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.
§ 901. Parents’ liability for damages
(a) When an unemancipated minor under the age of 18 years willfully or maliciously causes damage to any property, public or private, or injury to a person, either of his or her parents shall be liable to the owner of such property or to the person injured, in an action on this statute, for the damage to property, injury to person, or either, in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 provided such minor would be liable had such minor been an adult. If the damage or injury is caused by two or more such minors, a parent shall be liable for each of his or her children subject to the provisions of this section in an amount not exceeding $5,000.00. The remedy provided shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other remedy which may exist at law; except, however, that any judgment subsequently recovered in any action brought for money damages on account of the damage or injury contemplated shall be reduced by the extent of any previous judgment recovered in any other such action.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a parent legally deprived or relieved of the custody of the minor prior to the commission of the act complained of.
(c) In an action under this section against a minor’s parents, nothing contained in the record of any juvenile proceeding involving the minor shall be admissible as evidence except as provided in 33 V.S.A. § 5117.
(d) Law enforcement officers who come in contact with an owner of property damaged by a minor or a person injured by a minor shall make a reasonable effort to inform such person of the provisions of this section. (Added 1959, No. 124, §§ 1, 2; amended 1989, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1995, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 111.)