Title 1: General Provisions
Chapter 5: COMMON LAW; GENERAL RIGHTS
Sub-Chapter 3: Access To Public Records
1 V.S.A. § 320. Penalties
§ 320. Penalties
(a) Whenever the court orders the production of any public agency records, improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses against the agency reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding raise questions whether the agency personnel acted arbitrarily or capriciously with respect to the withholding, the Department of Human Resources if applicable to that employee, shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or employee who was primarily responsible for the withholding. The Department, after investigation and consideration of the evidence submitted, shall submit its findings and recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency concerned and shall send copies of the findings and recommendations to the officer or employee or his or her representative. The administrative authority shall take the corrective action that the Department recommends.
(b) In the event of noncompliance with the order of the court, the Civil Division of the Superior Court may punish for contempt the responsible employee or official, and in the case of a uniformed service, the responsible member.
(c) A person who willfully destroys, gives away, sells, discards, or damages a public record without having authority to do so shall be fined at least $50.00 but not more than $1,000.00 for each offense. (Added 1975, No. 231 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2007, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 59, § 6.)