Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions 2023

Vilbon v. Vargas  
Date: December 7, 2023
Docket Number: 22-342

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves an appeal by a landlord, Carline Vilbon, against her tenant, Judy Vargas, in an eviction action. The landlord had sought possession of the rental property and reasonable use and occupancy damages from…

Dawson v. Ojeda  
Date: November 3, 2023
Docket Number: 22-269

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the family court trial justice affirming the decision and order entered by the General Magistrate of the family court granting Plaintiff's motion to relocate permanently to the…

Bennett v. Steliga  
Date: September 12, 2023
Docket Number: 22-74

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiffs following the court's grant of summary judgment on counts one (declaratory judgment) and three…

Green Development, LLC v. Town of Exeter  
Date: July 28, 2023
Docket Number: 20-244

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of the Town of Exeter in this action seeking injunctive and declaratory relief challenging the Town's decision to amend its zoning ordinance, which…

State v. Li  
Date: July 27, 2023
Docket Number: 21-153

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the orders of the superior court granting Defendants' motions to suppress evidence of approximately ninety-four pounds of marijuana seized from one defendant's vehicle during a traffic stop,…

State v. Savard  
Date: July 26, 2023
Docket Number: 20-229

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of operating a vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others, death resulting, and operating a vehicle in reckless disregard of…

State v. Joseph  
Date: July 20, 2023
Docket Number: 21-164

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the superior court granting motions to suppress filed by Defendants Jerome Joseph and Voguel Figaro, holding that the hearing justice did not err in granting Defendants'…

Purcell v. Johnson  
Date: July 18, 2023
Docket Number: 2023-26

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted Jessica Marie Purcell's action in quo warranto seeking a determination that Clay Johnson be removed from the Chariho Regional School Committee and ordering the Town Council of the Town of…

Apex Oil Co. v. State, ex rel. Division of Taxation  
Date: July 14, 2023
Docket Number: 21-116

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the order of the district court dismissing two actions challenging the State Division of Taxation's denial of Plaintiff's claim for a refund of $4,280,039 paid for Motor Fuel Tax assessed on the…

Gunvor USA, LLC v. State, ex rel. Division of Taxation  
Date: July 14, 2023
Docket Number: 21-165

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the order of the district court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the State of Rhode Island, acting by and through the Division of Taxation (Division), in this appeal stemming from a…

Sosa v. City of Woonsocket  
Date: July 14, 2023
Docket Number: 21-332

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff and declaring that the City of Woonsocket improperly terminated Plaintiff's employment with the Woonsocket Police Department in…

State v. Robinson  
Date: July 13, 2023
Docket Number: 21-93

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of three counts of first-degree sexual assault, following a jury trial, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his…

State v. Gamache  
Date: July 10, 2023
Docket Number: 20-288

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendant's motion for entry of a judgment of acquittal and convicting him on thirteen counts stemming from his alleged misuse of his position as…

State v. White  
Date: June 30, 2023
Docket Number: 21-216

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting and committing Defendant on one count of first-degree sexual assault after a jury trial, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the…

Houllahan v. Gelineau  
Date: June 30, 2023
Docket Numbers: 21-32, 21-33, 21-41

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the superior court dismissing Plaintiffs' claims in favor of Defendants in accordance with Sup. Ct. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), holding that the trial court did not err in ruling that…

In re R.M.  
Date: June 30, 2023
Docket Number: 22-77

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Mother's parental rights with respect to her daughter (Child), holding that the trial justice did not err in finding by clear and convincing evidence…

Noonan v. Sambandam  
Date: June 27, 2023
Docket Number: 22-22

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the decision of the superior court granting Defendant's motion to compel production of a complete, unreacted copy of a settlement agreement between Plaintiffs and the former codefendants who…

State v. Leonard  
Date: June 26, 2023
Docket Number: 21-71

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of two counts of second-degree sexual assault, holding that the trial justice did not err in denying Defendant's motion to pass the case…

Newport & New Road, LLC v. Hazard  
Date: June 22, 2023
Docket Number: 21-318

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Respondent, the tax assessor for the City of East Providence, and dismissing Petitioner's complaint brought pursuant to…

Estrella v. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC  
Date: June 22, 2023
Docket Number: 21-56

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the amended judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff, as executor of the Estate of Armando Damiani (Mandy) and the Estate of Lillian Estrella, in this…

DiDonato v. DiDonato  
Date: June 21, 2023
Docket Number: 21-19

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the family court determining and assigning marital property, sanctioning Defendant $50,000, and ordering a $16,000 credit to Plaintiff, holding that Defendant was not entitled…

Capaldi v. Capaldi  
Date: June 21, 2023
Docket Number: 21-328

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the orders of the family court reopening a divorce case finalized by the family court more than two decades ago and awarding Steven Capaldi a portion of his pension to Anne Farrer, holding that…

State v. Sinapi  
Date: June 20, 2023
Docket Numbers: 19-388, 19-415

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court convicting Defendant following a jury trial for larceny of an automobile and adjudicating him a probation violator, holding that Defendant was not entitled…

State v. Reverdes  
Date: June 20, 2023
Docket Number: 21-218

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of five counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, holding that Defendant was not entitled to…

Dockray v. Roger Williams Medical Center  
Date: June 15, 2023
Docket Number: 22-235

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Roger Williams Medical Center (RWMC) in this case alleging medical malpractice and negligent credentialing claims, holding that there was no error…

State v. Davis  
Date: June 13, 2023
Docket Number: 21-337

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence, holding that there was no error on the part of the trial justice in denying Defendant's motion to…

Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Cavalloro  
Date: June 13, 2023
Docket Number: 22-166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of Supreme Court in favor of Plaintiff Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB in this case involving a dispute over payments due under a promissory note relating to Defendants'…

Resmini v. Verizon New England Inc.  
Date: June 13, 2023
Docket Number: 22-32

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting Verizon New England Inc.'s motion to dismiss this complaint related to a billing dispute over a particular telephone service contract, holding that…

Beaudry v. Rossi  
Date: June 9, 2023
Docket Number: 21-279

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, in his capacity as the finance director/treasurer for the Town of Smithfield, in this action challenging the calculation of a former…

Oliveira v. Levesque  
Date: June 9, 2023
Docket Number: 22-45

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute arising from an ill-fated attorney-client relationship the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court grantinf Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, holding that there was no error in…

Jenkins v. City of East Providence  
Date: June 6, 2023
Docket Number: 22-130

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Petitioner's petition for a writ of mandamus and dismissing his complaint pursuant to Sup. Ct. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), holding that the…

In re R.M.  
Date: June 2, 2023
Docket Number: 21-336

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court terminating Father's parental rights to his daughter, R.M., holding that Father was not entitled to relief as to his arguments on appeal. The Department of…

Vecchio v. Women & Infants Hospital  
Date: May 30, 2023
Docket Number: 21-278

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court quashed the order of the superior court granting Defendant's motion for a protective order limiting the deposition testimony of Plaintiff's expert witness to causation opinions and prohibiting Plaintiff…

State v. Perkins  
Date: May 25, 2023
Docket Number: 21-104

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court declaring Defendant to be in violation of the terms and conditions of his probation, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his allegations of…

State v. DeCosta  
Date: May 22, 2023
Docket Number: 21-282

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury and sentencing him to a term of twenty years at the Adult Correctional Institutions,…

Union Cemetery Burial Society of North Smithfield v. Foisy  
Date: May 10, 2023
Docket Number: 20-182

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff on its claims of trespass and encroachment and against Defendants on their counterclaim for adverse possession, holding that the trial…

Nagel v. Nagel  
Date: May 5, 2023
Docket Number: 23-66

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court in favor of Mother and permitting Mother to vaccinate the parties' two minor children for COVID-19 consistent with the recommendation of the children's…

Romeo v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co.  
Date: May 3, 2023
Docket Number: 22-50

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court entered favor of Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company in this breach of contract action, holding that, under the circumstances, the court erred in…

Smith v. Paquette  
Date: May 2, 2023
Docket Number: 22-151

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendants in this dental malpractice action following the grant of Defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that the superior court…

Burt v. Furtado  
Date: May 1, 2023
Docket Number: 21-243

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court granting six motions for summary judgment in three underlying cases, holding that the motion justice did not err by ordering reformation of the warranty…

In re J.B.  
Date: April 27, 2023
Docket Number: 22-23

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of the family court issued pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 15-7-7(a)(3) terminating Father's parental rights to his son, J.B. holding that there was no error in the proceedings…

Ocean State Credit Union v. Menge  
Date: April 26, 2023
Docket Number: 22-39

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion for a new trial after judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff, Ocean State Credit Union, in its action seeking money owed on a…

Felkner v. R.I. College  
Date: April 20, 2023
Docket Number: 21-267

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, Rhode Island College and related individuals, on the grounds of qualified immunity, holding that…

Apex Development Co., LLC v. State of R.I. Dep't of Transportation  
Date: April 19, 2023
Docket Number: 21-135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the superior court granting summary judgment and final judgment in favor of third-party defendants, Western Surety Company and the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania…

Donnelly Real Estate, LLC v. John Crane Inc.  
Date: April 19, 2023
Docket Number: 22-8

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant following the court's summary judgment and grant of motions to strike in favor of Defendant, holding that…

Finnimore & Fisher Inc. v. Town of New Shoreham  
Date: April 18, 2023
Docket Number: 21-272

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court entering a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of certain amendments to the New Shoreham General Ordinance, entitled Motorized Cycle Rental, holding…

Hayden v. Integra Community Care Network, LLC  
Date: April 6, 2023
Docket Number: 21-111

Justia Opinion Summary: Integra is an accountable-care organization under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). RIPCPC is an independent practice association of physicians located in Rhode Island. The plaintiffs (Hayden, King, Corsi) are…

State v. Decredico  
Date: April 4, 2023
Docket Number: 21-138

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court affirming the determination of the Rhode Island-Sex Offender Board of Review that Petitioner posed a level II, moderate risk of reoffense, holding that the…

State v. Gibson  
Date: April 4, 2023
Docket Number: 21-139

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's murder convictions and sentences, holding that the trial justice's instructions adequately covered the law on all the crimes charged and that the trial justice did not err in…

State v. Bliss  
Date: April 4, 2023
Docket Number: 21-334

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the superior court determining that the State proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Defendant had violated the terms and conditions of his probation, holding that the…

Petrolex II LLC v. Bailey Group LLC  
Date: March 31, 2023
Docket Number: 22-10

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the superior court granting motions to stay the superior court proceedings in four cases and refer them to arbitration in this construction dispute, holding that that superior…

Meeks v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., LLC  
Date: March 23, 2023
Docket Number: 21-276

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant in this personal injury action, holding that Plaintiff failed to establish the existence of a legal duty on…

Westconnaug Recovery Co. v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n  
Date: March 17, 2023
Docket Numbers: 20-245, 21-83

Justia Opinion Summary: In these two consolidated cases, the Supreme Court vacated the final judgment granting Respondent the right to redeem its real property in a tax-sale action and from an order granting Respondent's motion to adjudge…

State v. Delossantos  
Date: March 13, 2023
Docket Number: 20-192

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court deciding to grant Defendant's request to represent himself and denying his motion for a new trial, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his…

Pinelli v. Mercurio  
Date: March 10, 2023
Docket Numbers: 21-303, 21-330, 21-331

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the superior court in these three related by unconsolidated appeals, holding that Appellants were not entitled to relief on their arguments on appeal. In No. 2021-303-A and No.…

Montaquila v. Neronha  
Date: March 2, 2023
Docket Number: 21-146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General denying Appellant's application to renew his concealed or open-carry license pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws ch. 11-47-18(a), holding…

Mangiarelli v. Town of Johnston  
Date: March 1, 2023
Docket Number: 22-28

Justia Opinion Summary: In this slip-and-fall case, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Plaintiff's motion for a new trial following a jury verdict in favor of Defendants, holding that the trial justice did not…

In re Petition of the Episcopal Diocese of R.I. for Declaratory Judgment  
Date: February 27, 2023
Docket Number: 20-106

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed the Episcopal Diocese or Rhode Island's challenge to an order of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that permitted the Narragansett Electric Company to charge the diocese for…

Polseno Properties Management, LLC v. Keeble  
Date: February 21, 2023
Docket Number: 2021-299

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant, in her capacity as the Town of Lincoln's tax assessor, holding that Plaintiff was not entitled to relief on its claims of…

DiMaggio v. Tucker  
Date: February 21, 2023
Docket Number: 21-234

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting partial summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff in this foreclosure case, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Defendant signed…

Key Corp. v. Greenville Public Library  
Date: February 17, 2023
Docket Number: 2021-319

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff, Key Corporation, holding that Defendant, Greenville Public Library, was not entitled to relief on its two…

Montaquila v. Flagstar Bank, FSB  
Date: February 16, 2023
Docket Number: 21-329

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court following the grant of Flagstar Bank, FSB's motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissing this action filed by Plaintiffs…

In re Block Island Power Co. Petition for Declaratory Judgment  
Date: February 13, 2023
Docket Number: 20-115

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) denying the petition for a declaratory judgment filed by Block Island Power Company (BIPCo), holding that there were no grounds to overturn…

Degasparre v. Fay Servicing, LLC  
Date: February 13, 2023
Docket Number: 21-52

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this foreclosure action, holding that Plaintiff was not entitled to relief on his claims of…

State v. Vose  
Date: February 1, 2023
Docket Number: 20-274

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of six counts of neglecting an adult with severe impairments and sentencing him to concurrent five-year sentences at the Adult…

Regan Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. v. Arbella Protection Insurance Co., Inc.  
Date: January 27, 2023
Docket Number: 20-170

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting Insurer's motion for summary judgment in this insurance dispute, holding that Insured was entitled to judgment as to counts one, four, and five of its…

McCollum v. McCollum  
Date: January 19, 2023
Docket Number: 20-206

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial justice awarding attorneys' fees to Plaintiff in this divorce action, holding that there was no error. Plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce, and Defendant filed a…

Premier Land Development v. Kishfy  
Date: January 11, 2023
Docket Number: 21-72

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff in this case arising from a construction contract, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his assignments of error on…

Wild Horse Concepts, LLC v. Hasbro, Inc.  
Date: January 10, 2023
Docket Number: 21-129

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Hasbro, Inc. in this action alleging breach of an implied contract and other causes of action, holding that Appellants were not entitled to relief…

Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. v. 96-108 Pine Street LLC  
Date: January 5, 2023
Docket Number: 19-164

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court following a nonjury trial denying J.R. Vinagro Corporation's motion for attorneys' fees and costs against 96-108 Pine Street LLC, holding that the trial…

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