Rhode Island Court Records Search

What is Included in Rhode Island Public Court Records

Criminal Court Cases

Assault & Battery, Domestic Violence, Parole Violation, Probation Violation, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Manslaughter, Murder, Drug Offenses, And More...

Civil Court Cases

Bankruptcies, Legal Judgments, Lawsuits, Tax & Property Liens, Contract Disputes, Probates, Family Law, Small Claims, Evictions, And More...

Traffic Court Cases

Driving Under Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, Speeding Tickets, Traffic Citations, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, License Suspensions, Criminal Driving Violations, Accidents, And More...

Rhode Island Court Record Lookup

Rhode Island RI court records are public documents, available to anyone who makes a Rhode Island court records search. In Rhode Island, court documents may be used to establish child support, collect an inheritance, correct a driving record, or evict a tenant.

Limited jurisdiction courts

The Traffic Tribunal court handles only traffic tickets and related matters.

Family Court is responsible for domestic relations such as divorce, custody, and neglect cases, as well as juvenile courts including drug court and truancy courts. Family courts received about 3,000 divorce cases and nearly 2,500 child custody cases in a recent year.

Worker’s Compensation court has jurisdiction over claims of on the job injuries and related payments.

Probate courts are part of the municipal government in the state, with each town having its own probate department. These courts decide the legitimacy of wills and heirs. Anyone can access Rhode Island court records online.

Trial courts

District courts do not conduct jury trials when they hear misdemeanor criminal cases and civil suits in which the value does not exceed $10,000. These Rhode Island courthouses received over 56,000 cases in a recent year, including 22,500 civil cases and 21,600 misdemeanors.

Found in five districts around the state, superior courts have general jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases (the latter when valued above $10,000). Appeals of district and probate court cases are heard here, de novo, which means new trials are held rather than panels of judges reviewing the case.

Information about court records may be searched online by conducting Rhode Island court case lookup. Juvenile case records and those that include the names of victims of certain crimes are kept confidential and not subject to records requests.

In a recent year, superior courts received 13,739 new cases; of those almost 5,000 were felonies and over 8,000 were civil cases.

Appellate court

The state supreme court hears appeals of superior court cases and presides over the state judiciary.

The State Federal court

Each state has at least one branch of federal court, U.S. District Court, which has jurisdiction over violations of federal law, bankruptcies, and lawsuits involving multiple states. Records of these cases may be searched online by performing Rhode Island court record lookup.

Rhode Island Notable Court Cases

In 1786, Trevett v. Weeden., a case regarding paper currency being required to be accepted as legal tender, was one of the first cases to ever determine a legislative act was unconstitutional.

Picard v. Barry Pontiac-Buick, Inc. (1995), was a famous tort case now used in many textbooks as an example of battery. Battery is legally defined as "'offensive or unconsensual touching upon the body."

Angel v. Murray (1974) was the first case to apply UCC reasoning to service contract modification. The court's decision stated that if certain conditions are present, a contract does not always need to be modified. In this case, a contractor was hired to remove trash for a city in 1964 for a period of five years. In 1967, the contract price was increased by $10,000 because of the vast increase in households the contractor was removing refuse for. A lower trial court ordered the extra $10,000 to be paid back because it was not specified in the original contract. However, the Rhode Island Supreme Court determined that the precedent for such a case regarded only goods and not services, so it was determined that the unforeseen increase in refuse removal, although not specified in the still-active contract, was deserving of a higher contract price and the $10,000 additional fee was reasonable for such an increase in work.

Rhode Island Civil Case Statistics

Civil Caseload
Civil Caseload 43,805
Caseloads per 100.000 Population
Caseloads per 100.000 Population 4,147
Clearance Rate
Clearance Rate 92%
Small Claims Caseload
Small Claims Caseload 3,740

Civil Caseloads for Rhode Island, the sum of all civil cases reported by the state, account for 103,058 total cases at the year end of 2016, which makes it 4,147 cases per 100.000 population.

The clearance rate for the state is about 92% which makes up by dividing the outgoing to incoming civil cases and expressing the result in a percentage.

State Small Claims & Rates Timeline

Year: Small Claims Max. Limit Small Claims Caseload per 100.000 Population Percent of Total Civil Caseload
2012$250011,1301,06022%
2013$250013,0851,24425%
2015$25004,5764339%
2016$25003,7403549%

The caseload for small claims has decreased since 2012, going from 11,130 cases a year to 3,740 of 2016. The maximum limit of small claim charges has stayed the same at $2,500 in 2016 compared to the $2,500 that was registered 5 years ago.

Accordingly the small claims rate has decreased- 354 cases per 100 000 population compared to the 1,060 of 2012. The total percentage of civil caseloads accounts 25.6% for the state of Rhode Island for 2016.

Criminal Caseloads by Type

Criminal Caseloads for Rhode Island sum in 33,693 cases at the year end of 2016 which has a share of 64% of misdemeanor and 35% of felony charges. Total criminal cases have decreased in Rhode Island compared to the criminal caseload of 2012 - 39,932 cases. Felonies and misdemeanors have changed since 2012 by -17% and +7% accordingly.

The Proportion of Felony and Misdemeanor Caseloads

Criminal Incoming Court Cases by type 2012-2016

Criminal Caseloads Timeline

Domestic Relations Caseloads & Clearance Rates

The state’s domestic relations caseload has counted 9,335 cases which is 884 court cases per 100.000 population. It has decreased since 2012, the difference in caseloads is 3,953 for the last 5 years, being 13,288 in 2012.

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday, January 15, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Victory Day Monday, August 13, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Columbus DayMonday, October 8, 2018
Election DayTuesday, November 6, 2018
Veterans’ Day (Observed)Monday, Nov 12, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Christmas Day Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Supreme Court Caseloads & Clearance Rates