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Environmental Division

Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Court

expand  How do I find and choose a mediator for my case?
expand  How do I get ready for Mediation?
·        Get all the documents or drawings you think are important to explain your side of the case.  The mediator may ask you for copies of these and may ask you to send them to other parties.
·        Have someone at the mediation who can make a final decision for your side.
·        Think about what points you want the mediator and the other side to understand.
·        Think about weak points in your case.  Think about the strong points of the other side.
·        Think about reasonable ways to resolve the dispute that would satisfy you.
·        Realize there may be ways to resolve the dispute you haven’t considered.  Be flexible.
·        Many Environmental Court cases involve neighbors. If your case involves your neighbors, think about what you’d like your relationship with these neighbors to be like in the future.
expand  How does Mediation work?
expand  What is Mediation?
In mediation, parties meet and make their own decision about how to resolve a dispute. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).  It’s an alternative to court (where the judge makes the decision).  Courts around the country recommend mediation.    
 A mediator is a person chosen by the parties who was not involved in the dispute before. A mediator does not make a decision.  The mediator helps the parties sort through the issues in the dispute.  The mediator also helps the parties discuss possible settlements of the dispute.  If the parties agree on a settlement, it’s written down in simple terms; this closes out the court case.   
What are the benefits of mediation?  What can you expect at your mediation session?   How does it work?  Who attends? What do you do?  This document answers those questions.
expand  Why go to Mediation?
expand Can I represent myself?
expand How do I file an appearance?
Either through an attorney or on your own. If you are doing so on your own, on this web site there is a form: Environmental Court Pro se Information  or you can request that one be sent to you.
expand How do I find a mediator?
expand How do I get to the Environmental Court?
Directions are available on this web site. Click here.
expand How do I know who is an Interested Person?
expand How long do I have to file an appeal?
Within 30 days from the date of the decision [see V.R.E.C.P. 5(b)(1)].   
expand If I do not file a municipal appeal in person, do I have to send it in by certified mail?
expand Is there a form to file an appeal?
No, there is no special form. Format is not as important as the content. See Vermont Rules for Environmental Court Proceedings (V.R.E.C.P.) Rule 5. Although not required, it is often helpful to the Court if you include a copy of the decision being appealed from.
expand What do I do if I can't afford an attorney?
expand What do I send to the Interested Parties?
A copy of the Notice of Appeal (V.R.E.C.P. 5(b)(4)(A)). A recent rule change requires more that, though. To assist you, Form 900, Notice to Interested Parties is available on this web site.
expand What happens after I send notice to the Interested Parties and get the Statement of Questions in?
expand What is the filing fee for appealing a decision from a Municipality?
$250 (Fees are listed in V.S.A. 32 §1431).
expand What is the Statement of Questions?
expand Where can I get the Rules for Environmental Court Proceedings?
To view the Rules for Environmental Court Proceedings click here.
expand Where do I submit the appeal?
expand Who is the appellant?
The person(s) filing the appeal.