2022 Rhode Island General Laws
Title 8 - Courts and Civil Procedure – Courts
Chapter 8-8 - District Court
Section 8-8-3. - Jurisdiction.

Universal Citation: RI Gen L § 8-8-3. (2022)

§ 8-8-3. Jurisdiction.

(a) The district court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of:

(1) All civil actions at law, but not causes in equity or those following the course of equity except as provided in § 8-8-3.1 and chapter 8.1 of this title, wherein the amount in controversy does not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000);

(2) All actions between landlords and tenants pursuant to chapter 18 of title 34 and all other actions for possession of premises and estates notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section;

(3) All actions of replevin where the goods and chattels to be replevied are of the value of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less;

(4) All violations of minimum housing standards whether established by chapter 24.3 of title 45 or by any municipal ordinance, rule, or regulation passed pursuant to the authority granted either by chapter 24.2 of title 45 or by special act of the general assembly governing minimum housing standards; except that in the event the city of Providence or town of North Providence shall by ordinance create a court for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction over violations of minimum housing standards, Providence Municipal Zoning Code and the Rhode Island State Building Code, chapter 27.3 of title 23, concerning properties which are not owned by the state, upon enactment of the ordinance, that court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of violations of the above listed codes and standards as defined herein occurring within the city of Providence or the town of North Providence, and the district court shall be without jurisdiction over those actions;

(5) All suits and complaints for offenses against the bylaws, ordinances, and regulations of cities and towns whether passed by the cities or towns or under the law by the properly constituted authorities thereof;

(6) All other actions, proceedings, and matters of whatever nature which are or shall be declared to be within the jurisdiction of the court by the laws of the state.

(b) The district court shall also have any special jurisdiction which is or may be conferred by charter or law upon justices of the peace if no special court exists or is created by charter or law for that purpose.

(c) The district court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction with the superior court of all civil actions at law wherein the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) and does not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000); provided, however, that in any such action, any one or more defendants may in the answer to the complaint demand removal of the action to the superior court, in which event the action shall proceed as if it had been filed originally in the superior court.

(d) The district court shall have special jurisdiction to grant relief as set forth under § 15-15-4(b)(1).

History of Section.
P.L. 1969, ch. 239, § 4; P.L. 1977, ch. 277, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 182, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 215, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 150, § 16; P.L. 1985, ch. 492, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 4; P.L. 1986, ch. 547, § 7; P.L. 1987, ch. 447, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 158, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 240, § 2; P.L. 1989, ch. 285, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 214, § 2.

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