Continuity Court Business Operations

Since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Rhode Island Judiciary has not stopped the courts’ business operations. However, COVID-19 has forced the Judiciary to implement emergency measures geared towards significantly restricting crowds and limiting in-person hearings and other proceedings to the greatest extent possible while continuing to provide access to justice. Since COVID-19 is here to stay for the near future, the courts must continue to operate in a manner which limits crowds and encourages social distancing.

In accordance with Executive Order 2020-12, courts are to limit in-person hearings to the greatest extent possible. Matters that are considered critical or which cannot be handled remotely should be conducted in-person. Beginning June 1, 2020, non-emergency in-person hearings which cannot be conducted remotely will be scheduled by the courts. Each court has developed procedures to limit foot traffic into the courthouses and is listed below. Information will be added as the court business operations are drafted and published for each court.

SUPREME COURT

Orders and Protocols

In re Article IV of the Supreme Court Rules (Further Response to COVID-19 – Annual Registration Deadlines Extended) (June 24, 2020)

In re Article II of the Supreme Court Rules (Further Response to COVID-19 – July 2020 Rhode Island Bar Examination ) (June 11, 2020)

2020-14 – COVID-19 Pandemic Response Indigent Defense Services (June 3, 2020)

2020-13 – COVID-19 Continued Changes to Supreme Court Clerk’s Office Operations (May 15, 2020)

2020-12 – COVID-19 Pandemic Response – Continuity of Operations (May 15, 2020)

Filings – Procedure

Electronic Filing

All papers in both emergency and routine matters shall continue to be filed with the Supreme Court electronically by email to SupremeCourtClerksOffice@courts.ri.gov and may include typographical signatures. Papers electronically filed with the Court by email shall be deemed filed on the day of emailing.

Parties shall continue to provide the Court with copies of all papers filed by email in the number required by the Rules of Appellate Procedure. Copies shall be mailed to the clerk’s office on or around the date of electronic filing except that bulky filings such as Rule 12A statements, briefs and appendices, and lengthy memoranda may be filed in-person in accordance with procedures established by the Clerk for in-person visits to the clerk’s office.

Pro se litigants and attorneys previously granted a waiver of electronic filing requirements who are unable to submit filings by email, may continue to file papers in routine matters by mail in accordance with the Rules of Appellate Procedure. Such papers filed with the Court by mail shall be deemed filed on the day of mailing.

In-person Appointments

Appointment requests shall be emailed to the clerk’s office as follows:

SupremeCourtClerksOffice@courts.ri.gov for case related appointments.

AMP@courts.ri.gov for appellate mediation related appointments.

Attorneyreginfo@courts.ri.gov for attorney registration related appointments.

LLEinfo@courts.ri.gov for limited liability entity licensing related appointments.

RIbarexam@courts.ri.gov for bar admission related appointments.

The subject line of the emails shall indicate that it is an appointment request and the body of the email shall specify the reason for the appointment and include reference to the Supreme Court case number, if any.

The clerk’s office will assign a date and time for the appointment request. The clerk’s office will attempt to accommodate requests for appointments made within twenty-four (24) hours. Visitors shall appear at the clerk’s office as closely to the scheduled appointment time as possible and shall notify the clerk’s office immediately of any changes to scheduled appointments.

No visitors shall appear at the Licht Judicial Complex to visit the clerk’s office without an appointment.

SUPERIOR COURT

Orders and Protocols

Providence/Bristol County Calendar Protocols for Dispositive Motions (October 7, 2020)

Providence/Bristol County Calendar Protocols for Civil Motions (September 24, 2020)

Washington County Scheduling Protocol for Civil Calendars (September 18, 2020)

Newport County Scheduling Protocol for Civil Calendars (September 11, 2020)

Google Conference Scheduling Instructions in Courtrooms 4 and 9 (September 10, 2020)

Protocol for Requesting a Remote Hearing/Conference During COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Criminal and Civil Matters – Amended (September 9, 2020)

Courtroom 4 Protocol (September 9, 2020)

2020-08 – Continuity of Business Operations and Assignment of Duty Justices and Magistrates Through December 18, 2020 (August 28, 2020)

2020-07 – Continuity of Business Operations and Assignment of Duty Justices and Magistrates Through September 7, 2020 (June 10, 2020)

Kent, Newport, and Washington County Scheduling Protocols (May 28, 2020)

Providence County Daily Criminal Calendar and Providence County Miscellaneous Criminal Calendar Protocols Pursuant to Supreme Court Executive Order 2020-12 and Superior Court Administrative Order 2020-06 (May 22, 2020)

Courtroom 5G Protocol (May 20, 2020)

Courtroom 4 Protocol - Limited Matters to Proceed (May 19, 2020)

2020-06 – Continuity of Business Operations and Assignment of Duty Justices and Magistrates Through June 30, 2020 (May 15, 2020)

Superior Court Hearing and Conference Request Protocol (May 6, 2020) (Amending Order dated April 28, 2020)

Providence County Motion Calendar Guidance on Requesting a Remote Hearing/Conference (April 30, 2020)

Superior Court Business Calendar Motions Protocol (April 21, 2020)

COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan – Program Coordinator (March 31, 2020)

2020-04 - COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan (March 31, 2020)

Forms

COVID-19 Conference or Hearing Request

COVID-19 Motion or Conference Request - Business Recovery

Filings – Procedure

Electronic Filing

Filings shall continue to be submitted through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system for all parties except for incarcerated individuals or where a waiver is granted. Self-represented litigants may electronically file documents but are not required to do so.

Those parties who are not mandated to file through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system but wish to electronically file pleadings or other documents with the Superior Court shall do so by sending the documents via email to the appropriate county clerk’s office. The email address for each county clerk’s office is as follows:

Providence/Bristol County: Providencesuperior@courts.ri.gov
Kent County: Kentsuperior@courts.ri.gov
Newport County: Newportsuperior@courts.ri.gov
Washington County: Washingtonsuperior@courts.ri.gov

In-person Filings (By Appointment Only)

To schedule an in-person appointment with the clerk’s office, please contact the clerk in the county in which you are conducting business. You will be provided with a date and time for your personal appointment. The contact information for each county clerk’s office is as follows:

Providence/Bristol County: (401) 222-8781
Kent County: (401) 822-6900
Newport County: (401) 841-8330
Washington County: (401) 782-4121

Payments – Procedure

If you are unable to make a restitution or court payment on the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal or by United States mail, you must schedule an appointment to make an in-person payment. Please contact the office with whom you are doing business (see below). You will be provided with a date and time for your personal appointment. The contact information for each office is as follows:

Providence Superior Court Central Registry/Restitution Department: (401) 222-2084
Costs and Fines Office: (401) 222-3255

Warrant Cancellations

If you are seeking the cancellation of a warrant in-person, you must first contact (401) 222-3250 for further instructions. If a court date is required, you will be given a specific date and time. NOTE: Warrant cancellations will not be considered after 3:15 p.m. and will be considered on the next business day.

FAMILY COURT

Orders and Protocols

2020-05 Continuity of Operations During Public Health Crises Caused by “Covid-19” (May 22, 2020)

Filings – Procedure

Electronic Filing

Filings shall continue to be submitted through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system for all parties except for incarcerated individuals or where a waiver is granted. Self-represented litigants may electronically file documents but are not required to do so.

In-person Filings

In-person filings shall be done by appointment only. To schedule an in-person appointment, please use the following contact numbers:

Providence/Bristol County Domestic Relations Office (401) 458-3200
Providence/Bristol County Juvenile Justice Office (401) 458-3290
Providence/Bristol County Child Support Office (401) 458-3100
Kent, Washington, and Newport Counties (401) 822-6725

Per Executive Order 2020-12, emergency filings are exempt from the above procedure. 

Remote Hearings Using WebEx

WebEx Procedures and Guidelines for Remote Hearings, Trials, and Conferences

Virtual Clerk’s Office

The Family Court’s virtual clerk’s office allows the public to remotely conduct business traditionally conducted at the counters in the courthouses. Click here for the virtual clerk help desk to speak with a clerk face to face in real time and obtain assistance The public may also contact the virtual clerk’s office by email at virtualfamilyclerk@courts.ri.gov. The virtual clerk’s office will be open from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the days that the court is open for business.

DISTRICT COURT

Orders and Protocols

2020-05 Protocol on Criminal Calendars Effective September 8, 2020 to December 30, 2020 (November 18, 2020) (Amending Order dated September 2, 2020)

2020-07 Amendment to the District Court Eviction Protocol (November 3, 2020)

2020-06 Eviction Protocol Effective September 8, 2020 to December 31, 2020 (September 3, 2020)

2020-05 Protocol on Criminal Calendars Effective September 8, 2020 to December 30, 2020 (September 2, 2020) (See Amended Order dated November 18, 2020)

2020-04 Protocol on Criminal Calendars, Pending Cases – Pretrial/Trial/Disposition Calendars (May 29, 2020)

2020-03 Supplemental District Court Eviction Protocol (May 22, 2020)

2020-02 District Court Eviction Calendar (May 20, 2020)

2020-01 COVID-19 Emergency Measures - Phase I – Protocol for Civil Matters (May 15, 2020)

Forms

Evictions - Safe Harbor Housing Program, click here for flyer. Apply online for the program or call 211. This flyer must be included with every Five (5) Day Demand Notice for Non-payment of Rent

DC-53 Answer Defendant-Tenant (Eviction)

DC-85 Affidavit of Defendant/Tenant’s Acknowledgment of Rights (Eviction)

DC-86 Stipulation of Judgment (Eviction)

DC-90 Residential Eviction for Reasons Other Than Nonpayment of Rent Cover Sheet (Eviction)

DC-92 Tenancy and Eviction Calendar 2020 – Tracking of Volunteer Hours

DC-94 Affidavit of the Plaintiff-Landlord Regarding Declaration by the Defendant-Tenant

DC-95 Residential Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent Cover Sheet

Filings – Procedure

Civil filings shall continue to be submitted through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system except where a waiver is granted. Self-represented litigants may electronically file documents but are not required to do so.

Those parties who are not mandated to file through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system but wish to electronically file pleadings or other documents with the District Court may do so by sending the documents via email to the appropriate division clerk’s office. The email address for each division clerk’s office is as follows:

Second Division: 2ndDistrictCourtHelpDesk@courts.ri.gov
Third Division: 3rdDistrictCourtHelpDesk@courts.ri.gov
Fourth Division: 4thDistrictCourtHelpDesk@courts.ri.gov
Sixth Division: 6thDistrictCourtHelpDesk@courts.ri.gov

For litigants wishing to file documents directly at the courthouse, drop boxes will be available in the first floor lobby of the Noel Judicial Complex (Kent County) for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th division matters, and the first floor lobby of the Garrahy Judicial Complex (Providence/Bristol County) for 6th division matters.

Payments – Procedure

Court ordered payments, including restitution, can be made on the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal or by mailing the payment to one of the court addresses below:

Sixth Division District Court
Garrahy Judicial Complex
One Dorrance Plaza
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
 
Third Division District Court
Noel Judicial Complex
222 Quaker Lane
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886

Pending Arraignments and Pretrial Matters

If you have a pending arraignment or pretrial matter with the District Court, you will receive a Hearing Notice for a date to appear. If you are unable to appear on the date in your Hearing Notice or you are denied access into the courthouse, you must immediately contact your attorney and speak with them. The contact information for the division clerk’s office is as follows:

Second Division:: (401 841-8350
Third Division: (401) 822-6750
Fourth Division: (401) 782-4133
Sixth Division: (401) 458-5400

WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT

Orders and Protocols

2020-09 – Appellate Arguments (September 1, 2020)

2020-08 – Continuity of Business Operations (May 18, 2020)

Filings – Procedure

Electronic Filing

Filings shall continue to be submitted through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system for all parties except where a waiver is granted. Self-represented litigants may electronically file documents but are not required to do so.

Those parties who are not mandated to utilize the Rhode Island Judiciary’s electronic filing system who wish to electronically file pleadings or other documents with the Workers’ Compensation Court may do so via email. For instructions on how to do so, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Court clerk’s office at (401) 458-5000.

In-person Filings (By Appointment Only)

To file documents in person, parties must schedule an appointment with the court by contacting the clerk’s office at (401) 458-5000. You will be provided with a date and time for your personal appointment.