Municipal Court Ordinance Introduced
The ordinance to set up Barrington's first-ever municipal court will be scheduled for a public hearing in February.
The ordinance that would set up Barrington’s first municipal court was introduced on Monday, Dec. 17, by the Town Council.
The ordinance will be scheduled for a public hearing at the Town Council’s meeting on Feb. 12.
A public hearing on a proposed ordinance typically is held at the next meeting after it is introduced. But Town Councilor Bill DeWitt asked that it be delayed until February because of the shorter time frame between the December and January meetings – only three weeks instead of the usual month. The councilors agreed.
The ordinance gives the municipal court jurisdiction over minimum housing and zoning ordinances, moving and non-moving traffic violations, and any other Barrington ordinances.
The judge and the court clerk would have the power to administer oaths and affirmations.
A judge could set bail and levy a fine of up to $500 and imprison violators for up to 30 days.
The Town Council would appoint a judge whose term would coincide with the term of the council that made the appointment. The judge would have to be a lawyer with at least 15 years experience and able to practice before the RI Supreme Court.
A court clerk also would be appointed by the Town Council. The term would coincide with the term of the council making the appointment.
Compensation for the judge and the court clerk would be set by the Town Council. It is not part of the ordinance.
A bailiff for the court also would be appointed by the Town Council to keep order in the court. The police department would also be involved in court proceedings.
Municipal Court sessions would be determined by the judge, probably a mix of days and nights and probably held in the Council Chamber. But sessions could also be held elsewhere if the judge makes that determination.
In all cases involving motor vehicle violations, the judge would have to follow the procedures of the RI Traffic Tribunal.
Court costs would be $45 per charged offense. The fees would go into the town general fund.
See the pdf above to see the complete ordinance that would establish Barrington’s first municipal court.