Rhode Island General Laws Title 34. Property § 34-20-10. Unlawful termination of tenancy in general
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When proceedings commenced under this chapter are to regain possession of the premises following the alleged termination of a tenancy, if the defendant alleges in his or her answer and if it appears by a preponderance of the evidence that any of the following situations exist, judgment shall be entered for the defendant:
(1) That the alleged termination was intended as a penalty for the defendant's justified attempt to secure or enforce rights under a lease or contract, or under the laws of the state or its governmental subdivisions, or of the United States.
(2) That the alleged termination was intended as a penalty for the defendant's justified complaint to a governmental authority with a report of plaintiff's violation of any health or safety code or ordinance.
(3) That the alleged termination was intended as a penalty for any other justified lawful act of the defendant.
(4) That the alleged termination was a tenancy in housing operated by a city, town, municipal housing authority, or other unit of a local government, and was terminated without cause.
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