Rhode Island

Radio talk-show host fights special prosecutor's subpoena

Reporter's Privilege | Feature | November 1, 2001
Feature
November 1, 2001

Lawsuit challenges city's gag order on police officers

Secret Courts | Feature | November 27, 2000
Feature
November 27, 2000

Study shows high number of sealed records in state court

Secret Courts | Feature | November 6, 2000
Feature
November 6, 2000

Broad order to seal all child sex assault records struck down

Secret Courts | Feature | June 15, 1998
Feature
June 15, 1998

RHODE ISLAND--In late May, the Supreme Court in Providence unanimously struck down a lower court's policy that sealed all court files in criminal cases involving child victims of sexual assault.

The Supreme Court rejected Judge Joseph Rodgers Jr.'s broad interpretation of a state statute rendering confidential records "concern[ing] the identity of a victim of child molestation sexual assault." A person is guilty of child molestation if he or she has sexual contact with a person who is under 14 years of age.

Defendant does not have Sixth Amendment right to televised trial

Feature | March 23, 1998
Feature
March 23, 1998

Defendant does not have Sixth Amendment right to televised trial

03/23/98

RHODE ISLAND--In mid-February, the Rhode Island Supreme Court in Providence unanimously held that a criminal defendant does not have a right to a televised trial.

The appellate panel noted that state court rules prohibit review of the trial justice's decision to prohibit cameras in the courtrooms, and found no "constitutional implications" in the exercise of a justice's discretion.

Reporter acquitted of obstruction charge

Feature | May 19, 1997
Feature
May 19, 1997

Reporter acquitted of obstruction charge

05/19/97

RHODE ISLAND--A Providence Journal-Bulletin reporter was cleared in early May of a charge of obstruction of justice based on his persistent questioning of police at the scene of a reported shooting.

Open Meetings Act does not protect expelled photographer

Freedom of Information | Feature | March 10, 1997
Feature
March 10, 1997

Open Meetings Act does not protect expelled photographer

03/10/97

RHODE ISLAND--In a mid-January decision, the state Supreme Court in Providence ruled that a newspaper photographer who refused to obey instructions may be expelled from a "financial town meeting" because the meeting is not covered by the state Open Meetings Act.

Court reinstates negligence suit over suicide call

Feature | January 27, 1997
Feature
January 27, 1997

Court reinstates negligence suit over suicide call

01/27/97

RHODE ISLAND--The state Supreme Court voted 4-1 in late December to reinstate a woman's 1994 lawsuit claiming that a television reporter's actions led to her husband's suicide. The court overturned a lower court's dismissal of the claims, finding that the question of negligence has to be answered by a jury.

Ban on advertisement of liquor prices struck down

Feature | May 20, 1996
Feature
May 20, 1996

Ban on advertisement of liquor prices struck down

05/20/96

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Supreme Court in mid-May struck down a 1956 Rhode Island law that banned the advertisement of retail liquor prices, holding that the state's interest in discouraging alcohol consumption did not justify the broad restriction on truthful commercial speech.

Council violates open meetings law before taking office

Freedom of Information | Feature | February 12, 1996
Feature
February 12, 1996

Council violates open meetings law before taking office

02/12/96

RHODE ISLAND--Members-elect of the Newport City Council violated the spirit of the state's Open Meetings Act when they met several times in closed sessions at the members' homes, the state's attorney general held in late December.