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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 085 : WEAPONS

Subchapter 002 : EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS

(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 4053)
  • § 4053. Petition for extreme risk protection order

    (a) A State's Attorney or the Office of the Attorney General may file a petition requesting that the court issue an extreme risk protection order prohibiting a person from purchasing, possessing, or receiving a dangerous weapon or having a dangerous weapon within the person's custody or control. The petitioner shall submit an affidavit in support of the petition.

    (b) Except as provided in section 4054 of this title, the court shall grant relief only after notice to the respondent and a hearing. The petitioner shall have the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence.

    (c)(1) A petition filed pursuant to this section shall allege that the respondent poses an extreme risk of causing harm to himself or herself or another person by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a dangerous weapon or by having a dangerous weapon within the respondent's custody or control.

    (2)(A) An extreme risk of harm to others may be shown by establishing that:

    (i) the respondent has inflicted or attempted to inflict bodily harm on another; or

    (ii) by his or her threats or actions the respondent has placed others in reasonable fear of physical harm to themselves; or

    (iii) by his or her actions or inactions the respondent has presented a danger to persons in his or her care.

    (B) An extreme risk of harm to himself or herself may be shown by establishing that the respondent has threatened or attempted suicide or serious bodily harm.

    (3) The affidavit in support of the petition shall state:

    (A) the specific facts supporting the allegations in the petition;

    (B) any dangerous weapons the petitioner believes to be in the respondent's possession, custody, or control; and

    (C) whether the petitioner knows of an existing order with respect to the respondent under 15 V.S.A. chapter 21 (abuse prevention orders) or 12 V.S.A. chapter 178 (orders against stalking or sexual assault).

    (d) The court shall hold a hearing within 14 days after a petition is filed under this section. Notice of the hearing shall be served pursuant to section 4056 of this title concurrently with the petition and any ex parte order issued under section 4054 of this title.

    (e)(1) The court shall grant the petition and issue an extreme risk protection order if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses an extreme risk of causing harm to himself or herself or another person by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a dangerous weapon or by having a dangerous weapon within the respondent's custody or control.

    (2) An order issued under this subsection shall prohibit a person from purchasing, possessing, or receiving a dangerous weapon or having a dangerous weapon within the person's custody or control for a period of up to six months. The order shall be signed by the judge and include the following provisions:

    (A) A statement of the grounds for issuance of the order.

    (B) The name and address of the court where any filings should be made, the names of the parties, the date of the petition, the date and time of the order, and the date and time the order expires.

    (C) A description of how to appeal the order.

    (D) A description of the requirements for relinquishment of dangerous weapons under section 4059 of this title.

    (E) A description of how to request termination of the order under section 4055 of this title. The court shall include with the order a form for a motion to terminate the order.

    (F) A statement directing the law enforcement agency, approved federally licensed firearms dealer, or other person in possession of the firearm to release it to the owner upon expiration of the order.

    (G) A statement in substantially the following form:

    "To the subject of this protection order: This order shall be in effect until the date and time stated above. If you have not done so already, you are required to surrender all dangerous weapons in your custody, control, or possession to [insert name of law enforcement agency], a federally licensed firearms dealer, or a person approved by the court. While this order is in effect, you are not allowed to purchase, possess, or receive a dangerous weapon; attempt to purchase, possess, or receive a dangerous weapon; or have a dangerous weapon in your custody or control. You have the right to request one hearing to terminate this order during the period that this order is in effect, starting from the date of this order. You may seek the advice of an attorney regarding any matter connected with this order."

    (f) If the court denies a petition filed under this section, the court shall state the particular reasons for the denial in its decision.

    (g) No filing fee shall be required for a petition filed under this section.

    (h) Form petitions and form orders shall be provided by the Court Administrator and shall be maintained by the clerks of the courts.

    (i) When findings are required under this section, the court shall make either written findings of fact or oral findings of fact on the record.

    (j) Every final order issued under this section shall bear the following language: "VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIME SUBJECT TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OR A FINE, OR BOTH, AS PROVIDED BY 13 V.S.A. § 4058, AND MAY ALSO BE PROSECUTED AS CRIMINAL CONTEMPT PUNISHABLE BY FINE OR IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH."

    (k) Affidavit forms required pursuant to this section shall bear the following language: "MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT IN THIS AFFIDAVIT IS A CRIME SUBJECT TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OR A FINE, OR BOTH, AS PROVIDED BY 13 V.S.A. § 4058."  (Added 2017, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 11, 2018.)