Rhode Island

Rhode Island

August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): An individual who is a party to either an in-person conversation or electronic communication, or who has the consent of one of the parties to the communication, can lawfully record it, unless the person is doing so for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act. A person also can lawfully disclose the contents of face-to-face conversations or electronic communications that have become common knowledge or public information. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-35-21 (2012).

Rhode Island Supreme Court dismisses defamation complaint against reporter, talk radio host

Raymond Baldino | Libel | News | July 9, 2012
July 9, 2012

The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a defamation claim brought by a restaurant owner against two journalists for their coverage of a 2009 "off the record" event at his restaurant where attendees included politicians, businesspeople and press members.

Rhode Island revamps public records law to be more requestor-friendly

Raymond Baldino | Freedom of Information | News | June 27, 2012
June 27, 2012

Rhode Island's governor signed into law yesterday what open records advocates have called the first major revisions in 14 years to its Access to Public Records Act -- changes that will both make more records available and give requestors more rights under the act.

Reporters Committee urges R.I. governor to sign FOIA enhancement bill

Press Release | June 15, 2012
June 15, 2012

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today submitted a letter to Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, urging him to sign into law a bill amending the state Access to Public Records Act that would increase public access to a number of categories of state records.

Letter to R.I. Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee

June 15, 2012

The Reporters Committee urged the governor to sign into law H 7555, which would amend the public records act to increase access to certain records and improve enforcement of the Act.

Rhode Island moves to withhold police shooters' names

Hannah Bergman | Freedom of Information | Reaction | June 10, 2009
June 10, 2009

The Rhode Island legislature is considering a bill that would block release of the names of police officers who are involved in shootings until after investigations are complete.

Newspaper heads to high court over jury questionnaires

Jason Wiederin | Newsgathering | Quicklink | November 26, 2008
November 26, 2008

The Rhode Island Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments over The Providence Journal's request for jury selection questionnaires in a pair of criminal cases stemming from a deadly nightclub fire, the newspaper reported.

Rhode Island AG targets mayor's office for withholding records

Stacey Laskin | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | July 17, 2008
July 17, 2008

The attorney general of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against the city of Cranston on Wednesday over alleged violations of the state's public records law, The Providence Journal reported. 

Patrick Lynch is suing on behalf of a local radio disc jockey who waited months for the city to produce records on long-distance phone calls and other matters, The Journal said. The disc jockey, John Bina, is currently running for a position on the city council.

R.I. Senate committee approves open records measure

Virgie Townsend | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | May 30, 2008
May 30, 2008

Rhode Island’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved updated legislation that will limit the time state agencies have to respond to record requests to seven days instead of the current 10.