Andersen v. Sundlun – Case Brief Summary (Rhode Island)

In Andersen v. Sundlun, 625 A.2d 213 (R.I. 1993), the plaintiff sheriff's predecessor was appointed for the term June 1, 1981 through June 1, 1991. 625 A.2d at 216.

On September 12, 1986, the predecessor resigned, and the office sat unoccupied until Andersen's appointment on December 19, 1986,. Id. at 214.

Despite the three month period where the office sat vacant, the term of office still expired on June 1, 1991, exactly ten years after Anderson's predecessor was first appointed. Id.

The Court stated:

"When the duration of a term of an office and the time of its commencement or termination is fixed by statute or constitution, a person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in such office holds it for the unexpired portion of the term and until the qualification of a successor. We find that rule to be a reasonable one and we adopt it in this case." Id. at 215.

The Andersen Court went on to note that "only the Legislature by amending § 42-29-1 could change that term." Id. at 216.