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Searching 2023-2024 Session

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.

Title 20 : Internal Security and Public Safety

Chapter 039 : COURTS-MARTIAL


(Cite as: 20 V.S.A. § 942a)
  • § 942a. Structure of courts-martial

    (a) General court-martial. A general court-martial of the Vermont National Guard shall be convened only by order of the Governor.

    (1) A general court-martial may try any person subject to the military code of Vermont for a crime made punishable by the military laws of the United States and the State, and may impose fines not exceeding $200.00, sentence forfeiture of pay and allowances, reprimand, dismiss or dishonorably discharge from the service, and reduce noncommissioned officers in rank. Any two or more punishments may be combined in the sentence imposed by the court.

    (2) The procedure by which a general court-martial shall function in view of the State’s lack of manpower, and shortage of places of confinement and finances, shall be in compliance with reasonable rules, adjusted to the peculiar characteristics of the State. The rules shall be formulated by the Adjutant and Inspector General, drafted by the Staff Judge Advocate, and approved by the Governor.

    (b) Special court-martial. The Adjutant and Inspector General or the commanding officer of a battalion or similar unit may appoint a special court-martial, but the special court-martial may in any case be appointed by superior authority when the superior authority considers the appointment desirable.

    (1) A special court-martial may try any person subject to the military code of Vermont, except a commissioned or warrant officer, for any crime of a purely military nature made punishable by military law of the United States or the State.

    (2) A special court-martial has the same powers of punishment as a general court-martial, except that a fine may not exceed $100.00.

    (c) Summary court-martial. The commanding officer of a unit may appoint a summary court to consist of one officer who may administer oaths and may try enlisted Guard members for breach of discipline and for minor violations of a military regulation governing the unit. The court, when satisfied of the guilt of the soldier, may fine him or her not exceeding $25.00 for any single offense, sentence to a reduction in rank, and declare not in excess of one month’s forfeiture of pay and allowances. The proceedings shall be informal.

    (d) Appeal from convictions. Any appeal from the sentence of a court-martial by the defendant shall be taken to the Adjutant and Inspector General.

    (1) The defendant shall file written notice of appeal within 30 days after the court’s finding of guilty.

    (2) The Adjutant and Inspector General with the assistance of the Staff Judge Advocate shall review all questions of law and fact.

    (3) The final decision in all appeals from the special and summary courts-martial are with the Adjutant and Inspector General. An appeal from the general court-martial conviction shall be reviewed by the Adjutant and Inspector General as provided in this subsection.

    (4) Within 60 days after being served with the written decision of the Adjutant and Inspector General, affirming in whole or in part the conviction, the defendant may appeal to the Governor, whose decision is final. (Added 1973, No. 223 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. April 4, 1974; amended 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 128.)