Lawsuit saysTraffic Tribunal Magistrates are unconstitutiona - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Lawsuit says Traffic Tribunal Magistrates are unconstitutional, seeks to recover fees

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Dee DeQuattro

A local attorney is taking on the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal in a big way.

On Wednesday, Providence Attorney Keven McKenna filed a lawsuit on behalf of several defendants against the magistrates of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

The lawsuit contends that the magistrates entered civil judgments against the Plaintiffs however they do not have the constitutional authority to do so because they were not appointed by the governor.

The suit filed in Providence Superior Court says that the "defendant magistrates and judges," have not been appointed by the Governor as is required by Rhode Island state law and therefore lack the constitutional authority to enter judgments or enforce executions.

The suit says that the named defendants were appointed by other judges including Former Chief Judge of the Rhode Island District Court Albert DeRobbio and the past and present Chief Justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. As a result, the suit, says they were appointed "unconstitutionally."

The Traffic Court Judges and Magistrates named in the suit include Chief Magistrate William Guglietta, Magistrate Alan Goulart, Magistrate R. David Cruise, Magistrate Domenic DiSandro III, Magistrate William Noonan, Magistrate Lillian Almeida, and Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Paul Suttell.

The plaintiffs are seeking to recover financial penalties with interest, fees and costs, and attorney's fees through the litigation.

Currently those appointed to Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal as a magistrate serve for a ten-year term.

(c) WLNE-TV 2013


Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.


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