The Vermont Statutes Online
- Subchapter 001: Superior Judges
§ 71. Appointment and term of Superior judges
(a) There shall be 34 Superior judges, whose term of office shall, except in the case of an appointment to fill a vacancy or unexpired term, begin on April 1 in the year of their appointment or retention, and continue for six years.
(b) A Superior judge may file in the Office of the Secretary of State, on or before September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term for which he or she was appointed or retained, a declaration that he or she will be a candidate for retention. However, a Superior judge appointed and having taken the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office shall automatically be a candidate for retention without filing notice. When a judge files such a declaration his or her name shall be submitted to the General Assembly for a vote on retention. The General Assembly shall vote upon one ballot on the question "Shall the following Superior judges be retained in office?" The names of the judges shall be listed followed by "Yes __ No __ ." If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retention, upon expiration of the term of office a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment in accordance with the Constitution and chapter 15 of this title; if the majority vote is in favor of retention, the judge shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for another term and, at its end, shall be eligible for retention in office in the manner herein prescribed.
(c) The Court Administrator shall notify the Secretary of State whenever a Superior judge is appointed and takes the oath of office after September 1 of the year preceding the expiration of the term of office to which the judge has succeeded, thereby resulting in automatic notification of an intention to continue in office. Whenever a Superior judge files a declaration under subsection (b) of this section or notification occurs automatically, the Secretary of State shall notify the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Office of Legislative Counsel, and the Office of Legislative Operations forthwith.
(d) A Superior judge shall remain in office until a successor is appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed for cause or unless he or she resigns.
(e) The Supreme Court shall designate one of the Superior judges to serve as Administrative Judge. The Administrative Judge shall serve at the pleasure of the Supreme Court. (Amended 1966, No. 64 (Sp. Sess.), § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1967; 1969, No. 125, § 9; 1973, No. 106, § 1, eff. May 25, 1973; 1973, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, eff. March 15, 1974; 1975, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1975, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1979, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 3; 1981, No. 3, § 2; 1985, No. 98, § 3; 1989, No. 221 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 91; 2001, No. 63, § 91; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2015, No. 68 (Adj. Sess.), § 60b, eff. March 8, 2016; 2019, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)
§ 72. Disqualification
A Superior judge shall not be an officer in a railroad, banking, or insurance corporation in this State.
§ 73. Assignment
(a) In accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court, the Administrative Judge shall assign the Superior judges among the units and divisions of the Superior Court. The Administrative Judge shall assign a presiding judge to each unit and may assign a judge to preside in more than one unit. In a case where a Superior judge is disqualified or unable to attend any term of court or part thereof to which he or she has been assigned, the Administrative Judge may assign another Superior judge to act as judge at that term or part thereof for that period during which the assigned judge is disqualified or unable to attend. If during a term of the Superior Court the court in a unit is unable to complete all or part of the work before it in a reasonable time, the Administrative Judge, with the approval of the Supreme Court, may modify judge assignments to reduce delays in that unit. The court shall publish the judicial rotation schedule in electronic format and distribute it electronically to attorneys licensed in Vermont.
(b) Pursuant to section 21a of this title, the Administrative Judge shall assign Superior judges to hear and determine Family Court matters. The Administrative Judge shall ensure that such hearings are held promptly. Any contested divorce case which has been pending for more than one year shall be advanced for prompt hearing upon the request of any party.
(c) As necessary to ensure the efficient operation of the Superior Court, the presiding judge of the unit may specially assign a Superior judge assigned to a division in the unit, including the presiding judge, to preside over one or more cases in a different division. As the Administrative Judge determines necessary for the operation of the Superior Court throughout the State, and with the approval of the Supreme Court, the Administrative Judge may additionally assign for a specified period of time a Superior judge to preside over a particular type of case, or over a particular type of motion or other judicial proceeding, in all or part of the units in the State. (Amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. March 29, 1972; 1979, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1981, No. 219 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 63, § 3; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 72, eff. May 24, 2000; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)
§ 74. Repealed. 1977, No. 235 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.
§ 75. Powers of Justice or Superior judge after expiration of term or vacation of office
Whenever the term of office of a Justice, Superior judge, Environmental judge, magistrate, or hearing officer expires or he or she otherwise vacates the office, the Justice, judge, magistrate, or hearing officer shall have the same authority to conclude causes he or she has partly or fully heard that he or she would have had if remaining in that office. The Justice, judge, magistrate, or hearing officer may make and sign findings and orders for judgments or decrees in causes pending before him or her, may make interlocutory orders and decrees, and shall be paid compensation commensurate with that paid specially assigned judicial officers as provided by section 23 of this title. (Amended 1977, No. 235 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.)
- Subchapter 002: Superior Courts
§ 111. Superior Court sessions
(a) When the business of a Superior Court cannot otherwise be disposed of with reasonable dispatch, by direction of the Administrative Judge, there may be held additional sessions of that Superior Court simultaneously with the regular session consisting of a presiding judge and one or more assistant judges, if available.
(b) A Superior Court may be temporarily recessed or adjourned from the place designated for holding a regular term or session to another place having adequate facilities, when the regular facilities at the designated courthouse are not adequate.
(c) The Administrative Judge may assign assistant judges, with their consent, to a special assignment in a court where they have jurisdiction in another county when assistant judges of that county are unavailable or the business of the courts so requires. (Amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. March 29, 1972; 1979, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1981, No. 60; 1983, No. 201 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 27, 1984; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 73, eff. May 24, 2000; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)
§ 111a. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.
§ 112. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 14.
§§ 113, 114. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.
§ 115. Stated terms of Superior Court
The Superior Court shall operate continuously irrespective of the term in which events occur. Terms are designated for purposes of determining the rotation schedule of Superior judges and the responsibility of a Superior judge once a term has expired. When at the expiration of a term a Superior judge is no longer assigned to a specified unit, the judge shall complete any matters that have been heard or taken under advisement for that unit. The Administrative Judge, pursuant to rules of the Supreme Court, may specially assign a Superior judge to continue to preside over one or more cases even though the judge is no longer assigned to the unit of origin of the case or cases. In the absence of such a direction or of an assignment made pursuant to subsection 73(c) of this title, a judge who at the end of a term is no longer assigned to a unit shall have no further responsibility for cases in that unit. (Amended 1963, No. 15, § 2; 1965, No. 51, §§ 1-3; 1973, No. 106, § 2, eff. May 25, 1973; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)
§§ 116, 117. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.
§ 118. Repealed. 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 237, eff. March 29, 1972.
§ 119. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.
- Subchapter 003: Provisions Applicable to both Supreme and Superior Courts
§§ 151-154. Repealed. 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.