Last week the Rhode Island State Judiciary issued an Order continuing the closure of courts to non-emergency matters through May 17th. All jury trial and grand jury matters will continued to be postponed through May 17th. The Order allows trial judges to scheduled a bench trial before the re-opening date as long as the proceedings are conducted remotely with the consent of the parties and public access is provided.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell had ordered the closure of the Noel Judicial Complex in Warwick and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal in Cranston on Sunday. The McGrath Judicial Complex in South Kingstown and the Murray Judicial Complex in Newport had been closed earlier in the month.
The Noel complex and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal have re-opened as of April 13. Both were closed this week because of COVID-19 related issues.
These continued closures have particular implications for criminal court proceedings. If you have been charged with the following crimes recently, the Rhode Island District Court is still conducting arraignments for the following new criminal charges:
- Capital Offenses
- Domestic Violence Offenses
- Alcohol-related Driving Offenses
- Fugitive from Justice
- Other Crimes Involving Public Safety
- Charges Stemming from Violations of Quarantine or Executive Orders Relating to the State of Emergency Declared by the Governor and/or the Department of Health
In addition to conducting the above-referenced criminal arraignments, the Rhode Island District Court will also continue to conduct the following emergency proceedings:
- Bail Hearings
- Rule 32F and Rule 46G Violation Presentments and Hearings if the Defendant is in Custody
- Competency Hearings
If you have an upcoming Court date and you are not sure if the Courts will be hearing your case, contact our team of Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyers for advice and guidance during the Court's COVID-19 closures. We are available to provide experienced legal representation remotely. Call us today at 401-228-8271. We are available 24/7 to provide assistance.