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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 32 : Taxation and Finance

Chapter 007 : THE PUBLIC MONIES

Subchapter 008 : VERMONT FALSE CLAIMS ACT

(Cite as: 32 V.S.A. § 635)
  • § 635. Payments to relators; limitations

    (a) If the Attorney General proceeds with an action brought by a relator under subsection 632(b) of this chapter, the relator shall, subject to subsection (b) of this section, receive at least 15 percent but not more than 25 percent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which the relator substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action.

    (b) Where the action is one which the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, other than information provided by the relator, relating to allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing; in a legislative, administrative, or State Auditor hearing, audit, investigation, or report; or from the news media, the court may award such sums as it considers appropriate, but in no case more than 10 percent of the proceeds, taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation.

    (c) Any payment to a relator under the subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be made only from the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claims. Any such relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the appropriate court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorney's fees and costs. All such expenses, fees, and costs shall be awarded against the defendant, and paid directly by the defendant to the relator.

    (d) If the Attorney General does not proceed with an action under this chapter, the relator bringing the action or settling the claim shall receive an amount which the court decides is reasonable for collecting the civil penalty and damages on behalf of the State. The amount shall be not less than 25 percent and not more than 30 percent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim, and shall be paid out of such proceeds. In such circumstances, the relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, including reasonable attorney's fees and costs. All such expenses, fees, and costs shall be awarded against the defendant and paid directly by the defendant to the relator.

    (e) Whether or not the Attorney General proceeds with the action, if the court finds that the action was brought by a relator who planned and initiated the violation of section 631 of this chapter upon which the action was brought, then the court may, to the extent the court considers appropriate, reduce or eliminate the share of the proceeds of the action which the relator would otherwise receive pursuant to this section, taking into account the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the violation. If the relator bringing the action is convicted of criminal conduct arising from his or her role in the violation of section 631 of this chapter, that relator shall be dismissed from the civil action and shall not receive any share of the proceeds of the action. Such dismissal shall not prejudice the right of the State to continue the action. (Added 2015, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 18, 2015.)