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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 10: Conservation and Development

Chapter 109: PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT

  • Subchapter 001: General Provisions
  • § 4501. Aiding in violations; sharing in proceeds

    A person who drives, transports, scouts, counsels, or otherwise aids another person in a violation of a provision of this part, or who knowingly possesses, consumes, or otherwise shares in the proceeds of such a violation by receiving or possessing fish or wild animals, or any parts thereof, shall be punished as a principal. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 4502. Uniform point system; revocation of license

    (a) A uniform point system that assigns points to those convicted of a violation of a provision of this part is established. The conviction report from the court shall be prima facie evidence of the points assessed. In addition to other penalties assessed for violation of fish and wildlife statutes, the Commissioner shall suspend licenses issued under this part that are held by a person who has accumulated 10 or more points in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.

    (b) A person violating provisions of this part shall receive points for convictions in accordance with the following schedule (all sections are in this title of the Vermont Statutes Annotated):

    (1) Except for biological collection violations determined to be nonpoint violations under the rules of the Board, five points shall be assessed for any violation of statutes or rules adopted under this part except those listed in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection.

    (2) Ten points shall be assessed for:

    (A) § 4148. Trespass on State property

    (B) § 4270. Fur buyer's records

    (C) § 4517. Destruction of State property

    (D) § 4605. Placing fish in waters

    (E) § 4607. Obstructing streams

    (F) § 4611. Sale of gamefish

    (G) § 4704. Use of machine guns, autoloading rifles, and gun suppressors

    (H) § 4705. Shooting from motor vehicles or aircraft

    (I) § 4706. Snaring animals

    (J) § 4707. Traps: notice

    (K) § 4708. Interference with hunting, fishing, or trapping

    (L) § 4709. Importation, stocking of wild animals

    (M) § 4710. Safety zone

    (N) § 4748. Dogs pursuing deer or moose

    (O) [Repealed.]

    (P) § 4864. Transporting beaver skins

    (Q) § 5101. Fish and wildlife; restrictions on transportation

    (R) § 5204. Poaching; private preserves

    (S) § 5205. Injuring notice of posted land

    (T) § 5209. Special penalty; breeders

    (U) § 5211. Poaching; propagation farms

    (V) § 5213. Mansfield State Forest; game refuge

    (W) § 5220. Birds released

    (X) § 5226. Bomoseen State Game Refuge

    (Y) Appendix § 2; Appendix § 33, section 14.3. Reporting of big game

    (Z) Appendix § 2a. Big game tags

    (AA) Appendix § 3. Rabbit, squirrel; sale

    (BB) [Repealed.]

    (CC) [Repealed.]

    (DD) Appendix § 23(d)(1), (3)-(9). Waterfowl hunting methods

    (EE) Appendix § 23(h). Waterfowl, wanton waste

    (FF) [Repealed.]

    (GG) Appendix § 44. Trapping, except for violations of Appendix § 44, sections 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 4.14(c), and 4.14(e)

    (HH) § 4827. Taking black bear doing damage

    (II) Appendix § 37, as it applies to annual deer limits

    (JJ) § 4742a. Youth deer hunting weekend. The points shall be assessed solely against the adult who is accompanying the youth hunter.

    (KK) § 4908. Youth turkey hunting weekend. The points assessed against the adult accompanying the youth hunter.

    (LL) § 4256. Mentored hunting license. The points shall be assessed against the licensed adult who is accompanying the individual holding the mentored hunting license.

    (MM) § 4827a. Feeding a black bear

    (NN) § 4826. Taking deer doing damage

    (OO) § 22a. Taking turkey doing damage

    (PP) § 35. Taking moose doing damage

    (QQ) Appendix § 22, section 6.7; Appendix § 33, section 13.1(g); Appendix § 37, section 7.7. Possession or transport of a cocked crossbow in or on a motor vehicle, motorboat, airplane, snowmobile, or other motor-propelled vehicle

    (RR) Appendix § 7, section 6.3(b). Hunting bear with any dog not listed on the permit

    (SS) Appendix § 37, section 9.0. Feeding deer

    (TT) § 4716. Participating in a coyote-hunting competition.

    (3) Twenty points shall be assessed for:

    (A) § 4192. General powers and duties; failure to obey warden

    (B) § 4278. Falconry license

    (C) [Repealed.]

    (D) § 4606. Taking fish by unlawful means, except for violations of subsection 4606(g) of this title

    (E) § 4702. Use of light (firearm or bow involved)

    (F) § 4703. Use of set guns

    (G) [Repealed.]

    (H) [Repealed.]

    (I) § 4745. Taking deer out of season prohibited

    (J) § 4747. Taking big game by illegal means

    (K) § 4781. Big game possession

    (L) § 4783. Purchase and sale of big game

    (M) § 4784. Transportation of big game

    (N) § 5403. Taking, possession, or transport of endangered or threatened species

    (O) Appendix § 7, sections 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3(d), 6.3(e), 6.4, 6.5(c), 6.5(d), 7.1, and 7.2. Bear, unauthorized taking

    (P) Appendix § 22. Turkey season, excluding: requirements for youth turkey hunting season; section 6.2, size of shot used or possessed; and section 6.7, transport of cocked crossbow

    (Q) [Repealed.]

    (R) Appendix § 31 (d), (e), and (f). Seasons, bag limits for caribou, elk, and moose

    (S) Appendix § 116. Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River

    (T) § 4521. Failure to stop

    (U) Appendix § 37, excluding: requirements for youth deer hunting weekend; limitations on feeding of deer; section 7.7, transport of cocked crossbow; and section 11.0, ban of urine and other natural lures

    (V) § 4454. Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

    (W) § 4711. Crossbow hunting

    (X) Appendix § 4. Hunting with a crossbow without a permit or license

    (Y) Appendix § 20. Aerial hunting

    (Z) Appendix § 44, section 4.6. Use of tooth jawed traps

    (AA) Appendix § 44, section 4.11. Taking furbearers with poison

    (BB) Appendix § 44, section 4.12. Taking furbearers from a den

    (CC) § 4716. Holding or conducting a coyote-hunting competition

    (4) In addition to other points assessed under this subsection, a person shall be assessed one point for each fish, bird, animal, or pelt possessed, taken, transported, bought, or sold in excess of the limits established in statutes or rules adopted under this part.

    (c) Licenses shall be suspended as follows:

    (1) For 10 to 14 points accumulated in five years- a one-year suspension.

    (2) For 15 to 19 points accumulated in five years- a two-year suspension.

    (3) For 20 or more points accumulated in five years- a three-year suspension.

    (d) The Commissioner shall establish a centralized registry of licensees and shall track all convictions and the point accumulations, if any, against licensees. The Commissioner shall provide adequate notice to licensees of their point accumulations, and suspensions, if any.

    (e) When a person holding a license issued under this part has been convicted of a violation of 13 V.S.A. § 1023(a)(2) or has been convicted of manslaughter by the careless and negligent use of firearms, the Commissioner shall revoke the person's hunting license, 20 points shall accumulate on the person's license, and another license shall not be issued to the person within five years from the date of the revocation or within five years from the date of the conviction if the person had no license. The court before which such person is convicted shall certify the conviction to the Commissioner. A revocation shall be deemed effective when notice is given, when made in person, or three days after the deposit of the notice in the U.S. mail, if made in writing.

    (f) The Commissioner shall not reinstate a license suspended pursuant to subdivisions (c)(2) and (3) of this section until the licensee has successfully completed a remedial course designed to teach hunters, trappers, and anglers correct legal and ethical behavior while hunting, trapping, and fishing in Vermont. The remedial course shall be approved by the Commissioner and conducted by the Department. The fee for the remedial course shall be $100.00. Funds collected for the course shall be deposited in the Fish and Wildlife Fund. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1981, No. 80, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; 1991, No. 13, § 1; 1991, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. June 26, 1992; 1993, No. 236 (Adj. Sess.),§§ 1, 5; 1995, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 4, 1996; 2001, No. 65, § 21; 2003, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 27, 2004; 2007, No. 65, § 204a; 2007, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2009, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2011; 2009, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 78, § 13; 2015, No. 61, § 17, eff. July 2, 2015; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2017, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.)

  • § 4503. Unlawful equipment, vehicle, forfeiture

    A person convicted of violating the provisions of section 4745, 4781, 4783, 4784, 4705(a), 4280, 4747, or 4606 of this title relating to taking big game shall forfeit to the Department of Fish and Wildlife the firearms, jacks, artificial lights, motor vehicle, or any other device used in committing the violation. Forfeiture of a motor vehicle shall not apply to the illegal taking, possessing, or transporting of wild turkey, anadromous Atlantic salmon, section 4606, or to the person's first conviction of the provisions of section 4745, 4781, 4783, or 4784 under this section. Proceeds from the sale of items or equipment forfeited under this section shall be deposited in the Fish and Wildlife Fund. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1983, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 92, § 2; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 4504. Duties of prosecutor and warden

    (a) When firearms, jacks, artificial lights, motor vehicles, and any other devices used in the taking or transportation of big game are seized or taken by a game warden or other officer, with or without a warrant, the officer who makes the seizure shall forthwith give notice to the State's Attorney of the county.

    (b) The State's Attorney shall attend and act in behalf of the State at the hearing against the devices so seized, and the officer making the seizure without a warrant shall be allowed the same fees as if he or she had acted under a warrant. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1983, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1985, No. 92, § 3; 2017, No. 93 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)

  • § 4505. Hearing; forfeiture

    The game warden or other officer shall retain possession of firearms, jacks, lights, motor vehicles, and devices taken until final disposition of the charge against the owner, possessor, or person using the same in violation of the provisions of section 4745, 4781, 4783, 4784, 4705(a), 4280, 4747, or 4606 of this title, in accordance with the provisions of section 4503 of this title. When the owner, possessor, or person using firearms, jacks, lights, motor vehicles, and devices in violation of the section is convicted of the offense, the court where the conviction is had shall cause the owner, if known, and possessor and all persons having the custody of or exercising any control over the firearms, jacks, lights, motor vehicles, and devices seized, either as principal, clerk, servant, or agent and the respondent to appear and show cause, if any they have, why a forfeiture or condemnation order should not issue. The hearings may be held as a collateral proceeding to the trial of the respondent in the discretion of the court. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1985, No. 92, § 4; 2017, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 4506. Disposal order

    If, upon hearing, it appears that such firearm, jack, light, vehicle, and device was used or intended to be used contrary to law, it shall be adjudged forfeited and condemned, and shall be turned over to the game warden or other officer for the benefit of the State as the court shall direct. In the event such device is illegal, such officer shall destroy the same upon order of such court. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 4507. Costs of condemnation

    Upon condemnation of such firearm, jack, light, vehicle, or device, any and all persons before such court, pursuant to the provisions of sections 4505 and 4506 of this title, shall be liable to pay the costs of the condemnation proceedings, if, in the judgment of such court, any of them by themselves, clerks, servants, or agents, shall have been engaged in, aided in, assisted in, or abetted in the unlawful use of such firearm, jack, light, vehicle, or device in violation of the provisions hereof, or have been privy thereto, or have knowingly permitted the use of the same by them owned or controlled, for such unlawful purposes. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 4508. Sale of forfeited equipment

    Upon seizure of such firearm, jack, light, vehicle, or device without a warrant, a game warden or other officer shall forthwith make complaint, under oath, subscribed by him or her, to a court or magistrate having jurisdiction of offenses hereunder in whose jurisdiction the same was seized. In the event, under proceedings provided in sections 4503-4507 of this title, such device is ordered forfeited and is a device not illegal in itself, such firearm, jack, light, motor, or other vehicle or device, upon written order of such court shall be sold at public auction for the benefit of the State by the Commissioner. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 4509. Proceeds; accounting; liens

    The Commissioner shall make return in writing to the court issuing such order of sale and shall transmit to the court therewith from the proceeds of such sale all costs of condemnation proceedings not taxed against other persons as herein provided. The balance of proceeds remaining shall be credited to the General Fund of the Fish and Wildlife Department and deposited, held, and accounted for in the same manner as provided by law for the miscellaneous receipts by such Department, after paying all liens on such device, according to their validity and priority that are established by intervention or otherwise at the time of forfeiture being adjudged or in other proceedings brought for such purpose as being bona fide and having been created without knowledge by the holders thereof that such device was being or intended to be used contrary to the provisions hereof, such liens to be specified by the court in its order of sale or by order in writing of any other court having jurisdiction over such liens and devices. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1983, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 13, 1984.)

  • § 4510. Rights of innocent owner

    Nothing contained in sections 4503-4509 of this title shall prejudice the rights of the bona fide owner of any such device upon affirmative proof by him or her that he or she had no express or implied knowledge that such forfeited property was being or intended to be used for the illegal purposes aforesaid and the owner shall be entitled to a return of the same if he or she appears before adjudication of forfeiture and establishes his or her right to such return in accord with the foregoing. If, upon hearing, the person in charge of such firearm, jack, light, vehicle, or device does not appear to be the owner thereof and no person shall claim the same, further hearing shall be continued to a date certain. The taking of such articles and the date, place, and purpose of adjourned hearing shall be advertised once a week for three consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in the town or county where such device was taken, and, if there is no newspaper published in such town or county where such property was taken, in a newspaper having circulation in such county once a week for three successive weeks. The court before whom such proceeding is held shall be allowed the necessary expense of such advertising by the Commissioner of Finance and Management and order entered by such court at such adjourned hearing. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)

  • § 4511. Reopening forfeiture proceedings; rehearing; jurisdiction of courts

    (a) At any time within one year after such property shall have been adjudged forfeited, and upon notice to the State's Attorney of the county, a claimant, upon showing that he or she had no knowledge of the hearing, may apply to the court before whom former proceedings were had to have the cause reopened, provided he or she shall give security by way of recognizance to the State, with sufficient sureties, in such sum as the court directs, conditioned that the claimant will prosecute his or her claim to effect and pay the costs awarded against him or her. If, upon rehearing, such claimant establishes his or her claim, the court shall certify to the Commissioner of Finance and Management the amount of such claim, not exceeding the net amount actually realized by the State from the sale of such firearm, motor or other vehicle, or other device and the Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue his or her warrant therefor.

    (b) [Repealed.]  (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 111, eff. April 9, 1974; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)

  • § 4512. Appeal

    Appeals from the orders or judgments of a court or magistrate entered or made pursuant to the provisions of sections 4503-4511 of this title shall be allowed in the same manner and to the same extent as provided in criminal causes. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. July 1, 1965, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. April 9, 1974.)

  • § 4513. Unlawful devices for taking fish or wild animals; confiscation; sale

    Fish, wild animals, and illegal devices for taking fish or wild animals found in the possession of a person in violation of a provision of this part, shall be seized and confiscated in the name of the State and the Commissioner may sell or otherwise dispose of the same as he or she deems for the best interests of the State and for that purpose may order the transportation of the same at any time. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961.)

  • § 4514. Possession of flesh of game; restitution

    (a) When legally taken, the flesh of a fish or wild animal may be possessed for food for a reasonable time thereafter and such flesh may be transported and stored in a public cold storage plant. Nothing in this section shall authorize the possession of game birds or carcasses or parts thereof contrary to regulations made pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

    (b) Any person convicted of illegally taking, destroying, or possessing wild animals or threatened or endangered species shall, in addition to other penalties provided under this chapter, pay restitution in the following amounts into the Fish and Wildlife Fund for each animal taken, destroyed, or possessed:

    (1) Big game                                                        no more than $2,000.00

    and no less than $200.00

    for the first offense

    and no less than $500.00

    each for a second

    or subsequent offense

    (2) Endangered or threatened species                 no more than

    as defined in section 5401 of this                               $2,000.00 and no

    title                                                                              less than $500.00 each

    (3) Small game                                                    no more than $500.00 and

    no less than $50.00 each

    (4) Fish                                                                no more than $50.00

    and no less than $25.00

    each

    (c) A person who damages or destroys a wildlife facsimile owned by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in violation of the requirements of part 4 of this title shall pay restitution for the replacement or repair of the decoy into the Fish and Wildlife Fund. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1989, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 14, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 4515. General penalty

    Whoever violates or attempts to violate a provision of this part or an order or regulation of the Board or of the Commissioner for which no other penalty is provided shall be fined not more than $1,000.00. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, May 9, 1961; amended 1985, No. 92, § 11.)

  • § 4516. Repealed. 1993, No. 236 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

  • § 4517. Destruction of State property

    (a) Whoever intentionally or recklessly damages, injures, interferes with, or destroys any property, real or personal, belonging to or controlled by the State for fish, game, or wildlife purposes shall be fined not more than $2,500.00.

    (b) A person convicted of intentionally or recklessly damaging, injuring, interfering with, or destroying property belonging to or controlled by the State for fish, game, or wildlife purposes shall, in addition to other penalties provided under this chapter, pay restitution into the Fish and Wildlife Fund to repair or replace the damaged property. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1985, No. 92, § 12; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  •  [Section 4518 effective until January 1, 2022; see also section 4518 effective January 1, 2022.]

    § 4518. Big game violations; threatened and endangered species; suspension; violations

    Whoever violates a provision of this part or orders or rules of the Board relating to taking, possessing, transporting, buying, or selling of big game or relating to threatened or endangered species shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 nor less than $400.00 or imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both. Upon a second and all subsequent convictions or any conviction while under license suspension related to the requirements of part 4 of this title, the violator shall be fined not more than $4,000.00 nor less than $2,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1963, No. 6; 1973, No. 4; 1981, No. 80, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; 1983, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1985, No. 92, § 5; 1991, No. 13, § 3; 2011, No. 14, § 2, eff. July 1, 2012; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)

  •  [Section 4518 effective January 1, 2022; see also section 4518 effective until January 1, 2022.]

    § 4518. Big game violations; threatened and endangered species; suspension; violations

    Whoever violates a provision of this part or orders or rules of the Board relating to taking, possessing, transporting, buying, or selling of big game; relating to threatened or endangered species; or relating to the trade in covered animal parts or products shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 nor less than $400.00 or imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both. Upon a second and all subsequent convictions or any conviction while under license suspension related to the requirements of part 4 of this title, the violator shall be fined not more than $4,000.00 nor less than $2,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 1963, No. 6; 1973, No. 4; 1981, No. 80, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; 1983, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1985, No. 92, § 5; 1991, No. 13, § 3; 2011, No. 14, § 2, eff. July 1, 2012; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2019, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.)

  • § 4519. Assurance of discontinuance

    (a) As an alternative to judicial proceedings, the Commissioner may accept an assurance of discontinuance of any violation of this part. An assurance of discontinuance may include, but need not be limited to:

    (1) specific actions to be taken;

    (2) abatement or mitigation schedules;

    (3) payment of a civil penalty and the costs of investigation;

    (4) payment of an amount to be held in escrow pending the outcome of an action or as restitution to aggrieved persons.

    (b) An assurance of discontinuance shall be in writing and signed by the respondent and shall specify the statute or regulation alleged to have been violated. An assurance of discontinuance shall be simultaneously filed with the Attorney General and the Civil Division of the Superior Court of the county in which the alleged violation occurred or the Civil Division of the Superior Court of Washington County. An assurance of discontinuance may, by its terms, become an order of the court. Evidence of a violation of an assurance of discontinuance shall be prima facie proof of the violation.

    (c) Any violation of an assurance of discontinuance shall constitute a separate and distinct offense of the underlying statute or rule and shall be subject to an administrative penalty under section 4520 of this title, in addition to any other applicable penalties. (Added 2011, No. 54, § 6.)

  • § 4520. Administrative penalties

    (a) In addition to other penalties provided by law, the Commissioner may assess administrative penalties, not to exceed $1,000.00, for each violation of this part.

    (b) In determining the amount of the penalty to be assessed under this section, the Commissioner may give consideration to one or more of the following:

    (1) the degree of actual and potential impact on fish, game, public safety, or the environment resulting from the violation;

    (2) the presence of mitigating or aggravating circumstances;

    (3) whether the violator has been warned or found in violation of fish and wildlife law in the past;

    (4) the economic benefit gained by the violation;

    (5) the deterrent effect of the penalty;

    (6) the financial condition of the violator.

    (c) Each violation may be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance may be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. In no event shall the maximum amount of the penalty assessed under this section exceed $25,000.00.

    (d) In addition to the administrative penalties authorized by this section, the Commissioner may recover the costs of investigation, which shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the Department to offset these costs.

    (e) Any party aggrieved by a final decision of the Commissioner under this section may appeal de novo to the Civil Division of the Superior Court of the county in which the violation occurred or the Civil Division of the Superior Court of Washington County within 30 days of the final decision of the Commissioner.

    (f) The Commissioner may enforce a final administrative penalty by filing a civil collection action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court of any county.

    (g) The Commissioner may, subject to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, suspend any license or permit issued pursuant to his or her authority under this part for failure to pay a penalty under this section more than 60 days after the penalty was issued. (Added 2011, No. 54, § 6.)

  • § 4520a. Notice and hearing requirements

    (a) The Commissioner shall use the following procedures in assessing the penalty under section 4520 of this title: the Attorney General or an alleged violator shall be given an opportunity for a hearing after reasonable notice; and the notice shall be served by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall include:

    (1) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;

    (2) a statement of the matter at issue, including reference to the particular statute allegedly violated and a factual description of the alleged violation;

    (3) the amount of the proposed administrative penalty; and

    (4) a warning that the decision shall become final and the penalty imposed if no hearing is requested within 15 days of receipt of the notice. The notice shall specify the requirements which shall be met in order to avoid being deemed to have waived the right to a hearing or the manner of payment if the person elects to pay the penalty and waive a hearing.

    (b) Any person who receives notification pursuant to this section shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing unless, within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, the person requests a hearing in writing. If the person waives the right to a hearing, the Commissioner shall issue a final order finding the person in default and imposing the penalty. A copy of the final default order shall be sent to the violator by certified mail, return receipt requested.

    (c) When an alleged violator requests a hearing in a timely fashion, the Commissioner shall hold the hearing pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. (Added 2011, No. 54, § 6.)

  • § 4521. Failure to stop

    (a) An operator of a motor vehicle or vessel shall bring the vehicle or vessel to a stop when signaled to do so by a warden or deputy warden wearing a uniform identifying him or her as such or operating a law enforcement vehicle or vessel sounding a siren and displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp. A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $500.00.

    (b) A person who is traveling on foot who fails to stop when requested to do so by a warden or deputy warden wearing a uniform identifying him or her as a law enforcement officer shall be fined not more than $100.00. (Added 1991, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 4522. Unclaimed evidence

    (a) Notwithstanding 27 V.S.A. chapter 14, upon final disposition of a charge relating to a violation of this part, a person shall reclaim and remove his or her property seized as evidence of the violation from the fish and wildlife warden or officer in possession of the property, or risk forfeiture of the property as provided in this section.

    (b) At any time after the final disposition of a charge relating to a violation of this part, the Commissioner may serve notice upon the defendant, stating that the property shall be forfeited unless the defendant reclaims and removes the property within 60 days of receipt of written notice.

    (c) Written notice may be delivered personally or by certified mail. If notice is provided by mail, notice shall be deemed received three days after mailing by the Department. Written notice that is mailed shall be sent to the defendant at the address indicated on the citation on which the seizure was based.

    (d) Property unclaimed after 60 days from the date of receipt of notice shall be forfeited to the State and, at the discretion of the Commissioner, may be destroyed, sold, or donated to a governmental entity, nonprofit organization, or children's camp.

    (e) If the State has knowledge that the seized property is owned by a person other than the defendant and the State wishes to dispose of the property, the State shall make a reasonable attempt to identify the owner and provide notice to that person in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

    (f) A person claiming to be the bona fide owner of the seized property who is not the defendant may provide evidence of ownership to the fish and wildlife warden or officer in possession of the property, and, if satisfied that the person is the bona fide owner, the warden or officer shall release the property to such person.

    (g) After final disposition of a charge related to the seizure of the property, if the owner of the seized property is unknown, the Commissioner may publish notice twice, 14 days apart, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the evidence was seized. The notice shall include a description of the property, and if known, the date when the property was seized and the place where the property was seized. The notice shall state that the property is in the possession of the Commissioner, and that claims should be directed to the Commissioner. If no person claims the property within 60 days of the date of the first publication of notice, the property shall be forfeited to the Commissioner. At the discretion of the Commissioner, the property may be destroyed, sold, or donated to a governmental entity, nonprofit organization, or children's camp.

    (h) This section shall not apply to property seized as evidence of a violation of section 4513, 4606, or 4747 of this title.

    (i) Proceeds realized from property that the Commissioner has sold under this section shall be deposited in the Fish and Wildlife Fund. (Added 2001, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 17, 2002; amended 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 27.)


  • Subchapter 003: Uniform Fish and Wildlife Information
  • § 4551. Fish and wildlife violation defined

    A violation of any provision of this part, other than a violation for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed or a minor violation as defined in section 4572 of this title, shall be a fish and wildlife violation. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; 2017, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 4552. Jurisdiction; venue

    The Vermont Criminal Division of the Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over fish and wildlife violations. Venue for adjudicating fish and wildlife violations shall be the unit of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court having jurisdiction over the geographical area where the offense is stated to have occurred. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.); amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 4553. Information and summons; form

    (a) In all fish and wildlife violations the information and summons may be in the form known as the "Uniform Fish and Wildlife Information." The Court Administrator shall prepare the form for the uniform fish and wildlife information. The Court Administrator shall be responsible for printing and issuing all uniform fish and wildlife informations to game wardens and other law enforcement officers and he may require them to keep records and make reports concerning the disposition of each uniform fish and wildlife information issued. A game warden or law enforcement officer may void a uniform fish and wildlife information by so marking the information and returning it to the Court Administrator. A prosecuting attorney may dismiss a uniform fish and wildlife game information.

    (b) The uniform fish and wildlife information shall consist of five sheets:

    (1) the information and warrant, which shall include spaces for the signatures of the game warden or law enforcement officer, the prosecuting attorney, and judge or clerk;

    (2) the abstract of the court record, which shall be forwarded to the Commissioner after conviction;

    (3) the police record, which shall be a copy of the information;

    (4) the prosecutor's record, which shall be a copy of the information;

    (5) the summons, which shall include a copy of the information, a waiver, and an explanation of rights.

    (c) The reverse sides of the sheets shall contain such information as the court administrator considers necessary.

    (d) The uniform fish and wildlife information shall contain the following two paragraphs:

    (1) Failure to comply with the instructions contained on this information will result in the suspension of your hunting, fishing, and trapping license or your privilege to take wild animals in this State.

    (2) If you admit you have committed a violation of a provision of part 4 of this title relating to the conservation of fish and wildlife you will be liable for a fine and, in addition, your license to hunt, fish, or trap or privilege to hunt, fish, or trap is subject to suspension or revocation as provided by law.

    (e) The information form may be used in all cases involving violations of this part whether the case is prosecuted on the information as issued by a game warden, law enforcement officer, or by any other person. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1981, No. 85, § 5, eff. May 7, 1981.)

  • § 4554. Procedure on failure to appear; notice

    If a defendant fails to appear or answer an information or summons served upon him or her, the court shall immediately report the name of the defendant and other pertinent facts to the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall mail a notice to the defendant at the address stated in the information notifying the defendant that his or her failure to appear has resulted in the suspension or revocation of his or her hunting, fishing, and trapping license and his or her privilege to take wild animals in this State. Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent the court from issuing an arrest warrant or punishing the defendant for contempt. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1981, No. 85, § 6, eff. May 7, 1981.)

  • § 4555. Answers to uniform fish and wildlife informations

    (a) A person who is charged with committing a violation of this part may waive appearance and trial with the consent of the prosecuting attorney and plead guilty or nolo contendere by a signed statement. The person shall submit a fine in an amount as established under subsection (b) of this section with the signed statement. The court shall accept the signed statement accompanied by the fine assessed as a plea of guilty or nolo contendere as indicated on the signed statement and shall proceed accordingly.

    (b) Three Criminal Division of the Superior Court judges appointed by the Court Administrator shall establish schedules, within the limits prescribed by law, of the amount of fines to be imposed. The fines shall be paid to, receipted by, and accounted for by the clerk in the same manner as other fines. A game warden or law enforcement officer who issues an information shall advise the defendant of the schedule of fines and show him or her a copy of that schedule.

    (c) If a defendant fails to answer or appear as directed on the uniform fish and wildlife information or by the Criminal Division of the Superior Court judge or fails to pay the fine after judgment, the Commissioner shall suspend the hunting, fishing, and trapping license or the privilege of the defendant to take wild animals in this State until the defendant answers, appears, or pays the fine. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.); amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 4556. Repealed. 1993, No. 236 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

  • § 4557. Supreme Court rules

    The Supreme Court may make and amend rules consistent with this subchapter governing proceedings under this subchapter. The rules shall be adopted under 12 V.S.A. § 1. (Added 1977, No. 229 (Adj. Sess.).)


  • Subchapter 004: Minor Fish and Wildlife Violations
  • § 4571. Legislative findings; minor fish and wildlife violations defined

    The General Assembly recognizes that minor fish and wildlife violations must be dealt with fairly but do not require the full weight of the Criminal Justice System. Minor fish and wildlife violations do not involve terms of imprisonment or substantial monetary penalties and persons who commit minor fish and wildlife violations should not be treated as criminal offenders. The purpose of this subchapter is to treat minor fish and wildlife violations as civil violations, removing them from the criminal courts and removing the label of criminality from those who commit them. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.)

  • § 4572. Definitions

    (a) As used in this subchapter, a minor fish and wildlife violation means:

    (1) a violation of 10 V.S.A. § 4145 (violation of access and landing area rules);

    (2) a violation of 10 V.S.A. § 4251 (taking wild animals and fish without a license);

    (3) a violation of 10 V.S.A. § 4266 (failure to carry a license on person or failure to exhibit license);

    (4) a violation of 10 V.S.A. § 4267 (false statements in license application; altering license; transferring license to another person; using another person's license; or guiding an unlicensed person);

    (5) a violation of 10 V.S.A. § 4713 (tree or ground stands or blinds); or

    (6) [Repealed.]

    (7) a violation of a biological collection rule adopted by the Board under part 4 of this title.

    (b) "Bureau" means the Judicial Bureau as created in 4 V.S.A. § 1102. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; amended 1997, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2009, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)

  • § 4573. Repealed. 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.

  • § 4574. Procedure

    Minor fish and wildlife violations shall be heard by the Bureau and the procedure shall be as provided in 4 V.S.A. chapter 29. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; amended 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 4575. Suspension for failure to pay

    In the case of failure to pay a penalty, the Judicial Bureau shall mail a notice to the defendant at the address in the complaint notifying the defendant that failure to pay or otherwise satisfy the penalty within 20 days of the notice will result in suspension of the person's fish and wildlife license until the penalty is paid or otherwise satisfied. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife, who, after 20 days from the date of notice, shall suspend the person's fish and wildlife license until the penalty is paid or otherwise satisfied. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; amended 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 4576. Violation report; assessment of points

    The Bureau shall send a report of each finding of a minor fish and wildlife violation to the Commissioner of the Fish and Wildlife Department. Such a finding shall be prima facie evidence of a violation and shall result in assessment of points and suspension or revocation of the person's license pursuant to section 4502 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.)

  • § 4577. Reports

    The Court Administrator shall prepare audits, records, and reports relating to minor fish and wildlife complaints and violations. The Court Administrator shall also notify the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife of any violations which are uncontested or admitted or which are determined after hearing to have been committed or in connection with which a default judgment has been entered. The Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife shall file and record information on violations received under this section. (Added 1995, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.)