The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1001. Environmental division
(a) The environmental division shall consist of two judges, each sitting alone.
(b) Two environmental judges shall be appointed to hear matters in the environmental division and to hear other matters in the superior court when so assigned by the administrative judge pursuant to subsection 21a(c) of this title.
(c) An environmental judge shall be an attorney admitted to practice before the Vermont supreme court. An environmental judge shall be nominated, appointed, confirmed, paid, and retained, and shall receive all benefits in the manner of a superior judge.
(d) An environmental judge shall be appointed on April 1, for a term of six years or the unexpired portion thereof.
(e) Evidentiary proceedings in the environmental division shall be held in the county in which all or a portion of the land which is the subject of the appeal is located or where the violation is alleged to have occurred, unless the parties agree to another location; provided, however, that the environmental judge shall offer expeditious evidentiary hearings so that no such proceedings are moved to another county to obtain an earlier hearing. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, all nonevidentiary hearings may be conducted by telephone or video conferencing using an audio or video record. If a party objects to a telephone hearing, the court may require a personal appearance for good cause.
(g) The supreme court may enact rules and develop procedures consistent with this chapter to govern the operation of the environmental division and proceedings in it. In adopting these rules, the supreme court shall ensure that the rules provide for:
(1) expeditious proceedings that give due consideration to the needs of pro se litigants;
(2) the ability of the judge to hold pretrial conferences by telephone;
(3) the use of scheduling orders under the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure in order to limit discovery to that which is necessary for a full and fair determination of the proceeding; and
(4) the appropriate use of site visits by the presiding judge to assist the court in rendering a decision. (Added 1989, No. 98, § 2; amended 1991, No. 108, § 3; 1993, No. 92, § 14; 1993, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. March 15, 1995; 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 21; 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 73, eff. June 27, 2002; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 53.)