Facsnet.org Logo

Rhode Island Public Records

Rhode Island Court Records consist of a wide array of documents such as verdicts, judgments, filings, opinions, and recordings, all created or maintained by courts in the course of legal proceedings. These records provide a detailed account of the proceedings and decisions in court cases, essential for personal investigations and legal research.

They are crucial for tracking court processes and compiling information on an individual’s interactions with the judicial system. Rhode Island’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) regulates how these court records can be accessed, granting the public the right to view and copy these records. This Act is designed to promote openness, assist in legal research, and encourage public engagement in the judicial process.

How to request Rhode Island Public Records?

To request public records in Rhode Island, follow these steps:

Table of Contents

To request Rhode Island public records, follow these steps:

Where to find Public Records in Rhode Island

Here’s where you can find various public records in Rhode Island

Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce):

Vital records in Rhode Island can be obtained from the Rhode Island Department of Health. They maintain birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.

Property Records:

Property records in Rhode Island are usually maintained by the city or town where the property is located.

Business Records:

Business records, including information about corporations, LLCs, and other business entities, can be accessed through the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website.

Court Records:

Rhode Island court records can be found through the Rhode Island Judiciary’s Public Portal. This portal provides access to case information from the Rhode Island courts.

Driving Records:

Driving records in Rhode Island are managed by the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can request your driving record through their website.

Professional Licenses

Professional license records in Rhode Island can be searched through the Department of Business Regulation's online search tool. This includes licenses for various professions like contractors, real estate agents, and more.

Rhode Island State Archives:

For historical records the Rhode Island State Archives holds a vast collection of historical documents and public records.

Are Rhode Island Public Records Available Online?

You can utilize the online inmate search provided by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections to gather information about inmates currently housed in state prisons. Additionally, the Rhode Island Judiciary offers a public portal where you can search for court cases using various criteria such as case number, party name, or attorney name. Furthermore, Rhode Island’s counties also offer online access to their records, which can be found on each respective county’s website.

State Public Records Law

Which records are public in Rhode Island

Which records are not public in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA) specifies a range of exemptions to the default presumption of public accessibility for certain records, ensuring the protection of sensitive information. For a comprehensive understanding of which records may be exempt from disclosure under the APRA, it’s advisable to review the statute in detail or consult with the relevant government agency holding the records you’re interested in. This can be done through the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website or by directly contacting the specific agency. The types of records commonly exempt from disclosure include:

Rhode Island Background Checks

Rhode Island background checks are investigative processes used to gather information about an individual’s history, primarily for employment, housing, or legal purposes. These checks are conducted to ensure the safety, reliability, and integrity of individuals in various settings.

A Rhode Island background check report can include a variety of information, depending on the depth and purpose of the check:

What Can Be Included In a Background Check Report?

Criminal History

This may include information on arrests, convictions, sentences, and incarcerations. Rhode Island criminal records can be obtained from the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) under the Attorney General's office.

Employment History

Verification of past employment, including positions held, duration of employment, and reasons for leaving, to confirm the individual's work history and experience.

Education Verification

Confirmation of degrees, certifications, and educational qualifications claimed by the individual.

Credit History

For certain positions, especially those involving financial responsibilities, a credit check may be included to assess financial reliability. This is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Driving Records

Driving history, including any traffic violations, accidents, DUI records, and license suspensions, can be included, particularly relevant for positions requiring driving.

Civil Records

These include records of civil legal actions, such as lawsuits, liens, judgments, and protective orders.

Professional Licenses

This involves checking the validity of professional licenses, ensuring they are current and in good standing.

Sex Offender Registry Information

Checking if the individual is listed on state or national sex offender registries.

Reference Checks

Contacting personal or professional references provided by the individual.

Rhode Island Court Records

Overview of the Rhode Island court system and its Structure

The Rhode Island court system is structured to efficiently handle various types of legal matters, ranging from minor infractions to complex civil and criminal cases. It is composed of several levels of courts, each with specific jurisdictions and responsibilities:

  • Supreme Court: At the apex of the Rhode Island court system is the Supreme Court. It is the state’s court of last resort and has the ultimate authority in interpreting the Rhode Island Constitution and state law. The Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts and has original jurisdiction over certain types of cases.
  • Superior Court: The Superior Court is the state’s trial court of general jurisdiction. It handles all felony criminal cases, civil cases involving substantial monetary disputes, and various other matters. The Superior Court also hears appeals from the District Court and Family Court.
  • Family Court: The Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, and domestic violence cases. It also deals with juvenile matters, such as delinquency, dependency, and abuse.
  • District Court: The District Court handles misdemeanor criminal cases, small claims, and civil cases involving smaller monetary amounts. It also oversees traffic violations and some administrative hearings.
  • Workers’ Compensation Court: This specialized court deals exclusively with workers’ compensation claims, including disputes between employees and employers regarding workplace injuries and compensation.
  • Municipal Courts: Operating at the city or town level, Municipal Courts handle local ordinance violations, traffic infractions, and minor criminal matters. The jurisdiction and structure of these courts can vary depending on the municipality.
  • Traffic Tribunal: The Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal specifically handles traffic offenses and violations, operating separately from the District Court system.

Types of Rhode Island Court Records

Rhode Island Civil and Small Claims Records

Rhode Island Criminal Records

Family Records

Traffic Records

Rhode Island Bankruptcy Records

Rhode Island Probate Records

Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

In Rhode Island, while many court records are accessible to the public, there are specific restrictions and limitations in place to maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information. Certain records are deemed confidential and are not available for public inspection. This includes records involving juvenile cases, mental health evaluations, adoption proceedings, and cases sealed by the court’s order. Additionally, personal information like Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, and victims’ identities in sensitive cases is often redacted to protect individual privacy. The Rhode Island Judiciary ensures that these confidentiality measures comply with both state laws and federal regulations, balancing the public’s right to access with the need to protect individual privacy and the integrity of the judicial process. As such, individuals seeking access to court records are often required to adhere to specific procedures and may encounter limitations on the types of information that can be disclosed.

What do these records contain

Rhode Island Public Vital Records

Marriage and Divorce Records: Rhode Island marriage and divorce records are official documents that record the legal union and dissolution of marriages within the state. Marriage records typically include information such as the names of the spouses, the date and place of the marriage, and the officiant, while divorce records provide details like the names of the parties involved, the date of the divorce, grounds for the divorce, and the court order. These records are maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Health, which provides access to certified copies for legal and personal use. While anyone can obtain a marriage record, divorce records are typically only accessible to the parties involved and their legal representatives, due to privacy considerations. To request these records, individuals can visit the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Vital Records page, where guidelines for obtaining these documents and the necessary forms are provided. The process includes submitting a request form along with the required identification and fee, either in person, by mail, or through an online service.

Birth and Death Records:Rhode Island birth and death records are vital documents managed by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Birth records typically include information such as the date and place of birth, parent’s names, and other birth details, while death records contain information like the date, place, and cause of death. These records are essential for various legal, personal, and genealogical purposes. Certified copies of birth and death records can be obtained for individuals who were born or died in Rhode Island. Access to these records is generally restricted to the person named on the record, immediate family members, or legal representatives, to protect privacy and personal information. To request these vital records, interested parties can visit the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records website. The site provides detailed instructions on how to request these records, including the necessary forms, identification requirements, and applicable fees. Requests can be made in person, by mail, or through certain online services.

Rhode Island Public Criminal Records

Definition and Types of Criminal Records in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Criminal Records, assembled by different law enforcement agencies during criminal investigations, offer significant insights into an individual’s participation in unlawful activities. These records play a vital role in upholding public safety and fostering transparency in the judicial system. They are instrumental in protecting communities and maintaining the tenets of justice, as they provide critical information that assists law enforcement and the public in making well-informed decisions.

Information Included in Criminal Records

Rhode Island Criminal Records typically include a range of information that provides a comprehensive overview of an individual’s interactions with the criminal justice system. The information contained in these records generally includes:

  • Personal Information: This includes the individual’s name, date of birth, physical description (like height, weight, eye and hair color), and sometimes photographs or fingerprints.
  • Arrest Records: Details of arrests, including the date, location, and the law enforcement agency involved. It also lists the reasons for the arrest and the specific charges.
  • Charges and Convictions: Information about the charges filed against the individual, the outcome of those charges, including convictions, acquittals, or dismissals, and details of any sentences imposed.
  • Incarceration Records: If the individual has been incarcerated, the record will include details about the incarceration, such as the facility where they were held, duration of the incarceration, and release dates.
  • Probation or Parole Details: Information on any probation or parole, including terms and conditions, and compliance status.
  • Court Records: Documents and information related to court proceedings, including trial information, court rulings, and any appeals or subsequent legal actions.

Police Records and Reports

Police records and reports in Rhode Island, which include documentation of crimes, accidents, and other law enforcement activities, are generally accessible through local police department websites or the Rhode Island State Police. These records serve as crucial references for legal and public informational purposes.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking records and reports, detailing arrests and custody information in Rhode Island, can be accessed through local law enforcement agencies or online databases. They provide an official record of arrests and are essential for legal documentation and public information.

DUI Records

Rhode Island DUI records documenting driving under the influence offenses can be found through the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal. These records are important for legal proceedings and public safety measures.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

Information on felony and misdemeanor convictions in Rhode Island is available through the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal, offering insights into the nature of offenses and subsequent legal outcomes. They are crucial for legal research and background checks.

Parole Records

Parole records in Rhode Island, detailing individuals’ post-incarceration releases and conditions, are managed by the Rhode Island Parole Board and can be requested from their office. These records are key in monitoring parolee compliance and public safety.

Probation Records

Probation records documenting the management and compliance of individuals on probation in Rhode Island can be accessed through the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal or the respective probation offices. They are important for legal and rehabilitation monitoring.

Warrant Search

Information on active warrants in Rhode Island can be obtained through the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal or local law enforcement agencies. Warrant searches are essential tools for law enforcement and community safety.

Inmate And Jail Records

Records of inmates in Rhode Island state and local facilities can be found through the Rhode Island Department of Corrections database. These records provide detailed information about the inmate population and are vital for legal and correctional system management.

What you can find

Rhode Island Inmate Records contain comprehensive information about individuals incarcerated in state and local correctional facilities. These records typically include:

  • Personal Information: The inmate’s full name, date of birth, physical descriptors (like height, weight, and any distinguishing marks), and a photograph or mugshot.
  • Incarceration Details: Information about the inmate’s current incarceration, including the facility where they are being held, their inmate ID number, and the security level of the facility.
  • Criminal Offense Information: Details of the crime(s) for which the inmate was convicted, including the nature of the offense, the date of the crime, and the county or jurisdiction where the conviction occurred.
  • Sentence Information: Details about the inmate’s sentence, such as the length of the sentence, any parole eligibility date, and the projected release date.
  • Custody Status: Current custody status, including information about any parole or probation, and details of any previous incarcerations.
  • Behavioral Records: Records of the inmate’s behavior while incarcerated, including any disciplinary actions or commendations.

These records are maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and are used for various purposes, including legal proceedings, background checks, and for maintaining public safety and corrections administration. Access to these records may be subject to certain restrictions to protect privacy and security.

How to Conduct an Inmate Lookup in Rhode Island

Conducting an inmate lookup in Rhode Island is a straightforward process, primarily done through the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC). Here’s how you can perform an inmate lookup:

  • Visit the RIDOC Inmate Search Portal: The Rhode Island Department of Corrections maintains an online inmate search tool. This tool allows you to search for inmates using various criteria such as name or inmate ID number.
  • Enter Search Details: Input the relevant details of the inmate you are looking for, such as their full name or inmate identification number. The search can be refined by additional information if available.
  • Review Search Results: The search results will provide a list of inmates matching your search criteria, along with basic information like their inmate ID, name, and the facility where they are currently held.
  • Access Inmate Details: By selecting an inmate from the search results, you can access more detailed information, including their incarceration and sentencing details.
  • Contact the Facility for More Information: If you need more specific information or wish to contact the inmate, you can reach out to the correctional facility where they are housed. Contact details for each facility are available on the RIDOC Facilities page.

Can I look up mugshots in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, accessing mugshots or booking photos can vary depending on the policies of the law enforcement agency that holds these records. Generally, mugshots are considered part of the public record and can be obtained through a public records request.

Rhode Island Arrest Records

Rhode Island arrest records are official documents that detail the apprehension or detention of an individual by law enforcement authorities in Rhode Island. These records are generated when a person is taken into custody on suspicion of having committed a crime

What Do These Records Contain:

These records typically contain various types of information, such as:

  • Personal Information: This usually includes the individual’s name, date of birth, physical description (such as height, weight, eye and hair color), and sometimes a photograph or mugshot.
  • Arrest Details: Key information about the arrest itself, like the date and time of the arrest, the location where it occurred, the law enforcement agency responsible, and the names of the arresting officers.
  • Charges: Detailed information about the charges or allegations against the individual at the time of the arrest. This includes the specific nature of the offense and any related legal statutes.
  • Bail/Bond Information: If applicable, the records may contain information about the bail or bond amount set for the individual’s release.
  • Case Information: Preliminary details about the court case associated with the arrest, such as case numbers, court dates, and information about the presiding judge or court.

Rhode Island Property and Asset Records Online

To find property and asset records in Rhode Island online, you can use the following resources:

  • Local City or Town Assessor’s Offices: Most property records are maintained by the city or town where the property is located. Many of these municipalities have online databases where you can search for property records. For example, the Providence City Assessor provides online access to property records in Providence.
  • Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS): RIGIS offers online maps and tools where you can find geographic and land use information, which can be helpful in locating property details.
  • Rhode Island Land Evidence Records: For historical property records, the Rhode Island State Archives provides access to land evidence and other historical records.
  • State of Rhode Island Real Estate Records: For a more comprehensive search, including ownership and transaction history, websites like NETR Online provide access to real estate records in Rhode Island.

Finding Unclaimed Properties and Assets in Rhode Island

To find unclaimed properties and assets in Rhode Island:

  • Visit the Rhode Island Unclaimed Property Website: The Rhode Island Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division operates an online database where you can search for unclaimed assets like bank accounts, stocks, checks, insurance policies, and safe deposit box contents.
  • Search for Your Name or Business: Enter your name or business name into the search bar. You can also search for the names of family members or deceased relatives if you believe you might be the heir to unclaimed property.
  • File a Claim: If you find property listed under your name, you can file a claim directly through the website. You’ll need to provide some proof of identification and your relationship to the owner if you’re claiming on behalf of someone else.
  • Follow Up: After submitting your claim, there might be additional verification steps. The Rhode Island Unclaimed Property office will guide you through the process.

Driving Records

Finding your driving record in Rhode Island is a straightforward process, and you can obtain it through the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Here’s how to do it:

  • Online Request: Visit the Rhode Island DMV website. You can request and view your driving record online by creating an account or logging into an existing one. This method is quick and convenient.
  • Mail Request: If you prefer, you can also request your driving record by mail. You’ll need to complete a specific form (Operator Control Record Request), which is available on the Rhode Island DMV website. Mail the completed form along with the required fee to the Rhode Island DMV.
  • In-Person Request: You can visit a Rhode Island DMV office to request your driving record in person. Make sure to bring identification and be prepared to pay the required fee.
  • Required Information: Whether you request online, by mail, or in person, you’ll need to provide certain information, such as your driver’s license number, full name, date of birth, and a form of identification.
  • Fees: Be aware that obtaining your driving record typically involves a fee. Check the current fees on the Rhode Island DMV website or at the DMV office.
  • Processing Time: The time it takes to receive your driving record can vary. Online requests are often fulfilled immediately, whereas mail requests might take longer.

Civil Driving Infractions

Civil driving infractions in Rhode Island refer to non-criminal traffic violations that are typically resolved through the payment of fines and do not warrant jail time. These infractions, while not as severe as criminal traffic offenses, can still have significant implications, such as points on your driving record or increased insurance premiums. Common civil driving infractions in Rhode Island include:

  • Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving at a speed that is unsafe for the given road conditions.
  • Running a Red Light or Stop Sign: Failing to stop at a red traffic light or at a stop sign.
  • Seat Belt Violations: Not wearing a seat belt while driving or failing to ensure passengers are properly secured.
  • Parking Violations: Illegal parking, including parking in a no-parking zone, in front of a fire hydrant, or in a handicapped space without proper authorization.
  • Cell Phone Use While Driving: Using a hand-held mobile device for calls or texting while driving, which is prohibited in Rhode Island.
  • Equipment Violations: Operating a vehicle with defective or missing equipment, such as broken lights, faulty brakes, or improper window tinting.
  • Expired Registration or Inspection: Driving a vehicle with an expired registration or without a valid inspection sticker.

Rhode Island White Pages - Access to People, Addresses, and Other Non-Official Information

Address Search ​

In Rhode Island, conducting an address search is a process often utilized for property information, zoning details, or ownership history. This can be accomplished through various online resources, such as local city or town assessor websites, where property records are typically maintained. For instance, the City of Providence provides an online database for property searches. Additionally, the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) offers mapping tools that can be helpful for geographical and land use information related to specific addresses. These online platforms are particularly useful for real estate research, legal purposes, or personal inquiries about property in Rhode Island, providing easy access to a wealth of information including property values, tax assessments, and more.

People Search​

In Rhode Island, conducting a people search is a common practice for locating individuals or gathering information about them, often for purposes such as background checks, reconnecting with old friends, or genealogical research. This can be accomplished through online public records databases, social media platforms, and specialized search services. Public records databases, such as those provided by the state or county offices, can offer information ranging from property ownership to court records, which can be instrumental in tracing an individual’s history in the state. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are also valuable resources for finding current information about a person, including their employment, educational background, and recent activities. For more detailed searches, specialized services like Spokeo or Intelius aggregate data from various public records, providing a comprehensive profile that may include contact information, addresses, and more. While these tools are highly effective, it’s important to respect privacy laws and ethical considerations when conducting people searches in Rhode Island.

Can I Search By a Phone Number and Identify The Owner?

Yes, you can conduct a search by a phone number to identify the owner in Rhode Island. This is commonly known as a reverse phone lookup. To perform this search, you can use various online services and databases. These include:

  • Online Reverse Phone Lookup Services: Websites like Whitepages, Spokeo, or Intelius allow you to enter a phone number and provide information about the owner, such as their name and address. Some basic information might be available for free, but full reports often require payment.
  • Search Engines: Simply entering the phone number into a search engine like Google or Bing can sometimes yield results. If the number is publicly listed or associated with a business, it might appear in the search results.
  • Social Media Platforms: Some social media platforms allow searching for profiles by phone number, especially if the number is linked to an account. This depends on the privacy settings of the individual.
  • Caller ID and Phone Apps: There are also smartphone apps that offer caller ID services or reverse phone lookup capabilities. These apps can provide information about the caller’s name or the location from where the call was made.

How to Do a License Plate Lookup in Rhode Island

Conducting a license plate lookup in Rhode Island for the purpose of obtaining personal information about the vehicle’s owner can be challenging due to privacy laws and regulations. However, there are legal avenues to obtain information associated with a license plate, mainly for legitimate purposes:

  • Law Enforcement Assistance: If you need information for a legal matter, such as a hit-and-run incident or an accident, you can report the license plate number to the police. Law enforcement agencies have access to vehicle registration information and can use it for official investigations.
  • Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): For certain situations, such as a part of a legal proceeding or for vehicle recall purposes, you can request information from the Rhode Island DMV. This typically requires a formal request and a legitimate reason as per state law.
  • Private Investigators: If you have a legitimate need for this information, hiring a licensed private investigator might be an option. They have the means to obtain certain information while adhering to legal and ethical guidelines.
  • Insurance Companies: In case of an accident, insurance companies can conduct license plate lookups as part of the claims process.
  • General Vehicle Information: For non-personal information about a vehicle (like make, model, and year), there are online services that offer license plate lookups. These services, however, do not provide personal owner information due to privacy laws.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

In Rhode Island, any member of the public, including individuals, businesses, and organizations, can request public records without needing to state a purpose. This accessibility aligns with the state’s commitment to transparency and the principles of the Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

While inspecting public records in Rhode Island is usually free of charge, especially if done in person, there may be fees associated with copying or certifying documents. These fees are intended to cover the cost of providing copies and are typically nominal.

Are public records Free to access?

Public records in Rhode Island are generally accessible to the public; however, copying or certifying records may incur fees. Some records can be accessed online for free, but physical copies often come with a cost.

What is the response time for public records requests?

The standard response time for public records requests in Rhode Island is ten business days from the date the agency receives the request. This timeframe may be extended under certain circumstances, such as when a request is particularly complex or voluminous.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, your request for public records in Rhode Island can be rejected if the requested records are exempt under the APRA, such as documents related to personal privacy, internal policy deliberations, or ongoing criminal investigations. Agencies are required to provide a reason for denial and inform the requester of their right to appeal the decision.

Scroll to Top