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Introduced by   Representatives Howard of Rutland City and DePoy of Rutland City

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Criminal procedure; search and seizure; warrants; time of execution  

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to repeal the requirement that search warrants may not generally be executed during nighttime hours.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  Rule 41 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure is revised to read:


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(c)  Issuance and Contents.  A warrant shall issue only on an affidavit or affidavits sworn to by the affiant personally before a judicial officer and establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant.  If the judicial officer is satisfied that there is probable cause to believe that grounds for the application exist, he the officer shall issue a warrant identifying the property or other object of the search and naming or describing the person or place to be searched.  The finding of probable cause shall be based upon substantial evidence, which may be hearsay in whole or in part, provided there is a substantial basis for believing the source of the hearsay to be credible and for believing that there is a factual basis for the information furnished.  Before ruling on a request for a warrant the judicial officer may examine under oath the affiant and any witnesses he the officer may produce, provided that such proceeding shall be taken down by a court reporter or recording equipment and made part of the affidavit.  The warrant shall be directed to a law enforcement officer of the state of Vermont authorized to enforce or assist in enforcing any law thereof.  It shall command the officer to search, within a specified period of time not to exceed 10 days, the person or place named for the property or other object specified.  The warrant shall be served between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. unless the warrant directs that it may be served at any time.  The judicial officer may, by appropriate provision in the warrant, and for reasonable cause shown, authorize its execution at other times.  The warrant shall designate the court to which it shall be returned.

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont