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Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Brown University and the City of Providence. In count one of their complaint Plaintiffs sought a declaration that the university’s construction of an artificial turf field hockey field with attendant bleachers, electronic scoreboard, press box, and public-address system was an unlawful use under the Providence zoning ordinance. The superior court granted summary judgment to Defendants as to count one. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding that the hearing justice erred in finding that Plaintiffs had no standing with respect to count one because, as abutting property owners, Plaintiffs clearly established an articulable injury in fact. View "Key v. Brown University" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs claimed that the sale of property without their consent to an entity of which Defendants were principals, was fraudulent. Plaintiffs also named as a defendant the title insurance and escrow agent in connection with the sale of the property. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in part and vacated it in part, holding (1) the hearing justice erred in determining that there was no factual issue regarding damages, and summary judgment is vacated as to the individual defendants to the extent that Plaintiffs may show damages for lost profits sustained in their individual capacities only; (2) the superior court properly granted summary judgment for the individual defendants as to Plaintiffs’ tortious interference with a contractual relationship claims, intentional interference with prospective contractual relations claims, breach of contract claims, fraud claims, and civil conspiracy claims; and (3) the judgment is affirmed in favor of the title company in all respects. View "Fogarty v. Palumbo" on Justia Law

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In this commercial property dispute between a landlord, Roadepot, LLC and Keyserton, LLC (collectively, Roadepot), and a tenant, Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., regarding sewer assessment charges, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part judgments of the superior court. The Supreme Court held that the superior court (1) properly granted partial summary judgment in favor of Home Depot obligating Roadepot to pay the disputed sewer assessment charges; (2) the superior court erred in requiring Roadepot to reimburse Home Depot for sewer assessment charges paid by Home Depot before September 17, 2009; and (3) did not err in limiting Home Depot’s request for prejudgment interest and denying its claim for late fees on the sewer assessment charges. View "Roadepot, LLC et al. v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgments of conviction entered in the superior court following a jury trial convicting Defendant of three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of carrying a pistol without a license. The Supreme Court held (1) the superior court justice erred in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized by police during a warrantless search of Defendant’s home because the state failed to overcome the presumption of unreasonableness that accompanies every warrantless entry into a home; and (2) the admission of the unlawfully seized evidence was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. View "State v. Terzian" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court following a jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff on a single claim of employment discrimination based on national origin. Both parties appealed the judgment. The Supreme Court denied and dismissed all appeals, holding that the superior court justice (1) did not err in instructing the jury on the law of evidentiary presumptions and its application to this discrimination claim; (2) properly weighed the evidence and did not invade the province of the jury; and (3) did not err when she vacated the jury’s finding that Plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages. Further, Plaintiff was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on a separate count in the complaint that also alleged employment discrimination. View "Yangambi v. Providence School Board" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decree of the family court as it pertained to Mother. The decree found that Mother failed to provide Daughter with a minimum degree of care or guardianship, that Child was without proper parental care and supervision, that Mother inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon Daughter physical injury, and that Mother created or allowed to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to Daughter. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the evidence presented was insufficient to permit a reasonable inference to be drawn that Mother abused and negligent Child. View "In re Adrina T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of-first degree murder and the discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial justice erred when “he refused to give an eyewitness identification jury instruction approved by this Court in State v. Werner, 851 A.2d 1093, 1002 (R.I. 2004).” The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the trial court did not err and comported with case law when it denied Defendant’s request for a jury instruction on eyewitness identification, which instruction Defendant wished to be taken verbatim from Werner. View "State v. Fuentes" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s convictions of three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. Defendant was sixteen years old when he was identified as the shooter during an attempted robbery. Before trial, new information came to light, and the State’s theory of the case indicated that Defendant was not the shooter. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred by admitting R.I. R. Evid. 404(b) evidence. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the evidence had slight probative value, if any at all, with respect with Defendant, and, moreover, was highly likely to have had an unduly prejudicial impact on the jury. Therefore, the admission of the evidence was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. View "State v. Husband" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Adam Correia was seriously injured after he and Edward Alexander went target shooting and Alexander accidentally shot Correia in the abdomen. Correia brought five claims against John and Theresa Bettencourt, the owners of the property where the accidental shooting occurred. At issue was whether John Bettencourt had a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect Correia from the negligence of a third party, Alexander. The superior court granted summary judgment to the Bettencourts on all counts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that no material facts were at issue in this case and that the facts presented did not give rise to the imposition of a duty upon Bettencourt. View "Correia v. Bettencourt" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for one count of first-degree robbery, two counts of felony assault, one count of second-degree murder, and one count of committing a crime of violence while possessing a firearm. On appeal, Defendant challenged the evidentiary rulings of the trial justice and the trial justice’s denial of his motion for a new trial. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no prejudicial error in the trial justice’s evidentiary rulings; and (2) the trial justice did not overlook or misconceive material evidence, nor was he otherwise clearly wrong, in denying Defendant’s motion for a new trial. View "State v. Adams" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law