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Mitchell v. Magaziner

Superior Court of Rhode Island

November 20, 2017

CHAD MITCHELL
v.
SETH MAGAZINER, in his capacity as GENERAL TREASURER of the STATE of RHODE ISLAND, and ADMINISTRATORS of the CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION PROGRAM PURSUANT TO R.I.G.L. § 12-25-18(a)

         Providence County Superior Court

          For Plaintiff: Chad Mitchell, pro se

          For Defendant: Amy L. Crane, Esq. Kara DiPaola, Esq.

          DECISION

          CARNES, J.

         This matter is before the Court for decision on the appeal of Petitioner Chad Mitchell (Petitioner or Mitchell) of the February 6, 2017 decision of the Crime Victim's Compensation Program (CVCP), which denied the application of Petitioner for an injury alleged to have occurred in Newport, Rhode Island on July 19, 2015. Petitioner contends that he satisfied the requirements for receiving compensation, and CVCP erred in finding that he failed to do so. Jurisdiction is pursuant to G.L. 1956 §§ 42-35-15 and 12-25-18(i).

         I

         Facts and Travel

         Petitioner alleges that on July 19, 2015 he was assaulted by a person unknown to him, sustaining a fracture to his front tooth. (Recons. Decision 1). Petitioner filed his application on December 30, 2016, and the CVCP denied his application on January 3, 2017. Petitioner filed a request for reconsideration on January 19, 2017. Id. In his request for reconsideration, Petitioner asserted that immediately following the incident in which he was injured, he reported the incident to a patrolman of the Newport Police Department, who allegedly told him, "there is nothing I could do." Id. Petitioner further asserted that he was never advised to file a report with the Newport Police Department, and that the patrolman did not write any record of his statements. Id.

         Following the application of Petitioner, the CVCP, following its usual procedure, sent inquiry to the Newport Police Department (NPD), requesting any information it had regarding the July 19, 2015 incident in which Petitioner was injured. Id. at 2. The NPD responded that it had no record of the incident. Id. The CVCP therefore, on January 3, 2017, "denied the application on the basis that the Applicant failed to report the crime to law enforcement within 10 days." Id. The CVCP wrote to the Applicant informing him that there was a possibility of a new decision if "the CVCP receives the necessary information about the incident in the future." Id. at 2-3.

         The Applicant submitted a Request for Reconsideration to the CVCP on January 18, 2017. Id. at 3. In that Request for Reconsideration, the Applicant stated that he reported the incident to a patrolman of the NPD immediately following the incident in which he was injured, and the patrolman apparently told him, "there is nothing I can do." Id. The Applicant also asserted that the patrolman did not advise him to file a report with the NPD, and he did not write any description of the incident. Petitioner also asserted that on January 20, 2016, the NPD asked him to e-mail a description of the incident, and "they asked for anyone with information to call Newport Police which I did." Id.

         The Office of the General Treasurer (Treasurer or Respondent) noted in its Reconsideration Decision that "the NPD reported that it cannot locate any report on file regarding the alleged incident[, ]" and noted further that "the CVCP has no documentation showing the Applicant reported the crime to law enforcement[.]" Id. The Respondent thus concluded, in its Reconsideration Decision of February 6, 2017, "the Applicant is ineligible for compensation." Id.

         The Treasurer noted that the CVCP does provide for "an exception to the ten-day deadline when the Administrator finds good cause for delay." Id. However, the Treasurer found that "the Applicant has not provided any information to the CVCP showing circumstances that would amount to good cause for the failure to report the crime." Id. The Treasurer thus upheld the decision of the CVCP. Id.

         Petitioner filed the Complaint in the within matter on March 9, 2017, and he filed an Amended Complaint on March 31, 2017. Respondent filed an Answer on April 19, 2017. Petitioner filed a brief in support of his Complaint on August 21, 2017, and Respondent filed a memorandum in opposition on September 15, 2017.

         II

         Standard ...


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