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Corrente v. Raimondo

Superior Court of Rhode Island

August 5, 2016

JONATHAN P. CORRENTE
v.
GINA M. RAIMONDO, GENERAL TREASURER, CRIME VICTIM COMPENSATION PROGRAM, IWONA RUSEK RAMIAN, ESQ., DEPUTY PROGRAMADMINISTRATOR AND MELISSA A. MALONE, DESIGNEE OF THE GENERAL TREASURER, DEPUTY GENERAL TREASURER/GENERAL COUNSEL

         Providence County Superior Court

          For Plaintiff: Jonathan P. Corrente, Pro Se

          For Defendant: Amy L. Crane, Esq.; Jeffrey Padwa, Esq.

          DECISION

          TAFT-CARTER, J.

         The matter before the Court is Jonathan P. Corrente's (Mr. Corrente) appeal from an August 29, 2015 decision (CVCP Decision) of the Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVCP), denying his application for compensation (the Application). Jurisdiction is pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 42-35-15.

         I Facts and Travel

         On May 24, 2013, Mr. Corrente filed the Application with the CVCP requesting compensation as a victim of a violent crime. Compl. ¶ 22. In the Application, Mr. Corrente alleged that he was the victim of abuse by family members from 1981 to 1985.[1] See Pl.'s Mem., Ex. A. Mr. Corrente maintains that until his recovery from alcohol and drug abuse in 2013, the memory of the abuse was repressed. Id.

         On June 6, 2013, the CVCP Deputy Administrator denied the Application because of Mr. Corrente's failure to (1) file the Application within the limitation period; and (2) report the crimes within ten days of their occurrence. Pl.'s Mem., Ex. C. Mr. Corrente submitted a request for reconsideration pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 12-25-18(g) on June 16, 2013. Pl.'s Mem., Ex. D. In his request for reconsideration, Mr. Corrente made several arguments including repressed memory to explain the untimeliness of the Application. Id. The request for reconsideration was received and considered by the CVCP. Id.; see also Pl.'s Mem., Ex. E.

         On August 29, 2013, the CVCP denied Mr. Corrente's request for reconsideration in a formal decision. Pl.'s Mem., Ex. F. The CVCP Decision concurred with the analysis of the CVCP Deputy Director, finding that Mr. Corrente failed to timely file the Application and report the crimes. Id.

         Mr. Corrente appealed the CVCP Decision to the Superior Court on September 23, 2013. In November 2015, Mr. Corrente moved to present additional evidence.[2] On appeal, he argues that the CVCP Decision is in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions and clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record. Pl.'s Mem. 5. More pointedly, Mr. Corrente contends that the CVCP violated statutory provisions, as it did not properly analyze whether his particular case fell into one of the exceptions to the limitation period. Mr. Corrente concedes that CVCP Rules and Regulations § 1.06(1)(a) cannot apply, as the Application was not filed within three years of his eighteenth birthday. It is maintained that the record documents that the limitation period should have been tolled under § 1.06(1)(b), due to the fact that the abuse was not discovered within the limitation period. Likewise, Mr. Corrente posits that the limitation period should have been tolled for good cause under § 1.06(1)(c), as he was abused as a child and repressed the memories of his abuse until later in his adult life. For similar reasons, Mr. Corrente argues that the record indicates that he was justified in filing his police report late. Mr. Corrente contends that he did not discover his abuse until 2013, and after he realized it, he immediately filed a report with the Cranston Police Department (the Police). Mr. Corrente maintains that a view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record demonstrates that the CVCP Decision was clearly erroneous.

         In opposition, the CVCP argues that it properly considered all of the exceptions and their applicability to Mr. Corrente's case. Nevertheless, the CVCP posits that the exceptions are either inapplicable or unsupported by objective evidence on the record.

         II

         Standard of Review

         Rhode Island General Laws § 12-25-18(i) explicitly states that appeals of the Rhode Island General Treasurer's Designee may be brought in the Superior Court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. Section 42-35-15(g) sets ...


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