The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 4: Judiciary

Chapter 29: JUDICIAL BUREAU

4 V.S.A. § 1105. Answer to complaint; default



§ 1105. Answer to complaint; default

(a) A violation shall be charged upon a summons and complaint form approved and distributed by the Court Administrator. The complaint shall be signed by the issuing officer or by the state's attorney. The original shall be filed with the Judicial Bureau; a copy shall be retained by the issuing officer or state's attorney and two copies shall be given to the defendant. The Judicial Bureau may, consistent with rules adopted by the Supreme Court pursuant to 12 V.S.A. § 1, accept electronic signatures on any document, including the signatures of issuing officers, state's attorneys, and notaries public. The complaint shall include a statement of rights, instructions, notice that a defendant may admit, not contest, or deny a violation, notice of the fee for failure to answer within 20 days, and other notices as the Court Administrator deems appropriate. The Court Administrator, in consultation with appropriate law enforcement agencies, may approve a single form for charging all violations, or may approve two or more forms as necessary to administer the operations of the Judicial Bureau.

(b) A person who is charged with a violation shall have 20 days from the date the complaint is issued to admit or deny the allegations or to state that he or she does not contest the allegations in the complaint. The Judicial Bureau shall assess against a defendant a fee of $20.00 for failure to answer a complaint within the time allowed. The fee shall be assessed in the default judgment and deposited in the Court Technology Special Fund established pursuant to section 27 of this title.

(c) A person who admits or does not contest the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint. The Bureau shall accept the admission or statement that the allegations are not contested and accept payment of the waiver penalty.

(d) If the person sends in the amount of the waiver penalty without signing the complaint, the Bureau shall accept the payment indicating that payment was made and that the allegations were not contested.

(e) A person who denies the allegations may so indicate and sign the complaint. Upon receipt, the Bureau shall schedule a hearing.

(f) If a person fails to appear or answer a complaint, the Bureau shall enter a default judgment against the person. However, no default judgment shall be entered until the filing of a declaration by the issuing officer or state's attorney, under penalty of perjury, setting forth facts showing that the defendant is not a person in military service as defined at 50 App. U.S.C. § 511 (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act definitions), except upon order of the hearing officer in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 App. U.S.C. Titles I-II. The Bureau shall mail a notice to the person that a default judgment has been entered. A default judgment may be set aside by the hearing officer for good cause shown.

(g) All Judicial Bureau judgments shall contain a notice of tax setoff pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5941. (Added 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1999, No. 58, § 3; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2007, No. 51, § 1; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; 2013, No. 57, § 23.)