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Proposed and Promulgated Rules


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Proposed

NOTE: The following Proposed Amendments are proposed by the Rules Committees and have not been reviewed by the Supreme Court.  To view more information click on the + next to the title.  To view the complete proposal click on the title.

Brief Statement about RuleContact and AddressDate Comment Period Ends
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rule 17 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 9(b) and 24(d) of the Vermont Rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court
Rule 9(b)(1) is amended to extend from three years to five years the time within which an applicant must sit for the bar exam after graduating law school or completing the LOS program.
 
Rule 24(d) is amended to require that legal interns complete a course in evidence before conducting an evidentiary proceeding.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON AUGUST 15, 2016.
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4(a), 5(e) and 80.2(a) of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4(j) and (o) of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings
The proposed amendments to Rules 4(j) and (o) address the question raised in Columbia v. Lawton, 2013 VT 2, 193 Vt. 165, 71 A.3d 1218, concerning the remedy for a person seeking to establish parentage after a prior determination of parentage to which that person was not a party.

THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON JULY 15, 2016. 

expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4 and 5 of the Vermont Rules of Environmental Court
expand  Proposed Amendment to Rule 3(c)(16) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
 
The proposed amendment Rule 3(c)(16) prescribes those nonwitnessed misdemeanor offenses for which a law enforcement officer, having probable cause, is authorized to arrest a person. 
 
This proposed amendment is made to conform the nomenclature describing the offense of cruelty to a child to legislative enactment amending 13 V.S.A. § 1304.  Per Act No. 60 of 2015, § 25, the Legislature amended the statute to create a felony offense of cruelty to a child, but retained codification of a misdemeanor offense in § 1304(a), which is the subject of V.R.Cr.P. 3(c)(16), recaptioning the section title as “Cruelty to a Child,” and deleting former reference in the section title to age of either the child or the defendant. The proposed amendment makes a nonsubstantive change to the title of the offense specified.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON JULY 15, 2016.
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4, 16.3, and 80.10 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
expand  Proposed Order Adding Comment 14 to Rule 1.2 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct
The proposed addition of comment [14] would clarify that Rule 1.2(d) does not prohibit Vermont lawyers from providing advice to clients on issues related to Vermont’s laws regulating marijuana and allowing some permissible uses.  Rule 1.2(d) does not draw a distinction between state and federal law, or between federal law that is enforced and federal law that is not.  Therefore, while the Department of Justice’s current enforcement policy is to focus prosecutorial resources on activities other than those that are legal under state-approved regulatory schemes, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug for the purposes of the Controlled Substances Act and, as such, illegal under federal law.  See 21 U.S.C. §§ 801-904.  Arguably, then, a lawyer violates Rule 1.2(d) by assisting a client, for example, to set up a dispensary of therapeutic cannabis that is legal under Vermont law.
 
Given the conflict between state and federal law, and DOJ’s current enforcement policy, this is an area in which advice from an attorney is critical and into which clients should not be forced to enter without counsel.  Similarly, lawyers should not face professional discipline for providing legal advice on such an important issue, especially when the alternative is to leave clients to proceed at their own peril.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON APRIL 15, 2016.
expand  Proposed Order Abrogating Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings and replacing it with Rules 4.0-4.3
expand  Proposed Substantative Changes to V.R.F.P. 4
The main proposed order abrogates Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings and replaces it with Rules 4.0-4.3.
 
 The appendix to the promulgation order contains the new rules, which reorganize, reformat, and restyle former V.R.F.P. 4 into new V.R.F.P. 4.0-4.3.  The purpose is to make the rules more accessible and clearer.
 
 New Rule 4.0 contains provisions that are generally applicable to all civil family proceedings—divorce, legal separation, dissolution of a civil union, the affirmation or annulment of a marriage, parentage, desertion, and nonsupport.  Rule 4.1 contains additional special provisions for cases involving minor children and parentage. Rule 4.2 contains provisions pertaining to motions after judgment. Rule 4.3 contains provisions considered to be “special procedures” within the context of civil family proceedings.
 
The second proposed order contains eight changes to former Rule 4 which are “substantive” in the sense that they make actual changes in practice.  Those changes are shown in the second order with strikeouts and underlining and separate Reporter’s Notes.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED APRIL 15, 2016. 
expand  Proposed V.R.Cr.P. 28
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 43(e) of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
The proposed amendment to Rule 43(e) of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure clarifies the requirements in actions in the Probate Division of the Superior Court for court appointment of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) or hearing impairments.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON JANUARY 25, 2016.
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 51(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rules 3 and 17 and adding Rule 16.1 of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
The proposed amendments to Rules 3(a) and (b)(3), as previously amended December 11, 2014, effective February 13, 2015, further amend the rule to delete the requirement of Rule 3(a) that notice of the petition be sent to all interested persons, to delete “interested persons” in paragraph (3), and to make clear in paragraphs (3) and (4) that only “the surviving spouse, if any,” as well as “heirs at law,” must consent. The amendments are intended to conform the rule to 14 V.S.A. § 108, which does not require testimony if the spouse and all heirs at law consent to allowance of the will.
 
The proposed amendments to Rules 17(a)(1) and (b)(1) provide conformity with the simultaneous amendments of Rule 3.
 
Proposed Rule 16.1 is added to make clear that mediation may be ordered in a Probate Division proceeding and to provide standards and a procedure for the process. The proposed rule is based in part on V.R.F.P. 18, promulgated July 20, effective September 21, 2015. The proposed rule does not preclude voluntary use of mediation or another form of ADR by agreement of the parties without judicial involvement.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD ENDED ON DECEMBER 21, 2015.
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendment to Rule 43(f) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
The proposed amendment to Rule 43(f) makes clear that the requirements in actions in the Civil Division of the Superior Court for court appointment of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) or hearing impairments comply with federal law.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.
expand  Proposed Order Making Permanent Emergency Amendments and Promulgating Amendments and Additions to the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure (“Day is a Day”)

The proposed amendments to Rules 3, 4, 5, 5.1, 6, 10, 11, 26, 27, 28, 31, 31.1, 39, and 45.1 conform their 5-day, 7-day and 10-day time periods to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a) and provide for internal consistency with appellate motion practice.

The proposed amendment to Rule 4(b)(7) provides internal consistency with the simultaneous amendments to V.R.C.P. 50 and 52.

The proposed amendments to Rule 26 incorporate a specific reference to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a), deletes V.R.A.P. 26(c) for consistency with the simultaneous deletion of V.R.C.P. 6(e), and redesignates V.R.A.P. 26(d) and (e) as 26(c) and (d).

THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.

expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Day is a Day”)
expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure and the Appendix of Forms ("Day is a Day")
The proposed amendments to Rules 6(a), (b), (d), and (e) adopt the “day is a day” rule, a simplified method of computing time period by incorporating, with minor changes, the language of a 2009 amendment to F.R.C.P. 6(a).  The amendment serves the purposes of both achieving simplicity and maintaining uniformity with the federal practice.
 
The proposed amendments to Rules 3, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 7, 12, 15, 16.1, 16.3, 17, 23, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 50, 52, 53, 55, 58, 59, 62, 64, 65, 68, 72, 74, 78, 79.1, 80.1., 80.2, 80.6, 80.7, 80.9, and 80.10 conform their various time periods to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a) and provides consistency with the new federal standard for motion practice.
 
The proposed amendments to Forms 1, 1A, 15, and 22 conform their various time periods to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a).
The proposed amendment to Rule 4(l)(3)(F) shortens the time for return of waiver of service from 60 to 42 days.
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 13(j) abrogates the subsection because justices’ courts were eliminated and their functions transferred to the District Court by Act 249 of 1973, and the former District court was re-designated as the Criminal Division of the Superior Court and its civil jurisdiction transferred to that court by Act No. 154 of 2009.
 
The proposed amendment to the title of Rule 80.5 and the language of Rule 80.5(a) are amended to reflect the redesignation of the former district court as the Criminal Division of the Superior Court by Act No. 154 of 2009 (Adj. Sess.), § 237(b)(3) (effective July 1, 2010).  Rule 80.5(i) is amended to conform to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a).
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rule 32 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 43(f) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 24(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure

The proposed amendment to Rule 43(f) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure clarifies the requirements in actions in the Civil Division of the Superior Court for court appointment of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency or hearing impairments to ensure compliance with federal law. The amendment is intended to satisfy federal requirements.  Identical provisions will be added to or made applicable in the Family, Probate and Criminal Rules.

The proposed addition of Rule 24(a)(1)(B)(iii) to the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure incorporates the language of V.R.C.P. 3(b)(1) regarding qualification for in forma pauperis status to make clear that the same standard applies under both the civil and appellate rules.

THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON 8/13/2014.


Promulgated Rules Over the Last Two Years

NOTE: To view more information click on the + next to the title.  To view the complete proposal click on the title.

Brief Statement about RulePromulgated DatePromulgated Effective Date
expand Order Promulgating Amendments to Rules 4, 16.3 and 80.10 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
expand Order Promulgating Emergency Amendments to Rule 80.11 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
Rule 80.11 as added June 15, effective August 15, 2016, is amended to reflect the abrogation and replacement of V.R.C.P. 16.3.  New Rule 16.3 significantly simplifies the procedure of the former rule and provides only for mediation, rather than for a variety of alternative dispute resolution methods.  The present amendments are intended to reflect those changes by substituting “mediation” for “alternative dispute resolution” wherever it appears and replacing cross-references to former Rule 16.3 with references to the appropriate provisions of the new rule.
 
This Emergency Order was promulgated on July 11, 2016, effective September 12, 2016.
July 11, 2016September 12, 2016
expand Order Promulgating Permanent Amendments to Rules 5 and 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand Order Promulgating the Addition of Rule 80.11 to the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
The rule creates an expedited procedure with an effective, efficient, and predictable case management process for lower-value or less-complicated cases.  The Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure has been directed to review the operation of the rule and to advise the Court not later than August 17, 2018 whether the rule should be further revised or made permanent.  In the absence of further order, the rule will be void and of no further effect in any civil action commenced after August 16, 2019.
June 15, 2016August 15, 2016
expand Order Promulgating Amendments to Rule 41(e) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand Order Promulgating Amendments to Rule 16(d) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
The amendment adds a new subdivision (d)(3), which provides that the prosecuting attorney is not required to disclose to the defendant information as to the residential address or place of employment of the victim, unless the court finds, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, that nondisclosure of the information will prejudice the defendant.  The amendment serves to implement the provisions of 13 V.S.A. § 5310, while expressly reserving the court’s authority to order that the state disclose the information where necessary to preserve a defendant’s due process and confrontation guarantees.

 This Order was promulgated on May 10, 2016, effective July 11, 2016.
May 10, 2016July 11, 2016
expand Order Promulgating Amendment to Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand Order Promulgating Amendments to § § 7 and 8 of Administrative Order No. 41
The amendments to § 7 of Administrative Order No. 41 are for style and substance.  The stylistic changes are intended to make the rule more readable by breaking the requirements into subdivisions and adding headings.  The substantive change relates to the requirements about the certification of good standing with respect to taxes.  The rule is amended to require that an attorney submit a written declaration under the pains and penalties of perjury that the attorney is in good standing for tax purposes. 
 
The amendment to § 8 adds to the definition of good standing for tax purposes that the attorney has filed all returns.  This makes the definition consistent with that in the general statute on licensing.  See 32 V.S.A. § 3113(g). 
 
This amendment was promulgated on April 26, 2016; effective May 2, 2016.
April 26, 2016May 2, 2016
expand Order Promulgating Emergency Amendments to Rules 4 and Rule 5 of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
expand Order Promulgating Amendments to Rules 1.0, 1.5, 1.15(b) and (c), 1.15A(a), and 8.3(c) of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct
Rules 1.5(f) and (g) are added to clarify the conditions that apply to a lawyer's acceptance of a nonrefundable fee.  Under the amended rule, nonrefundable fees are permissible as long as they are reasonable and advance consent is obtained.
 
Rules 1.0(o) and (p) are added to define terms used in the simultaneous amendments of Rule 1.5(f) and (g).

The amendment to Rule 1.15(b) clarifies that the funds that a lawyer may keep in a client trust account to cover service charges is that “reasonably” necessary for that purpose, making clear that the rules do not provide a fixed amount or percentage but will be applied on a case-by-case basis. The amendment to Rule 1.15(c) provides for consistency with the simultaneous addition of Rules 1.5(f) and (g).
The amendment to Rule 1.15A(a) clarifies that funds held by a lawyer in a “fiduciary account” as further defined by the amendment may be held in an IOLTA account created pursuant to Rule 1.15B “in appropriate circumstances”—that is, when the funds meet the standard of Rule 1.15B(a)(1) that they “are not reasonably expected to earn net interest or dividends” as defined in Rule 1.15B(a)(2)(i). 
 
The amendment to Rule 1.15A(a)(4) requires a lawyer to maintain records documenting at least monthly reconciliation of all accounts maintained pursuant to Rule 1.15A. 
Rule 8.3(c) exempts Bar Counsel from the requirement of disclosure of information about misconduct otherwise required by
 
Rule 8.3(a) when Bar Counsel is responding to an inquiry from an attorney pursuant to A.O. 9, Rules 3(B)(1) and 9.  The purpose of the amendment is to maintain the integrity of the inquiry process.
 
March 7, 2016May 9, 2016
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Consolidated Amendments to Electronic Filing

NOTE: To view more information click on the + next to the title.  To view the complete proposal click on the title.

Brief Statement about Rule
expand Consolidated Rules Affecting Electronic Filings