The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 4: Judiciary



Sub-Chapter 1: Supreme Court And Superior Court

§ 803. Electronic recording equipment

(a) Subject to any rules prescribed by the supreme court pursuant to law, electronic sound or sound and video recording equipment may be used for the recording of any superior court or judicial bureau proceeding, testimony, objections, rulings, exceptions, arraignments, pleas, sentences, statements, and remarks made by any attorney or judge, oral instructions given by the judge, and any other judicial proceedings to the same extent as any recording by a stenographer or reporter permitted or required under existing statutes.

(b) For the purpose of operating recording equipment, the judge may appoint or designate the official reporter of that court, a special reporter, the clerk of the court, any staff of the court, the court officer, or any other designated court personnel. The person operating recording equipment shall subscribe to an oath that the operator will well and truly operate it to record all matters and proceedings.

(c) The court may then designate the person operating the equipment or any other competent person to read the recording and to transcribe it into typewriting. The person transcribing the recording shall subscribe to an oath that it has truly and correctly been transcribed.

(d) The transcript may be used for all purposes for which transcripts are now received and accepted under existing statutes. (Added 1969, No. 95; amended 1985, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 45.)

§ 851. Appointment and powers of commissioners

The governor may appoint commissioners in other states and in foreign countries, who shall hold office for five years unless sooner removed by him. They may take depositions, affidavits, and testimony to be used in any proceedings in superior court, administer oaths and take the acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments to be used or recorded in this state, and their acts therein shall have the same force as though performed by a justice or master in this state.

§ 852. Oath and bond

Before entering upon his or her duties, each commissioner shall take and subscribe an oath of office before a magistrate of his or her locality and execute a bond to this state with sureties to the satisfaction of the governor in the sum of $500.00, conditioned for the faithful performance of his or her duties. The bond shall be kept in the office of the secretary of state, and an action may be maintained against any or all signers thereof, in the name of the state, for the benefit of a person injured by the act or neglect of the commissioner.

§ 901. Rules for admission of attorneys

Justices of the supreme court shall make, adopt, and publish and may alter or amend rules regulating the admission of attorneys to the practice of law before the courts of this state.

§ 902. Board of bar examiners

The board of bar examiners shall consist of nine persons whose term of office shall be for four years and until a successor is appointed. Two members of the board shall be lay persons not admitted to practice law in this or any other state. The supreme court shall annually appoint not more than three members of the board on October 1. Vacancies in the board may be filled by the court. The commissioner of finance and management shall issue his or her warrant for the expenses of each member of the board, when approved by the court administrator. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(c); 1983, No. 81, § 5; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)

§§ 903-905. Repealed. 1977, No. 235 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.

§ 906. Conflicting appointments, excuse from attending by administrative judge

When an attorney is required to attend more than one trial, hearing, or other proceeding before a court or commission having judicial or quasi-judicial functions, or both, at times which conflict so that he or she cannot reasonably attend each appointment, the attorney may request the administrative judge to designate which appointment he or she shall attend. The administrative judge shall designate the appointment the attorney shall attend and shall notify the presiding magistrate of each court and commission of his or her decision. The attorney shall be excused from attending at that time any proceedings other than the one designated by the administrative judge, and the other proceedings shall be rescheduled. (1959, No. 169; amended 1979, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.)

§ 907. Licensing and renewal fees

The Supreme Court may by rule impose a fee on applicants for admission to the bar on motion and on applicants for admission to the bar by examination. The Court may also impose an annual fee on lawyers admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court as a condition of being licensed to practice law. (Added 1983, No. 81, § 1; amended 2011, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 102, eff. March 7, 2012.)

§ 908. Attorneys' Admission, Licensing, and Professional Responsibility Special Fund

There is established the Attorneys' Admission, Licensing, and Professional Responsibility Special Fund which shall be managed in accordance with 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5. Fees collected for licensing of attorneys, administration of the bar examination, admitting attorneys to practice in Vermont, and administration of mandatory continuing legal education shall be deposited and credited to this Fund. This Fund shall be available to the Judicial Branch to offset the cost of operating the Professional Responsibility Board, the Board of Bar Examiners, the Judicial Conduct Board, the Committee on Character and Fitness, the mandatory continuing legal education program for attorneys and, at the discretion of the Supreme Court, to make grants for access to justice programs or to the Vermont Bar Foundation to be used to support legal services for the disadvantaged. (Added 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 60; amended 2013, No. 67, § 10.)


Sub-Chapter 2: District Court

§ 951. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.

§ 952. Rules of court administrator

(a) The court administrator, subject to the approval of the supreme court, shall make rules regarding the qualifications, lists, and selection of all jurors and prepare questionnaires for prospective jurors. Each superior court clerk shall, in conformity with the rules, prepare a list of jurors from residents of its unit. The rules shall be designed to assure that the list of jurors prepared by the superior court clerk shall be representative of the citizens of its unit in terms of age, sex, occupation, economic status, and geographical distribution.

(b) Rules adopted under this section shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1993, No. 24, § 4; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 46; 2011, No. 31, § 4, eff. May 17, 2011.)

§ 953. Sources of names

(a) The clerk, in order to ascertain names of persons eligible as jurors, may consult the latest census enumeration, the latest published city, town, or village telephone or other directory, the listers' records, the elections records, and any other general source of names.

(b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the court administrator may obtain the names, addresses, and dates of birth of persons which are contained in the records of the department of motor vehicles, the department of labor, the department of taxes, the department of health, and the department for children and families. The court administrator may also obtain the names of voters from the secretary of state. After the names have been obtained, the court administrator shall compile them and provide the names, addresses, and dates of birth to the clerk in a form that will not reveal the source of the names. The clerk shall include the names provided by the court administrator in the list of potential jurors.

(c) There shall be continuous research for persons qualified and liable for jury service, in order to obtain as many prospective jurors as necessary and in order to limit as many prospective jurors as necessary and in order to limit as much as possible repetition of jury service.

(d) No person's name shall be placed on venire to serve in any state court of the state of Vermont more than once in any two-year period.

(e) All public officers shall, on request, furnish the clerk or the court administrator without charge, any information it may require to enable it to select eligible persons, ascertain their qualifications, or determine the number needed. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 47.)

§ 954. Deposit of list

Prior to the first day of July in each biennial year, the clerk shall prepare and file a current master list of jurors and certify its completion and filing to the court administrator. The current master lists shall contain the number of names necessary adequately to serve the needs of the courts involved for a two-year period beginning July 1. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1969, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 31, 1970; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 48.)


Sub-Chapter 3: Court Records Generally

§ 955. Questionnaire

The clerk shall send a jury questionnaire prepared by the Court Administrator to each person selected. When returned, it shall be retained in the Office of the Superior Court Clerk. Pursuant to section 952 of this title, the Court Administrator shall promulgate rules governing the inspection and availability of the juror questionnaires and the information contained in them. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1969, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 31, 1970; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 49; 2013, No. 67, § 1.)

§ 956. Contents of list

Names may be added or dropped from the jury list in accordance with rules issued by the court administrator under section 952 of this title. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

§ 957. Drawing and summoning jurors

The manner of drawing and summoning jurors from the lists provided shall be in accordance with the rules of the court in which they are called to serve and all applicable statutes, including section 952 of this title, requiring that the panel shall be representative of the citizens of the unit in terms of age, sex, occupation, economic status, and geographical distribution. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 50.)

§ 958. Nonappearance; penalty

A juror who does not appear after being summoned, and does not submit an excuse satisfactory to the court in which the juror was summoned to appear, shall be assessed a civil penalty by the presiding judge of not more than $200.00. The prospective juror may be excused from paying the assessment for good cause shown or in the interests of justice. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.)

§ 959. Grand jurors; venire

The clerk, as directed by the judges of each superior court, shall summon 18 judicious persons within the unit to appear at any stated or special term of that court to serve as grand jurors of the unit. The clerk of the court shall issue a venire accordingly. (Added 1967, No. 284 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 51.)

§ 960. Repealed. 1969, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 31, 1970.


Sub-Chapter 4: Payment By Credit Card

§ 961. Failure to return form; misrepresentation; penalties

(a) Any person who fails to return a completed questionnaire within ten days of its receipt may be summoned by the superior court clerk to appear forthwith before the clerk to fill out a jury questionnaire. Any person so summoned who fails to appear as directed shall be ordered forthwith by the presiding judge to appear and show cause for his or her failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to appear pursuant to such order or who fails to show good cause for noncompliance may be found in contempt of court and shall be subject to the penalties for contempt.

(b) Any person who wilfully misrepresents a material fact on the jury questionnaire form for the purpose of avoiding or securing service as a juror may be fined not more than $50.00. (Added 1969, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 52.)