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PR16-10 The Town of North Providence v. Salvatore Mancini Resource and Activity Center

The Complainant alleged the SMRAC violated the APRA when it failed to respond to its APRA request dated May 15, 2015. During the pendency of this matter, the SMRAC filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus in the Rhode Island Superior Court against the Town. The Town answered the Petition and filed a Counterclaim. Among the averments set forth in the Town's Counterclaim is that "[a] dispute has arisen between the Town and the Center as to whether the Center is a private agency acting on behalf of and/or in place of the Town of North Providence in providing services to the senior citizens of the Town, within the meaning of R.I.G.L 38-2-1 and 38-2-2, et. seq.," the APRA. This Department has consistently taken the position that when a complaint is filed in Superior Court alleging the same APRA or Open Meetings Act allegation that is raised in a complaint with this Department, this Department's investigation into the APRA or Open Meetings Act complaint must yield to the Superior Court's jurisdiction. See Graziano v. Personnel Appeals Board, OM 97-21; Narragansett Improvement Company, et al. v. Town of North Smithfield, OM 09-11. Because the issue presented by this complaint is the same issue that is pending before the Superior Court, this Department will take no action on this matter.

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