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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 035: Town Clerks

  • § 1151. Certificate of election; oath

    A town clerk shall file with the county clerk a certificate of his or her election or appointment and a copy of his or her official oath on or before six days after election or appointment. The moderator shall sign the certificate if the clerk is elected at an open town meeting. The chair of the board of civil authority shall sign the certificate if the clerk is elected by Australian ballot. The selectboard members shall sign the certificate if the clerk is appointed. (Amended 1989, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 1152. Record of proceedings of meetings

    The clerk shall record all proceedings of all town meetings and his or her record shall be deemed to be the true and official record of all action taken at that meeting provided it has been approved and attested by any two of the following town officers present at the meeting: moderator, selectboard members, and justices of the peace. The clerk shall request approval within seven days after each meeting and his or her request shall be given prompt consideration. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit use of tape recorders or other recording devices or stenographic service. (Amended 1969, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.).)

  • § 1153. Card indices

    All general indices required by law to be kept by a town or city clerk may be kept by the card index system, with the consent and approval of the selectboard or board of aldermen. When so kept, such card index shall provide as full and complete information as is now required by law for the keeping of general indices by a town clerk.

  • § 1154. Records; copies

    (a) A town clerk shall record in the land records, at length or by accurate, legible copy, in books to be furnished by the town:

    (1) deeds;

    (2) instruments or evidences respecting real estate;

    (3) writs of execution, other writs or the substance thereof, and the returns thereon;

    (4) hazardous waste site information and hazardous waste storage, treatment, and disposal certifications established under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159;

    (5) underground storage tank information under 10 V.S.A. chapter 59;

    (6) municipal land use permits (as defined in section 4303 of this title) or notices of municipal land use permits as provided for in subsection (c) of this section, notices of violation of ordinances or bylaws relating to municipal land use, and notices of violation of municipal land use permits;

    (7) denials of municipal land use permits;

    (8) permits, design certifications, installation certifications, and other documents required to be filed by the provisions of 10 V.S.A. chapter 64 and the rules adopted under that chapter;

    (9) other instruments delivered to the town clerk for recording.

    (b) A temporary permit (if defined by the bylaws of the municipality) is not required to be recorded.

    (c) A notice of a municipal land use permit or a notice of violation specified in subdivision (a)(6) of this section may be recorded, and if such notice is recorded, it shall list:

    (1) as grantor, the owner of record title to the property at the time the municipal land use permit or notice of violation is issued;

    (2) as grantee, the municipality issuing the permit, certificate, or notice;

    (3) the municipal or village office where the original, or a true, legible copy of the municipal land use permit may be examined;

    (4) whether an appeal of such permit, certificate, or notice has been taken;

    (5) tax map lot number or other description identifying the lot.

    (d) The town clerk shall keep in each book of record an index of reference to the instruments or records in that book. (Amended 1983, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; 1985, No. 66, § 2; 1997, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 46, § 2, eff. May 26, 1999; 2001, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2003, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 1154a. Records; return postage

    Whenever an instrument listed in section 1154 of this chapter is filed or left for record with the town clerk, the town shall bear the costs of returning the original copy of the instrument to the person who filed or left the instrument for record. (Added 2019, No. 38, § 7.)

  • § 1155. Record of trust mortgage

    Trust mortgages may be recorded by furnishing the clerk with a printed copy thereof on not smaller than 8 1/4 by 10 3/4 nor larger than 10 1/2 by 16 ledger paper of good quality with good cloth binding which volume after being duly compared with the original mortgage shall be filed, attested by him or her and kept in his or her office as a trust mortgage record. The clerk shall also certify on a blank page of the then current mortgage record book the recording of such mortgage under the provisions of this section and index the same as provided in section 1154 of this title.

  • § 1156. Chattel mortgages; conditional sales; discharge of lien

    Within 15 days after a chattel mortgage, a sufficient memorandum of a conditional vendor’s lien, or a memorandum of a discharge of such mortgage or lien has been delivered to a town clerk for recording, accompanied by the recording fee provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1671, such clerk shall record such mortgage, lien, or discharge and return the original to the person entitled thereto. (Amended 2019, No. 38, § 8.)

  • § 1157. Duties of town clerk as to chattel mortgages

    A town clerk shall procure and keep a book of records for mortgages of personal property and shall keep an alphabetical index of mortgagors and mortgagees. The record and index shall be open to public inspection. The clerk shall record in the book any mortgage, transfer, discharge, or officer’s return of sale upon any mortgage. Reference to the volume and page of the record of the mortgage shall be made by the clerk upon the margin of the record of the return, as well as reference on the margin of the record of the mortgage to the volume and page of the record of the return. When requested, the clerk shall give a certified copy thereof on payment of his or her fees as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1671 and shall certify the time when the same is received and recorded. Mortgages or deeds of trust conveying both real and personal property shall be recorded only as real estate mortgages, but town clerks shall include in their indices of mortgages of personal property a reference to the record thereof. A copy of the personal mortgage, certified as a true and correct copy by the recording clerk, may be pasted or otherwise permanently attached in the record books, provided that space on the back of the sheet to be pasted is allowed for pasting, and when so done the same shall be deemed to be legally recorded, or if a person leaving the mortgage for record so desires, it shall be copied into the records at length by the town clerk. (Amended 1969, No. 40, § 2, eff. April 4, 1969.)

  • § 1158. Assignment or discharge of mortgage or judgment lien

    An assignment or discharge of a mortgage or judgment lien shall be duly recorded in the records of the town. A mortgage or judgment lien may be discharged by the mortgagee, judgment creditor, or assignee of such mortgage or judgment lien in writing on the margin of the mortgage record or judgment lien notice. A satisfaction or assignment of the mortgage or judgment lien recorded elsewhere shall bear a marginal notation of the book and page of the mortgage or judgment lien record and a corresponding cross-reference shall be made on the margin of the mortgage or judgment lien notice record. (Amended 1979, No. 67, § 4.)

  • § 1159. Indorsement of time of receiving instruments

    (a) An instrument shall be deemed recorded when the town clerk:

    (1) receives the instrument, the recording fee provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1671, and all supporting documents required by statute; and

    (2) indorses a certificate of the date and time of reception on the instrument.

    (b) Within three days following the date an instrument is indorsed, the clerk shall enter the name or names of the parties, the type of instrument, the date of the instrument, and the date and time of recording in a day book, printed index, or digital index that is open to public inspection. A town clerk may extend the time for entering the information for good cause shown, including reasons related to illness or absence of the clerk. (Amended 2019, No. 38, § 9.)

  • § 1160. Acknowledgements; oath

    (a) A town clerk, commissioned as a notary public pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 103, may take acknowledgements of deeds and other instruments throughout his or her county.

    (b) In his or her county, he or she may administer oaths in all cases where an oath is required, without being commissioned as a notary public pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 103.

    (c)(1) Each town clerk may designate from among the members of his or her staff at least one notary public to be available to perform notarial acts for the public in the town clerk’s office during normal business hours free of charge.

    (2) Each individual designated by the town clerk under this subsection shall be commissioned as a notary public pursuant to 26 V.S.A. chapter 103 and shall be exempt from the notary public application fee under that chapter. (Amended 2019, No. 30, § 26.)

  • § 1161. General index

    (a)(1) A town clerk shall keep a general index of transactions affecting the title to real estate wherein he or she shall enter in one column, in alphabetical order, the name of the grantor to the grantee and, in a parallel column, the name of the grantee from the grantor, of every deed, conveyance, mortgage, lease, or other instrument affecting the title to real estate, and each writ of attachment, notice of lien, or other instrument evidencing or giving notice of an encumbrance on real estate which is filed or recorded in the town clerk’s office, with the name of the book, volume, or other manner of recording and the page of record in the following form:

    Book Grantor Page Book Grantee Page
    to from
    Grantee Grantor
    1 A. to B. 1 1 B. from A. 1

    (2) If the instrument is executed on behalf of or to convey the interest of another party, the same shall be indexed in the name of the other party as grantor. In case the instrument is executed by more than one grantor and to more than one grantee, the name of each grantor and each grantee shall be indexed. When the party is a natural person the name shall be indexed under the first letter of such person’s surname, and when the party is a corporation the name shall be indexed under the first letter of the first word of its name disregarding articles and initials. For purposes of this section, a defendant against whose property a writ of attachment is filed or a person against whose property a lien is asserted shall be considered a grantor, and a plaintiff filing a writ or a person asserting a lien shall be considered a grantee. The general index may be kept electronically.

    (b) For the purposes of this section, “transactions affecting title to real estate” shall include the instruments described in subsections 1154(a) and (b) of this title. Each owner of record title to the property at the time such an instrument is issued shall be listed as the grantor. The State of Vermont shall be listed as the grantee for instruments described in subdivisions 1154(a)(4), (5), and (8) of this title. The municipality issuing the instrument shall be listed as the grantee for instruments described in subdivision 1154(a)(6) of this title. (Amended 1969, No. 235 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1999, No. 46, § 3, eff. May 26, 1999; 2001, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2007, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2009, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 6, 2010.)

  • § 1162. Indices; liability of clerk and town

    A town clerk who neglects to keep in his or her office the indices required by law to be kept by him or her shall be fined $20.00 for each six months’ neglect. A town which, upon such neglect of its town clerk, delays for six months to cause such an index to be completed and kept, shall be fined $50.00 for each six months it so neglects.

  • § 1163. Index of attachments

    A town clerk shall keep a book in which shall be alphabetically indexed all attachments of personal property lodged in his or her office. Such index shall show the names of the parties to the action in which the attachment is made, the court and date of the court to which the attachment is returnable, and the amount of debt or damages claimed in the writ.

  • § 1164. Certified copies; form

    (a) A town clerk shall furnish certified copies of any instrument on record in his or her office, or any instrument or paper filed in his or her office pursuant to law, on the tender of fees therefor, and his or her attestation shall be a sufficient authentication of the copies, except that the town clerk shall redact the word “illegitimate” from any copy of a birth certificate he or she furnishes.

    (b) A town clerk shall furnish a certified copy of a vital event certificate only if authorized and as prescribed under 18 V.S.A. chapter 101. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March, 1, 1961; 1975, No. 8, § 1; 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2017, No. 46, § 60, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 1165. Files and records available; when

    The files and records in the office of the clerk shall be available for inspection upon proper request at all reasonable hours.

  • § 1166. Return of name of town treasurer to State Treasurer

    Annually, on or before July 1, a town clerk shall transmit to the State Treasurer the name of the town treasurer.

  • § 1167. Certification of votes

    When at an annual or special meeting a town votes to raise a tax, to borrow money, or to make any appropriation of money, the clerk of such town, within five days thereafter, shall certify such vote to the treasurer of the town and to the chair of the selectboard.

  • § 1168. Return of names of listers to Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review

    After each annual meeting, a town clerk shall report forthwith electronically to the Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review the name of each lister in the town, his or her post office address, and the length of his or her term of office. In like manner, a town clerk shall notify the Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review of any lister appointed to fill a vacancy. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(b); 2017, No. 73, § 2, eff. June 13, 2017; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 155.)

  • § 1169. Name and address of first constable to county clerk

    After each annual meeting, a town clerk shall certify forthwith to the county clerk the name and post office address of the person elected first constable at such meeting.

  • § 1170. Appointment of assistant clerk

    After his or her election, a town clerk shall forthwith appoint one or more assistant clerks, for whose official acts he or she shall be responsible, who shall hold office during his or her term of office, or until such appointment is revoked by him or her. Such appointments and revocation shall be recorded in the office of the town clerk. (Amended 2017, No. 74, § 70.)

  • § 1171. Duties of assistant clerk

    (a) The assistant clerk shall be sworn and is authorized to perform the recording and filing duties of the town clerk, to issue licenses and certified copies of records, and, in the absence, death, or disability of the town clerk, is further authorized to perform all other duties of the clerk.

    (b) If there is a vacancy in the office of town clerk, the authority of the assistant town clerk to perform the duties of the town clerk shall continue until a successor is appointed by the selectboard under section 963 of this title. (Amended 1967, No. 107, eff. April 14, 1967; 2017, No. 74, § 71; 2017, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)

  • § 1172. Assistant clerk; record to county clerk

    Such assistant clerk shall deposit with the county clerk a copy of the record of his or her appointment, duly certified by the town clerk making such appointment, and shall also deposit a copy of his or her official oath signed by himself or herself, with a certificate of the magistrate administering the same that he or she has taken such oath. (Amended 2017, No. 74, § 72.)

  • § 1173. Town or village reports

    The clerk of a municipality shall supply annually each library in such municipality with two copies of the municipal report, upon its publication. The clerk shall also send to the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration one copy thereof in a manner prescribed by the State Archivist. Officers making these reports shall supply the clerk of the municipality with the copies necessary for him or her to comply with the provisions of this section and section 1174 of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 55; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.30; 2011, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. May 16, 2012; 2013, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 22, 2014; 2015, No. 23, § 148; 2017, No. 50, § 61.)

  • § 1174. Town file

    Such clerk shall keep on file in his or her office two or more sets of the annual report of the auditors, which at suitable intervals he or she shall bind in book form.

  • § 1175. Permanent service records

    Town clerks shall record the honorable discharges or certificates of service of all members of the Armed Forces of the United States, by photographic copy or on forms approved by the Adjutant General of a size and with a margin to permit binding. Upon making such record, the town clerk shall forthwith forward a certified copy thereof to the office of the Adjutant General. Such records shall be arranged or indexed alphabetically, bound, and made a permanent record. Town clerks shall receive a fee of 50 cents for so recording each honorable discharge or certificate of service, as hereinbefore provided, to be paid by the town.

  • § 1176. Manuscripts

    All books and manuscripts belonging to a town or a town school district, except town histories, published under the authority of a town, shall be kept in the office of the town clerk, unless otherwise provided and shall not be sold or disposed of. (Amended 1969, No. 289 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)

  • § 1177. Repealed. 1969, No. 289 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.

  • § 1178. Safes; vaults

    A town not already provided with a fireproof safe or vault of a sufficient size for the effectual preservation of the files and records now in the office of the town clerk, or that may hereafter accumulate there, shall forthwith procure such safe or vault.

  • § 1179. Reporting of fees received

    Within 30 days after the completion of a town’s fiscal year, each town clerk shall disclose to the public the total amount of fees received as part of his or her compensation during the fiscal year immediately preceding. (Added 1979, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)