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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 39.  AN ACT RELATING TO CASH PAYMENT OF PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENTS, TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT, AND TO TRANSFERRING TITLE TO A MOTOR VEHICLE TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE.

(S.77)

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

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 2023(e) is amended to read:

(e)(1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of the law, and except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, whenever the estate of an individual who dies intestate consists principally of an automobile in whole or in part of a motor vehicle, and the person’s will or other testamentary document does not specifically address disposition of motor vehicles, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to be the owner of the motor vehicle and title to the same motor vehicle shall automatically and by virtue hereof pass to said the surviving spouse.  Registration and title of the motor vehicle in the name of the surviving spouse shall be effected by payment of a transfer fee of $7.00.  This transaction is exempt from the provisions of the purchase and use tax on motor vehicles.

(2)  This subsection shall apply to no more than two motor vehicles, and shall not apply if the motor vehicle is titled in the name of one or more persons other than the decedent and the surviving spouse.

Sec. 2.  REPORT

The department of motor vehicles shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary on the advisability and feasibility of adding a transfer on death provision to motor vehicle titles and registrations.

Sec. 3.  12 V.S.A. § 5531 is amended to read:

§ 5531.  RULES GOVERNING PROCEDURE

(a)  The supreme court, pursuant to section 1 of this title, shall make rules under this chapter applicable to such court providing for a simple, informal, and inexpensive procedure for the determination, according to the rules of substantive law, of actions of a civil nature of which they have jurisdiction, other than actions for slander or libel and in which the plaintiff does not claim as debt or damage more than $3,500.00 $5,000.00.  Small claims proceedings shall be limited in accord with this chapter and the procedures made available under those rules.  The procedure shall not be exclusive, but shall be alternative to the formal procedure begun by the filing of a complaint.

(b)  Parties may not request claims for relief other than money damages under this chapter.  Nor may parties split a claim in excess of $5,000.00 into two or more claims under this chapter.

(c)  In small claims actions where the plaintiff makes a claim for relief greater than $3,500.00, the defendant shall have the right to request a special assignment of a judicial officer.  Upon making this request, a superior judge, a district judge, or a member of the Vermont bar appointed pursuant to 4 V.S.A. § 22(b) shall be assigned to hear the action.

(b)(d)  Venue in small claims actions shall be governed by section 402 of this title.

Sec. 4.  Rule 2 of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure is amended to read:

RULE 2.  JURISDICTION PLACE OF SUIT; FILING FEE

(a)  Jurisdiction.  Actions on claims for money damages not exceeding $3,500.00 $5,000.00 may be brought under these rules, except claims based on defamation.  Claims for relief other than money damages may not be brought under these rules.  A claim in excess of $3,500.00 $5,000.00 may not be split into two or more claims under these rules.

Sec. 5.  12 V.S.A. § 5537 is amended to read:

§ 5537.  PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS

* * *

(c)  Rights granted in this section to judgment creditors are supplemental to other rights and procedures created by other statutes and rules.

Sec. 6.  12 V.S.A. § 2681 is amended to read:

§ 2681.  EXECUTIONS IN SUPREME AND SUPERIOR COURTS; TIME

(a)  The supreme and superior courts may issue executions on final judgments rendered by them, which shall be made returnable within 60 days from the date thereof.  Such executions may be issued so long as the judgment remains unsatisfied, but not after eight years from the date of rendition of the judgment, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  Executions on small claims court judgments may be made so long as the judgment remains unsatisfied, but not after eight years from the date of rendition of the judgment.  Actions to renew small claims court judgments shall be brought by filing a complaint in small claims court prior to the expiration of the judgment, and may be made for the amount of the judgment and any postjudgment costs, fees, and interest allowed by law.

Sec. 7.  CASH PAYMENT OF PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENTS FOR
 2007 REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS

For 2007 only, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for a residence transferred after March 31 and before June 21, 2007, if the transferor notifies the commissioner of taxes of the transfer, in writing, no later than 4:30 p.m. on June 20, 2007, and includes with the notice a copy of the property transfer tax return and proof of payment of the property transfer tax, the transferor’s Social Security number, the property’s school parcel account number, and any additional information which the commissioner may request the commissioner shall not notify the municipality of a property tax adjustment amount for the property, and the commissioner shall pay the property tax adjustment amount to the transferor by July 15, 2007.


Sec. 8.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 7 of this act shall take effect upon passage and apply to property transfers after March 31 and before June 21, 2007.

Approved:  May 21, 2007



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us