COVID-19 and Tenant Legal Support — Update as of June 1, 2020

New District Court Eviction Protocol

On March 22, 2020 the Rhode Island District Court issued Administrative Order 2020-03 regarding District Court Eviction Protocol. The order sets out a phased re-opening of the District Court, with a plan to re-schedule hearings for cases that have already been filed, and new guidelines for cases filed on or after June 2, 2020.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to settle their disputes, and enter repayment plans when appropriate. Landlords may not seek court costs, late fees, and attorney fees as a condition of any settlement agreement.

Phase 1 (cases filed before March 17)

On June 1, the court will begin scheduling hearings for non-payment cases filed prior to March 17, 2020. Eviction cases filed due to a reason other than non-payment will only be scheduled for a hearing during Phase 1 if the eviction is based upon a public safety violation such as dealing narcotics, physical altercations, and other disruptive behavior which is considered dangerous and detrimental to the immediate health and safety of any parties associated with the property. 

Phase 2 (cases filed on or after June 2)

Cases filed on or after June 2 will only be assigned for a hearing if an agreement is not reached between the landlord and tenant within 5 days of service of the summons and complaint. If an agreement is not reached, the case will be scheduled for hearing subject to social distancing capacity and safety considerations. Cases will likely be scheduled in sessions at specific times.

Rental assistance

Renters who need help paying their rent should contact 211 and apply for help at

Leave a Comment