Housing Court

Judge: Stephen J. Sypole, Esq.
401-245-7343
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The Housing Court for the Town of Warren was created in 2017 pursuant to an act of the Rhode Island General Assembly and corresponding ordinances passed by the Warren Town Council. The Housing Court has jurisdiction to hear cases involving violations of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, Building Code, Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code, Subdivision and Land Development Act, and related State laws and Town regulations. The Court also has jurisdiction to order properties into receivership pursuant to the Rhode Island Abandoned Properties Act. Failure to comply with an order of the Housing Court may result in a finding of contempt, imposition of a fine, and the recording of a lien against the subject property. Proceedings in the Housing Court are appealable to the Rhode Island Superior Court. The Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure are available on the Town’s web site; further inquiries may be directed to the Clerk of the Housing Court.

Housing Court Rules of Practice and Procedure

Regular sessions of the Warren Housing Court shall be held on the
second Wednesday of every month and shall begin at 7:30PM.
Sessions will be held in the Council Chambers,
514 Main St, 2nd floor, Warren, RI 02885. 

The Housing Court's regularly scheduled sessions will be posted on the
Town of Warren's website at the beginning of each calendar year. 

 

2019 Sessions 


January 9, 2019

February 13, 2019

March 13, 2019

April 10, 2019

May 8, 2019

June 12, 2019

July 10, 2019

August 14, 2019

September 11, 2019

October 9, 2019

November 13, 2019

December 11, 2019

 
August 22, 2019 Docket 

TOWN CODE ARTICLE III. - HOUSING COURT

Sec. 6.5-33. - Title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Housing Court Ordinance."

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-34. - Purpose.

This article shall be liberally construed to the end that all people be housed in dwellings that are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and that levels of residential environmental quality be achieved and maintained as will protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town of Warren.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-35. - Establishment; judge; jurisdiction; seal; oaths.

(a)  In accordance with the express enabling authority granted by the General Assembly in R.I.G.L. § 45-2-47, there is hereby established in the Town of Warren a Housing Court.

(b)  There shall be a housing court judge, appointed by the Warren Town Council, to hear and determine causes involving the violation of the zoning ordinances of the town and any violation of the provisions of chapter 24 of this title, (the Rhode Island Zoning Enabling Act of 1991), any violation of chapter 24.1 of this title (the Historical Zoning Act), any violation of chapter 24.2 of this title (Minimum Housing Standards Act), any violation of chapter 24.3 of this title (Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code), any violation of chapter 23 of this title (Subdivision and Land Development Act), any violation of any local Warren ordinance or regulation enacted pursuant to these chapters, and any violation of the provisions of chapter 27.3 of title 23 (the Rhode Island state building code), and any violation of the provisions of those regulations promulgated by the state building code commission entitled SBC-I Rhode Island State Building Code, SBC-2 Rhode Island state one- and two-family dwelling code, SBC-3 Rhode Island State Plumbing Code, SBC-4 Rhode Island State Mechanical Code, SBC-5 Rhode Island State Electrical Code, SBC-6 state property maintenance code, SBC-8 Rhode Island State Energy Conservation Code, and SBC-20 Rhode Island State Fuel and Gas Code and to hear and determine any other causes brought to promote, protect or enhance the residential environmental quality of the people.

(c)  The housing court judge may, but is not required to, serve simultaneously as the Judge of the Warren Municipal Court.

(d)  The housing court will commence upon the passage of this article.

(e)  The housing court shall be a court of record and shall, at a minimum, tape record all sessions.

(f)  The housing court shall have a seal which shall contain such words and devices as the court shall adopt.

(g)  The housing court judge shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations, compel the attendance of witnesses, punish persons for contempt and to execute search warrants to the extent warrants could be executed by a judge of the district court.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-36. - Powers of the housing court.

(a)  The housing court shall be a court of town-wide jurisdiction; and no order, decree, judgment, sentence, warrant, writ or process made, issued or pronounced by it need set out any adjudication or circumstances with greater particularity than would be required in courts of superior and general jurisdiction. The writs, subpoenas, citations, orders, notices, executions and all other processes issued by the housing court shall be under the seal of the housing court, signed by the housing court clerk and bear the signature of the housing court judge and shall run throughout the state.

(b)  In all matters within its jurisdiction, the housing court shall have the power to proceed according to equity to:

(1)  Restrain, prevent, enjoin, abate or correct a violation.

(2)  Order the repair, vacation or demolition of any dwelling existing in violation.

(3)  Otherwise compel compliance with all of the provisions of these ordinances or statutes.

(4)  Order a dwelling into receivership and to order the removal of any clouds on the title to the building or property which shall be binding upon all those claiming by, through, under or by virtue of any inferior liens or encumbrances pursuant to R.I.G.L. Tit. 34, Ch. 44 et seq.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-37. - Sessions.

The housing court shall conduct business in the Warren Town Hall at such times and under such conditions as the housing court judge may from time to time direct.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-38. - Administration of operation.

(a)  The housing court judge shall be administrative judge of said court and shall be the head of said court and have supervision and control of the calendars of the court.

(b)  All court stenographers and secretaries shall be under the supervision of the housing court judge whose duty it shall be to gather such statistics as shall reflect accurately the work of the court, for the information of the court and such other use as may be deemed expedient.

(c)  The housing court judge shall also be charged with the general responsibility for any recommendations that may be important for the work of said court.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-39. - Rule of practice and procedure.

The housing court, through its judge, may from time to time make and promulgate rules for regulating practice and conducting business therein. in all matters wherein the housing court is authorized or directed to make or promulgate rules, said court shall have the authority, until such time as such rules may be promulgated, to provide by order in special cases.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-40. - Authority and duties of clerks.

The housing court clerk shall serve simultaneously as the Clerk of the Warren Municipal Court. In addition to any other authority or duties provided by this article, the housing court clerk shall have the authority to carry out the duties with respect to the housing court that are exercised or performed by the clerks of the district courts or superior court in housing and zoning enforcement matters.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-41. - Appeal.

Any party aggrieved by final judgment, decree or order of the housing court may, within twenty (20) days after entry of judgment, may appeal for a trial de novo in superior court.

(Ord. of 10-10-2017)

Sec. 6.5-42. - Annual appropriations.
The town council shall annually appropriate such sums as shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article, and the town treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to draw their order for the payment of such sum, or so much thereof as may be required from time to time, upon receipt by them of duly authenticated vouchers approved by the housing court judge.
(Ord. of 10-10-2017)