insurance dispute, holding that the grant of judgment on the pleadings for Defendant…

State v. Burkinshaw  
Date: March 22, 2022
Docket Number: 19-153

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting and sentencing Defendant for one count of resisting arrest, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below. On appeal,…

America Condominium Ass'n v. Mardo  
Date: March 15, 2022
Docket Number: 19-412

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court awarding Plaintiffs attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $25,472, holding that there was no error. Plaintiffs - America Condominium Association, Inc.…

Tiernan v. Magaziner  
Date: March 8, 2022
Docket Number: 19-101

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants, in their capacities as the state's general treasurer and the executive director of the Employees' Retirement System of the State of…

Rosa v. PJC of Rhode Island, Inc.  
Date: March 8, 2022
Docket Number: 20-246

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant, Belltower Acquisitions, LLC, in this personal injury case, holding that the superior court did not err when it…

Nerney v. Town of Smithfield  
Date: March 4, 2022
Docket Number: 20-138

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint in which she sought a writ of mandamus ordering the Town of Smithfield to remove several trees and plants that were…

Zab v. R.I. Department of Corrections  
Date: March 2, 2022
Docket Numbers: 19-459, 19-462

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated appeals, the Supreme Court held that Rhode Island's civil death statute, R.I. Gen. Laws 13-61-1, is unconstitutional and in clear contravention of the provisions of R.I. Const. art. I,…

Morgan v. Bicknell  
Date: March 2, 2022
Docket Number: 20-238

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff, in her capacity as Administratrix for the Estate of Lisa Bicknell, following a grant of summary judgment, holding that there was no…

Mezini v. Mezini  
Date: March 1, 2022
Docket Number: 20-49

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting the parties in this case a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, dividing the parties' marital estate, and awarding joint custody of the…

Shannahan v. Rhode Interlocal Risk Management Trust  
Date: March 1, 2022
Docket Number: 20-81

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust, following the grant of Defendant's motion for summary judgment, holding that there was…

Baker v. Women & Infants Hospital of R.I.  
Date: February 22, 2022
Docket Number: 19-489

Justia Opinion Summary: In the medical negligence action, the Supreme Court reversed 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 was…

Webster Bank, National Ass'n v. Rosenbaum  
Date: February 16, 2022
Docket Number: 20-117

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff, Webster Bank, National Association, holding that there…

Atryzek v. State  
Date: February 11, 2022
Docket Number: 19-215

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and quashed in part the judgment of the superior court granting Defendant's application for postconviction relief and vacated four criminal convictions for failure to register as a…

Mowry v. Allstate Insurance Co.  
Date: February 10, 2022
Docket Number: 19-297

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court entered in favor of Plaintiff that granted Plaintiff's motion for additur, holding that there was no error. In 2013, Plaintiff was involved in an automobile…

Verizon New England Inc. v. Savage  
Date: February 9, 2022
Docket Number: 20-40

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Movants' motions to intervene in an action commenced by Verizon New England Inc. by way of appeal from a decision of the Tax Administrator for the State…

State v. Valdez  
Date: February 2, 2022
Docket Number: 20-89

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of second-degree sexual assault, breaking and entering, and disorderly conduct following a jury trial, holding that the trial justice did…

Boisse v. Miller  
Date: February 1, 2022
Docket Number: 20-78

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting Plaintiffs' claims against Joseph and Lynne Miller and also in favor of the third-party defendant, Assurance Company of America, denying Joseph's…

State v. Benitez  
Date: January 25, 2022
Docket Number: 18-240

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of one count of second-degree child molestation following a jury trial, holding that there was no abuse of discretion on the part of the…

Providence Place Group Limited, Partnership v. State ex rel. Division of Taxation  
Date: January 25, 2022
Docket Number: 19-298

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in their appeal from the order of the state tax administrator denying a refund with respect to a conveyance tax…

Matteson v. R.I. Department of Attorney General  
Date: January 25, 2022
Docket Number: 20-23

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General upholding a determination by the Sex Offender Board of Review classifying Petitioner as a Risk…

In re Estate of Barbara J. Cardiff  
Date: January 21, 2022
Docket Number: 20-92

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court affirming an order of the probate court admitting the last will and testament of Barbara J. Cardiff, holding that the trial justice did not err in affirming…

Martins v. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC  
Date: January 20, 2022
Docket Number: 18-143

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's entry of partial final judgment in accordance with Sup. Ct. R. Civ. P. 54(b) and the dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction of Plaintiff's action under Sup. Ct. R.…

Eddy v. Pascoag Fire District  
Date: January 14, 2022
Docket Number: 19-373

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Pascoag Fire District and Pascoag Fire and Rescue Association (the district) and International Association of Firefighters, Local 4908 (the union)…

Saint Elizabeth Home v. Gorham  
Date: January 13, 2022
Docket Number: 21-27

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff, Saint Elizabeth Home, and against Defendant, Rebecca Gorham, holding that there was no error. Defendant's mother was admitted to Saint…

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