Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
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 4 : Judiciary

Chapter 003 : Superior Judges and Superior Courts

Subchapter 001 : Superior Judges

(Cite as: 4 V.S.A. § 71)
  • § 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 the Superior judge was appointed or retained, a declaration that the Superior judge 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, the judge’s 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 that 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 prescribed pursuant to this subsection.

    (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 Chief Superior Judge. The Chief Superior 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; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. July 1, 2022; 2021, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. May 31, 2022.)