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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 3 : Executive


Subchapter 002 : CONTESTED CASES

(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 809a)
  • § 809a. Enforcement of subpoenas; compulsion of testimony

    (a) This section applies when an agency has issued a subpoena to compel a person to appear and testify or to produce documents or things, if the person:

    (1) has failed to appear or has failed to produce the subpoenaed materials, in which case any party or the agency may bring a proceeding to enforce the subpoena; or

    (2) has appeared but has refused to take an oath or affirmation authorized by law, or has refused to testify or to answer a question, in which case any party or the agency may bring a proceeding to compel testimony by the person.

    (b) A proceeding under this section shall be brought in Superior Court for the county in which the administrative proceeding is or will be held. The court shall consist of the presiding judge, sitting alone, and no jury shall be used. The proceeding shall be commenced by motion, and the motion shall be served in the manner provided for motions in civil actions. No filing fee shall be required. No answer or responsive motion is required, but such papers may be filed. The court shall schedule a hearing on the motion as soon as is reasonably practicable.

    (c) In a proceeding to compel testimony, the court may order the respondent to testify and answer questions, and may impose limits on those questions or answers.

    (d) In a proceeding to enforce a subpoena, if the petitioner establishes that the subpoena was properly issued, and that the person subpoenaed has failed to appear or to produce documents or things required, the court shall issue an order compelling compliance with the agency subpoena. Otherwise, the court shall vacate or modify the subpoena.

    (e) In a proceeding to enforce a subpoena, after giving the respondent an opportunity to present evidence, if the court determines that the subpoena was properly issued, and that failure to comply with the agency’s subpoena was without reasonable excuse, it shall assess a penalty against the respondent, to be paid to the petitioner, in an amount not to exceed $100.00 and shall also award all costs of litigation that the petitioner incurred as a result of the respondent’s noncompliance, including costs of issuing new subpoenas and incurring additional expenses for expert witnesses.

    (f) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with an order of the court issued under this section may be held to be in contempt of the court. (Added 1983, No. 230 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)