The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 4: Judiciary

Chapter 15: JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

4 V.S.A. § 608. Functions



§ 608. Functions

(a) Declarations submitted to the General Assembly by a Supreme Court Justice under subsection 4(c) of this title, by a Superior Court judge under subsection 71(b) of this title, or by a magistrate under subsection 461(c) of this title shall be referred immediately to the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention. The declarations shall be accompanied by a supporting statement by the judge, the justice, or the magistrate seeking retention. In the case of a Superior Court judge or magistrate, the declaration shall also be accompanied by information on the next succeeding rotation schedule for the judge seeking retention.

(b) The Joint Committee responsible for the recommendation of retention shall review the candidacies of those justices, superior judges, and magistrates desiring to succeed themselves. In conducting its review, the committee shall evaluate judicial performance, including such factors as integrity, judicial temperament, impartiality, health, diligence, legal knowledge and ability, and administrative and communicative skills.

(c) For the purpose of receiving information and hearing testimony, the joint committee responsible for the recommendation of retention shall hold hearings which, if possible, shall not commence until the General Assembly is in session. Information obtained under subsection 607(c) of this title, shall be confidential until the Committee commences its hearings under this subsection.

(d) A judge, a justice, or a magistrate seeking retention has the right to present oral or written testimony to the Committee relative to his or her retention, may be represented by counsel, and may present witnesses to testify in his or her behalf. Copies of written comments received by the Committee shall be forwarded to the judge, the justice, or the magistrate. A judge, a justice, or a magistrate seeking retention has the right to a reasonable time period to prepare and present to the Committee a response to any testimony or written complaint adverse to his or her retention and has the right to be present during any public hearing conducted by the Committee.

(e) On or before the tenth Thursday after the convening of each biennial and adjourned session, the Committee shall report to the General Assembly its recommendation whether the candidates should continue in office, with any amplifying information which it may deem appropriate, in order that the General Assembly may discharge its obligation under section 34 of Chapter II of the Constitution of the State of Vermont. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this subsection.

(f) In the performance of its official functions, the Joint Committee on Judicial Retention may by a majority vote of its membership issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses to testify under oath and to produce documents.

(g) The votes on retention under subsections 4(c), 71(b), and 461(c) of this title shall be conducted in one joint assembly of the General Assembly, except that in the event that the Joint Committee reports to the General Assembly that it is not able to make its recommendation on a particular justice, judge, or magistrate under subsection (b) of this section on or before the date set for such joint assembly, the vote on such individual or individuals shall be deferred to a subsequent joint assembly, and separate ballots shall be used despite any other statutory provisions relating to the votes on retention. (Added 1975, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; amended 1979, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.); 1985, No. 98, § 7; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 36; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)