Attorney General Peter Kilmartin
Rhode Island District Court
Civil Rules of Procedure
X. District Court and Clerks
- District Court and Clerks
RULE 77. DISTRICT COURT AND CLERKS
RULE 78. [RESERVED]
- District Court Always Open
- Trials and Hearings; Orders in Chambers.
- Clerk's Office and Orders by Clerk.
- Notice of Orders for Judgment.
- Transmittal of Papers.
- Agreements Between Counsel
- Written Order From Any Civil Calendar.
RULE 79. BOOKS AND RECORDS KEPT BY THE CLERK AND ENTRIES THEREIN
RULE 77. DISTRICT COURT AND CLERKS
(a) District Court Always Open. Subject to law the District Court shall be deemed
always open for the purpose of filing any pleading or other proper paper, of issuing and
returning process, and of making and directing all interlocutory motions, orders, and
(b) Trials and Hearings; Orders in Chambers. All trials upon the merits shall be
conducted in open court insofar as practicable in a regular courtroom. All other acts or
proceedings may be done or conducted by a judge in chambers, without the attendance of
the clerk or other court officials.
(c) Clerk's Office and Orders by Clerk. The clerk's office for each division with the
clerk or a deputy clerk in attendance shall be open during business hours on all days
except Sundays and legal holidays. All motions and applications in the clerk's office for
issuing mesne process, for issuing final process to enforce and execute judgments, for
entering defaults or judgments by default, and for other proceedings which do not require
allowance or order of the court are grantable of course by the clerk or deputy clerk; but
his or her action may be suspended or rescinded by the court upon cause shown.
(d) Notice of Orders for Judgment. Immediately upon the entry of any order or
judgment the clerk shall serve a notice of the entry by mail in the manner provided for in
Rule 5 upon each party who is not in default for failure to appear, and shall make a note
in the docket of the mailing period. Such mailing is sufficient notice for all purposes for
which notice of the entry of an order is required by these rules; but any party may in
addition serve a notice of such entry in the manner provided in Rule 5 for the service of
papers. No notice need be served if an order or judgment is entered in open court in the
presence of the parties or their counsel.
(e) Transmittal of Papers. At the direction of any judge of the court, the clerk or the
clerk's deputies shall transmit the papers in any action from one division to another when
a matter has been duly set down for hearing in a division other than that in which the
action is pending. Pleadings, motions, and papers to be filed in such case shall be filed in
the office of the clerk for the division in which the case is pending. The clerk for the
division in which the case is heard shall certify the proceedings had in the clerk's division
to the clerk for the division in which the case is pending and, at the direction of any judge
of the court, shall return to such clerk all the papers, to be kept there on file.
When the court orders a change of venue such order shall include a direction to the clerk
to transmit all papers to the clerk for the division to which the action is transferred and
thereafter all papers shall be filed and all proceedings taken as if the action had been
entered in the division to which it is transferred.
(f) Agreements Between Counsel. All agreements of parties or attorneys involving the
business of the court shall be in writing, unless orally made or assented to by them in the
presence of the court. Otherwise, they will be considered of no validity.
(g) Written Order From Any Civil Calendar. Whenever upon any civil calendar a
written order is either required by the court or chosen to be filed by a party, any interested
party may file in the clerk's office an order carrying the same into effect with a certificate
that a copy has been mailed to all other parties. If only one (1) order is filed on a
particular subject and no objection thereto be filed within four (4) days thereafter, the
clerk shall enter the order. If more than one (1) order is filed addressing a particular
subject by opposing parties or if objection be filed by any party to any particular order
within said four (4) days, an order addressing the subject matter shall be entered only by
RULE 78. [RESERVED]
RULE 79. BOOKS AND RECORDS KEPT BY THE CLERK AND ENTRIES
(a) Docket. The clerk of each division of the District Court shall keep a docket and an
alphabetical index thereof, of all actions, complaints or proceedings either of a civil or
criminal nature, that may be entered or had in the division, and shall note in the docket
against each case the decision or determination thereof, and all subsequent proceedings,
and the judgments therein, and in all criminal cases the fines or imprisonment to which
the defendant may be sentenced.
(b) Entry of Decisions, Judgments and Proceedings. The clerk of each division of the
court shall record the decisions, judgments and proceedings of such division in a book to
be kept for that purpose.
(c) The clerk of each division shall tax costs, including officer's fees in all cases, civil or
criminal, that may be entered, commenced or pending in such division; and all taxation
by the clerk shall be subject to revision by any district court judge sitting in the division.
(d) The clerk of each division shall receive all fines and costs in criminal cases, and all
court fees in civil cases and shall account therefor as by law required.
(e) The clerk in each division shall have custody of the seal of the division.