(a) Any person convicted of a first violation of this chapter shall, except where a penalty is specifically set forth, be subject to a fine of not less than eighty-five dollars ($85.00), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). In addition to, or in lieu of, the fine imposed hereunder, the person so convicted may be ordered to pick up litter for not less than two (2), nor more than twenty-five (25), hours.

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 37-15-7

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Litter: means garbage, trash, waste, rubbish, ashes, cans, bottles, wire, paper, cartons, boxes, automobile parts, furniture, glass, or anything else of an unsightly or unsanitary nature thrown, dropped, discarded, placed, or deposited by a person on public property, on private property not owned by the person, or in or on waters of the state, unless the person has:

    (i) Been directed to do so by a public official as part of a litter collection drive;

    (ii) Discarded, thrown, dropped, placed, or discarded the material in a litter receptacle in a manner that prevented the material from being carried away by the elements; or

    (iii) Been issued a license or permit covering the material pursuant to chapters 18. See Rhode Island General Laws 37-15-3

  • Person: means any natural person, political subdivision, government agency, public or private corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, firm, individual proprietorship, or other entity whatsoever. See Rhode Island General Laws 37-15-3
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.

(b) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this chapter shall, except where a penalty is specifically set forth, be subject to a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). In addition to, or in lieu of, the fine imposed upon a second or subsequent violation of this chapter, the person so convicted may be ordered to pick up litter for not less than four (4), nor more than fifty (50), hours.

(c) Jurisdiction to punish violators of the provisions of this chapter is conferred on the traffic tribunal.

(d) Any person convicted of a violation of this chapter shall, in addition to all other penalties, be liable for the removal of all litter or ordered to pay restitution for the cost of removal of all litter illegally disposed of by that person. The traffic tribunal may hold the registration of any vehicle owned by the violator and used in the act of littering until the aforementioned liability is satisfied.

(e) The funds received by a state law enforcement agency shall be deposited as general revenues; provided, however, that thirty percent (30%) of any fine collected pursuant to a complaint filed by a local law enforcement agency shall inure to the benefit of that agency, with remittances to be made not less often than once every three (3) months.

(f) Penalties of eighty-five dollars ($85.00) for violations of § 37-15-7 may be disposed of without the necessity of personally appearing before the traffic tribunal. Said penalty may be handled administratively by mailing a check or money order, together with the properly executed form provided, to the appropriate address as set forth in the summons issued by the enforcing agent.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 251, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 150, § 43; P.L. 1985, ch. 155, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 317, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 70, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 433, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 114; P.L. 1997, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 58, § 12; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 128; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 12, § 17; P.L. 2014, ch. 368, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 380, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 430, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 453, § 1.)