Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 9-19.1-3

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • person: extends to and includes co-partnerships and bodies corporate and politic. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-6
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.


(a) The privilege conferred by § 9-19.1-2 shall not apply to any information which has at any time been published, broadcast, or otherwise made public by the person claiming the privilege.

(b) The privilege conferred by § 9-19.1-2 shall not apply:

(1) To the source of any allegedly defamatory information in any case where the defendant, in a civil action for defamation, asserts a defense based on the source of the information; or

(2) To the source of any information concerning the details of any grand jury or other proceeding which was required to be secret under the laws of the state.

(c) In any case where a person claims a privilege conferred by this statute, the person seeking the information or the source of the information may apply to the superior court for an order divesting the privilege. If the court, after hearing the parties, shall find that there is substantial evidence that disclosure of the information or of the source of the information is necessary to permit a criminal prosecution for the commission of a specific felony, or to prevent a threat to human life, and that the information or the source of the information is not available from other prospective witnesses, the court may make such order as may be proper under the circumstance. Any such order shall be appealable under the provisions of chapter 24 of Title 9.