The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 3(b) simplifies the rule by substituting a single 30-day response time for the answer and eliminating the acknowledgement provisions under which a defendant was allowed an additional 20 days to answer after filing an acknowledgement that the summons and complaint had been received.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 3(d) clarifies that an answer is due either within 30 days of the date of mailing of the summons and complaint or within 30 days of service by the sheriff.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 3(e) and the addition of 3(h) address the complexities that may arise in credit card debt collection actions by requiring the plaintiff creditor to establish the existence of the debt and ownership of it.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 3(e) requires that a motion for default in a credit card case must be accompanied by signed evidence of the debt or, in the absence of such documentation, a credit card statement showing the debt, “or other competent evidence” of it.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 7(d) eliminates the requirement that the judgment creditor serve an order resulting from a financial disclosure hearing by sheriff. The change allows this service to be accomplished by first class mail.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 8(c), regarding the consequences of a debtor failing to appear at a contempt hearing, eliminates the word “ordinarily” and substitutes the word “may,” recognizing that it is fully within the court’s discretion to decide what any penalty should be.
The amendment to V.R.S.C.P. 13 makes clear that, although V.R.C.P. 11 does not apply to small claims proceedings of its own force by virtue of V.R.S.C.P. 1(a), it may be used by analogy in a proper case when a party’s pleadings, motions, or other written submissions are calculated to impede the purpose of the small claims rules to secure “a simple, informal, and inexpensive disposition of” the claim.