Judge says security not adequate in Providence County courts

Providence Superior Court

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Superior Court Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney says security remains inadequate in Providence County courthouses and will affect the scheduling of civil trials and other court proceedings.

Gibney on Monday called the sheriffs’ department “woefully understaffed” and said until the situation is rectified, “all dates certain, trials or hearings should be considered in limbo and not etched in stone.”

Gibney says she’s also rescinding the Superior Court’s open invitation to student field trips.

Judge Alice Gibney addresses the attorneys for the plaintiffs of The Station nightclub fire lawsuits in Superior Court in Providence, R.I., Friday, June 20, 2003. The lawyers had asked Gibney for permission to begin testing the 717 pieces of evidence collected from the fire site and also defended their subpoenas of West Warwick town officials. Gibney made no decisions during the hearing.
(AP Photo/Joe Giblin)

Gibney says essential court calendars will continue to operate daily, but on a staggered schedule to ensure adequate security.

She says she does not anticipate the shortage will affect criminal matters.

The Superior Courts have been operating on a reduced schedule since June, when the sheriffs’ shortage was first announced.

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