The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
- Subchapter 001: INQUESTS AS TO DEATH
§§ 5101-5103. Repealed. 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 111, eff. April 9, 1974.
- Subchapter 002: INQUESTS AS TO CRIMINAL MATTERS
§ 5131. Application for inquest
Upon the written application of the State’s Attorney, a judge of the Superior Court may institute and conduct an inquest upon any criminal matter under investigation by the State’s Attorney. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative February 1, 1967; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 109.)
§ 5132. Procedure
A judge may issue necessary process to bring witnesses before him or her to give evidence in any matter there under investigation. The witnesses shall be sworn and paid the same fees as witnesses in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court. A judge so conducting an inquest shall not be disqualified from trying the cause that was the subject of inquiry at such inquest. (Amended 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154, § 238.)
§ 5133. Stenographer
Upon the approval of the judge and at the expense of the State, a stenographer shall take and transcribe the testimony of the witnesses for the use of the State’s Attorney. The order approving such appointment of the stenographer shall be in writing.
§ 5134. Oath of secrecy
Before entering upon his or her duties, such stenographer shall be sworn to keep secret all matters and things coming before the judge at such inquest. Such oath shall be in writing, and the stenographer shall not disclose testimony so taken by him or her except to the Attorney General, State’s Attorney, and the judge holding the inquest. The minutes of testimony so taken shall be the property of the State and the same or copy thereof shall not go out of the possession of such Attorney General, State’s Attorney, or their successors except to an attorney appointed by the Supreme Court or Superior Court to act in the place of or assist a State’s Attorney. However, nothing in this section shall prevent the stenographer from disclosing such evidence on an order of the Supreme or Superior Court, or a prosecuting attorney from disclosing such evidence to a defendant in such manner as the Supreme Court may by rule provide. (Amended 1973, No. 118, § 17, eff. Oct. 1, 1973; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 5135. Penalty
A stenographer approved under section 5133 of this title, who violates a provision of section 5134 of this title, shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00 nor less than $100.00, or both.
§ 5136. Accounts; forms
After the close of such inquest such judge shall forward his or her account forthwith to the Commissioner of Finance and Management, who shall audit the same and issue his or her warrant therefor in favor of such judge. The Commissioner shall prepare and furnish to the proper officers the necessary forms for carrying into effect the provisions of this section. (Added 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1971, No. 92, § 1.)
§ 5137. State’s Attorney to attend
The authority instituting an inquest under this subchapter shall at once notify the State’s Attorney of the hearing, and he or she shall attend the hearing and conduct the examination of witnesses.
- Subchapter 003: INVESTIGATIONS ORDERED BY SUPERIOR JUDGE OR ATTORNEY GENERAL
§ 5161. Investigation of crime by experts
To prevent a failure of Justice, a Superior Judge or the Attorney General may order an examination to be made by an expert or experts, either within or without the State, in the investigation of a crime supposed to have been committed within the State. Such order shall be made only on the petition of the State’s Attorney for the county in which the crime is supposed to have been committed, setting forth the facts because of which the order is applied for, and verified by affidavit, and shall name the expert or experts by whom the examination is to be made, and limit the expense of the examination. Such expense shall be paid in the manner provided for the payment of witness fees in State causes in the Superior Court. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 5162. Autopsy
Upon the petition of the State’s Attorney, a Superior Judge or the Attorney General may order an autopsy or exhumation and autopsy to be performed by the chief medical examiner or under his or her direction in the preparation of a State cause for trial in any court, or in the interest of public health, welfare, or safety or in the furtherance of the administration of the law. Upon completion of the autopsy, the chief medical examiner shall submit a report to the State’s Attorney and shall complete and sign a certificate of death. (Amended 1969, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1971, No. 33, § 1.)