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S.57

Introduced by   Senator Canns of Caledonia District, Senator Illuzzi of      Essex-Orleans District, Senator Kitchel of Caledonia District and Senator Starr of Essex-Orleans District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Judiciary; assistant judges; assignments

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to expand the jurisdiction of Caledonia County assistant judges regarding child support proceedings, parentage proceedings, and civil ordinance and traffic violations.

AN ACT RELATING TO JURISDICTION OF ASSISTANT JUDGES IN CALEDONIA COUNTY

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  4 V.S.A. § 461a is amended to read:

§ 461a.  ESSEX COUNTY; POWERS OF ASSISTANT JUDGES AND

              MAGISTRATES IN FAMILY COURT PROCEEDINGS IN ESSEX

  COUNTY AND CALEDONIA COUNTY

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an assistant judge of Essex County or Caledonia County who has satisfactorily completed the training provided by the Vermont supreme court pursuant to Sec. 20 of Act No. 221 of the 1990 adjourned session, or a similar course of training that has been approved by the supreme court, shall act as a magistrate and hear and dispose of proceedings for the establishment, modification and enforcement of child support in all cases filed or pending in Essex County the judge’s respective county.

(b)  The administrative judge may appoint and may specially assign the a magistrate assigned to Essex County or Caledonia County to serve as the presiding family court judge in Essex County the judge’s respective county. The magistrate assigned shall not hear and dispose of proceedings assigned to the assistant judges in subsection (a) of this section, unless authorized by section 463 of this title.

(c)  No Vermont family court action filed or pending in Essex County or Caledonia County, except for temporary abuse prevention orders that are sought as emergency relief pursuant to V.R.F.P. 9(c) Rule 9 (c) of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings after regular court hours, shall be heard at or transferred to any other location, except Guildhall for Essex County cases.


Sec. 2.  4 V.S.A. § 461b is amended to read:

§ 461b.  POWERS OF ASSISTANT JUDGES IN ESSEX AND ORLEANS

  COUNTIES IN PARENTAGE PROCEEDINGS IN ESSEX,

  ORLEANS, AND CALEDONIA COUNTIES

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an assistant judge in Essex or, Orleans, or Caledonia county may elect to hear and determine a complaint or action to establish parentage and support as provided in section 462 of this title.

(b)  When an assistant judge elects to hear such a case, the clerk shall set it for hearing before the assistant judge. In the event both assistant judges elect to hear such cases, the senior assistant judge shall make case assignments.

(c)  Hearings under this section shall be held within 30 days of the filing of the petition under section 293 of Title 15.

(d)  Assistant judges shall satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 hours of training on the subjects of child support and divorce, which shall be provided by the office of child support, in order to hear and determine complaints under this section.


Sec. 3.  4 V.S.A. § 1108 is amended to read:

§ 1108.  CIVIL ORDINANCES AND TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS;

  JURISDICTION OF ASSISTANT JUDGES IN ESSEX COUNTY

  AND CALEDONIA COUNTY

(a)  Subject to the limits of this section and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an assistant judge of Essex County or Caledonia County sitting alone shall have the same jurisdiction, powers and duties to hear and decide civil ordinance and traffic violations as a hearing officer has under the provisions of this chapter.

* * *

(i)  Civil ordinance and traffic violations that are heard by an assistant judge in Essex County or Caledonia County shall be heard in Essex County the judge’s respective county and shall not be heard at or transferred to any other location.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us