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If you were wrongfully incarcerated, there are RI General Laws covering this. Particularly:
RIGL § 12-25.2-1. Findings, declarations relative to persons wrongfully convicted.
a) The Legislature finds and declares that innocent persons who have been convicted of crimes and subsequently imprisoned have been frustrated in seeking legal redress and that such persons should have an available avenue of redress over and above the existing tort remedies to seek compensation for the physical injury of wrongful incarceration. The Legislature intends by enactment of the provisions of this act that those innocent persons who can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that they were mistakenly convicted and imprisoned be able to recover damages against the State.
b) In light of the substantial burden of proof that must be carried by such persons, it is the intent of the Legislature that the court, in exercising its discretion as permitted by law regarding the weight and admissibility of evidence submitted pursuant to this section, may, in the interest of justice, give due consideration to difficulties of proof caused by the passage of time, the death or unavailability of witnesses, the destruction of evidence or other factors not caused by such persons or those acting on their behalf.
RIGL 12-25.2-2. Suit for damages.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, any person convicted and subsequently imprisoned for one or more crimes which he did not commit may, under the conditions hereinafter provided, bring a suit for damages in Superior Court against the Office of the General Treasurer for the physical injury of wrongful incarceration.
RIGL 12-25.2-3. Evidence claimant must establish.
The person (hereinafter titled, "the claimant") shall establish the following by clear and convincing evidence:
a) That he was convicted of a crime and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, served all or any part of his sentence; and
b) He did not commit the crime for which he was convicted.
RIGL 12-25.2-4. Time to bring suit.
The suit, accompanied by a statement of the facts concerning the claim for damages, verified in the manner provided for the verification of complaints in civil actions, shall be brought by the claimant within a period of two years after his release from imprisonment, or after the grant of a pardon to him; provided, however, that any eligible claimant released or pardoned during the five-year period prior to June 30, 2006, shall have two years from the effective date of this act to file a suit.
RIGL 12-25.2-5. Damages, attorney fees.
a) Damages awarded under this act shall not exceed twice the amount of the claimant's income prior to his incarceration or $ 50,000.00 for each year of incarceration, whichever is greater. The total compensatory award for the physical injury of wrongful incarceration shall not be subject to taxation by the State of Rhode Island.
b) In addition to damages awarded, a claimant may also be awarded educational and social services paid for at state expense.
c) In addition to the damages awarded pursuant to subsection a., counsel for the claimant shall be entitled to receive reasonable attorney fees.
RIGL 12-25.2-6. Noneligibility.
a) A person shall not be eligible to file a claim for damages pursuant to the provisions of this act if the sentence for the crime of which the person was mistakenly convicted was served concurrently with the sentence for the conviction of another crime.
b) A person shall not be eligible to file a claim for damages pursuant to the provisions of this act if the claimant is the recipient of a private bill for compensation for wrongful incarceration
I am surprised you cannot get an attorney to take the case, since the statute provides that they can get the state to pay their fees and not you, so maybe the attorneys you called did not realize that. I am afraid though that no matter whether you file your suit pro se to seek damages or use an attorney, the amount you can collect is limited by the state law and you cannot get any more than that amount because the legislature has set that as a limit.
You need to contact the RI Bar as they have a referral service to civil rights attorneys in the area and also you can seek a civil rights attorney in the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.martindale.com or http://www.hg.org
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