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ACT NO. 56


Discrimination; Hate-Motivated Crimes

This act creates a procedure for obtaining injunctions against persons who have participated in a hate-motivated crime. Hate-motivated crimes for the purposes of injunctive relief under the act includes conduct prohibited by the Hate Crimes Act

(13 V.S.A. §§ 1455-1457) and the aggravated stalking statute (13 V.S.A. § 1063). Action for injunctive relief may be brought by the complainant or the Attorney General.

Hearings for injunctive relief shall be held in superior court. If the defendant is a juvenile under the age of 16, the hearing shall be presumptively closed. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant has committed a hate-motivated crime, the court may make such preliminary and final orders as it deems necessary.

A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has violated a hate-motivated crime injunction.

Violation of a hate-motivated crime injunction is a crime punishable by not more than one year imprisonment or not more than a $2,000.00 fine, or both, for a first offense. Second or subsequent offenses are punishable by not more than three years imprisonment or not more than a $10,000.00 fine, or both.

The Attorney General may seek a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00, plus costs and attorney's fees, for each violation of the Hate Crimes Act or a hate-motivated crime injunction. Gender identity is added to the list of protected categories under the Hate Crimes Act.

Effective Date: July 1, 1999