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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.180

Introduced by   Representatives Pellett of Chester, Flory of Pittsford and Marek of Newfane

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Executive; attorney general; state's attorneys; qualifications

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that the attorney general, deputy and assistant attorneys general, state's attorneys, and deputy state's attorneys be attorneys admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE QUALIFICATIONS OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL AND STATE'S ATTORNEYS

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 151 is amended to read:

§ 151.  ELECTION AND TERM

(a)  An attorney general shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as provided for the election of other state officers.  He or she shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his or her duties.  His or her term of office shall commence when his or her election is declared by the committee appointed by the senate and house of representatives to canvass the votes, agreeably with section 2592 of Title 17, or when elected by the general assembly pursuant to said section, and continue for a term of two years.

(b)  To qualify for election to the office of attorney general a candidate shall be an attorney at law admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont at the time of election.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 153 is amended to read:

§ 153.  GENERAL POWERS; DEPUTY, ASSISTANTS

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(b)  The attorney general may appoint a deputy attorney general with the approval of the governor, remove him or her at pleasure, and be responsible for his or her acts.  Such deputy shall perform such duties as the attorney general shall direct, and in the absence or disability of the attorney general perform the duties of the attorney general.  In case a vacancy occurs in the office of attorney general, such deputy shall assume and discharge the duties of such office until such vacancy is filled.  Such appointment shall be in writing and be recorded in the office of the secretary of state.  Such deputy attorney general shall take the oath required by the constitution, shall be an informing officer and have the same authority throughout the state in civil or criminal matters as state's attorneys have in their respective counties.  All deputy attorneys general shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont at the time of appointment.

(c)  The attorney general may appoint such assistant attorneys general and special assistant attorneys general as may be necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his or her department, and with the approval of the governor, fix their pay, remove them at pleasure and be responsible for their acts.  They shall have the same obligations, power and authority as the deputy attorney general except those relating to the absence or disability of the attorney general and vacancy in the office of attorney general.  Their appointments and the revocation thereof shall be in writing and recorded in the office of the secretary of state.  All assistant attorneys general and special assistant attorneys general shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont at the time of appointment.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 361 is amended to read:

§ 361.  GENERAL DUTIES

(a)  A state's attorney shall prosecute for offenses committed within his or her county, and all matters and causes cognizable by the supreme, superior, and district courts in behalf of the state; file informations and prepare bills of indictment, deliver executions in favor of the state to an officer for collection immediately after final judgment, taking duplicate receipts therefor, one of which shall be sent to the commissioner of finance and management, and take measures to collect fines and other demands or sums of money due to the state or county.

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(c)  To qualify for election to the office of state’s attorney, a candidate shall be an attorney at law admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont at the time of election.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 363 is amended to read:

§ 363.  DEPUTY STATE’S ATTORNEYS

A state's attorney may appoint as many deputy state's attorneys as necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his or her office, and with the approval of the governor, fix their pay not to exceed that of the state's attorney making the appointment, and may remove them at pleasure.  Deputy state's attorneys shall be compensated only for periods of actual performance of the duties of such office.  Deputy state's attorneys shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in connection with their official duties when approved by the state's attorneys and the commissioner of finance.  Deputy state's attorneys shall exercise all the powers and duties of the state's attorneys except the power to designate someone to act in the event of their own disqualification. Deputy state's attorneys may not enter upon the duties of the office until they have taken the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the state and the oath of office required by the constitution, and until such oath together with their appointment is filed for record with the county clerk.  In case of a vacancy in the office of state's attorney, the appointment of the deputy shall expire upon the appointment of a new state's attorney.  All deputy state’s attorneys shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice before the supreme court of Vermont at the time of appointment.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us