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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 Rules 9(b) and 24(d) of the Vermont Rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4(a), 5(e) and 80.2(a) of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
Rule 4(a) is amended to adopt language of V.R.C.P. 4(b) and to address a problem that arises with increasing frequency with the increase of self-representation.  The amendment provides that a notice shall comply with the format provisions of the Vermont Rules for Electronic Filing, if applicable.  The petitioner must also include with the notice a blank Notice of Appearance form.  By providing a blank notice of appearance form at the time the complaint is served, unrepresented defendants will be encouraged to provide contact information for the court as well as to comply with V.R.P.P. 79.1(c).
 
Rule 5(e) is replaced by language virtually identical to V.R.C.P. 5(h) requiring a separate certificate of service to be filed after service of any document under Rule 5.
 Rule 80.2(a) is amended to conform to present practice.  The petition will conform to the requirements of Rule 3 to the extent not inconsistent with this rule.  The representation as to the location of real property is necessary to establish jurisdiction and venue.
 
Comments on these proposed amendments should be sent by August 15, 2016 to Hon. Joanne Ertel, Chair of the Probate Rules Committee, at the following address:
 
Hon. Joanne M. Ertel
Windsor Probate Division
12 The Green
Woodstock, VT  05091
Joanne.Ertel@vermont.gov
 
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4(j) and (o) of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4 and 5 of the Vermont Rules of Environmental Court
The proposed amendments to Rule 4 conform its 5, 7, 10 and 15 day time periods to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a), which adopts the day-is-a-day counting system.
 The proposed amendments to Rule 5 conform its 5, 10, 20 and 30 day time periods to the simultaneous amendment of V.R.C.P. 6(a), which adopts the day-is-a-day counting system.
 
The 30-day time period for appeal in Rule 5(b)(k)(2) is retained for consistency with other appeal periods.
 
Comments on these proposed amendments should be sent by July 15, 2016 to Allan Keyes, Esq., Chair of the Civil Rules Committee, at the following address:
 
Allan Keyes, Esq., Chair
Civil Rules Committee
Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 310
Rutland, VT  05702-0310
ark@rsclaw.com
 
July 15, 2016
expand  Proposed Amendment to Rule 3(c)(16) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rules 4, 16.3, and 80.10 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
The proposed amendment to Rule 4(d)(2) provides a uniform, easily administered method of service of complaints and material information on the Vermont Attorney General as required by the state and federal False Claims Acts.
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 16.3 abrogates the current rule entitled Alternative Dispute Resolution and replaces it with the new rule entitled Mediation to reflect that forms of ADR other than mediation are no longer required or governed by the rule.  The proposed rule carries forward many provisions of the former rule, but eliminates provisions regarding selection of the neutral and the scheduling and content of the neutral’s report.
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 80.10(e), consistent with the amendment of V.R.F.P. 9(e), effective September 21, 2015, provides that the denial of a stalking or sexual assault order under Rule 80.10, except for lack of jurisdiction, must inform the plaintiff that a request for hearing may be entered within five business days after the order is entered on the docket.  The proposed amendment is intended to expedite proceedings for holding a hearing when an ex parte temporary relief from abuse order has been denied by requiring that the written denial must inform the plaintiff that the request for a hearing must be filed within five business day after entry of the denial on the docket.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON MAY 13, 2016.  
May 13, 2016
expand  Proposed Order Adding Comment 14 to Rule 1.2 of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct
expand  Proposed Order Abrogating Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings and replacing it with Rules 4.0-4.3
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 ON APRIL 15, 2016. 
April 15, 2016
expand  Proposed Substantative Changes to V.R.F.P. 4
expand  Proposed V.R.Cr.P. 28
The proposed amendment to Rule 28 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure clarifies the requirements in actions in the Criminal 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 MARCH 11, 2016.
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 43(e) of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 51(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
The proposed amendment to Rule 51(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure clarifies that lawyers may object to an instruction either at the charge conference or at a later time before the jury retires, and that a lawyer objecting at the charge conference does not have to restate the same points after the charge when they have already been stated at length and been ruled upon by the judge at the charge conference.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON JANUARY 25, 2016.
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rules 3 and 17 and adding Rule 16.1 of the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
expand  Proposed Order Amending Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
The proposed amendments to Rule 5 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure establish procedures for service and filing of documents under the rule by electronic means in all divisions and units of the superior court.  Under the proposed rule, documents must be served by electronic means if required by the Vermont Rules for Electronic Filing, and in all other cases documents may be served by electronic means if the parties have agreed in writing and the writing is filed with the court.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON DECEMBER 21, 2015.
expand  Proposed Amendment to Rule 43(f) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure
expand  Proposed Order Making Permanent Emergency Amendments and Promulgating Amendments and Additions to the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure
The proposed amendments to Rules 3(a) (complaint) and (d) (answer) of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure as amended by emergency rule on April 28, effective May 4, 2015,  further amends the rules and make permanent the emergency amendments, and amend Rule 3(g) (reopening default).
 
The proposed amendments provide that, if the party filing a complaint, an answer, or a motion to reopen a default judgment has agreed by registering an e-mail address in the action that the clerk may return the time-stamped document by e-mail, the party needs to file only the original document and any attachments. The court clerk will then return the document, time-stamped to indicate that it has been filed, to the filing party electronically for service upon the other party. If the filing party has not registered an e-mail address, the party must file an original and one copy of the form and any attachments accompanied by a self-addressed envelope stamped with sufficient postage to enable the clerk to return the document to the filer by ordinary mail.

Amendments to comparable provisions are proposed for V.R.S.C.P. 7(a) (financial disclosure hearing), 8(b) (contempt summons), 9(b) (writ of execution), and 10(a) (notice of appeal).
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 7(a) of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure as amended by emergency rule on April 28, effective May 4, 2015, further amends and makes emergency amendments permanent to provide for return of a file-stamped motion to a registered filer by e-mail. 
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 9(a) is for stylistic reasons.
 
The proposed amendment to Rule 9(c) clarifies the judgment creditor’s responsibilities.
 
These proposed amendments also provide that Rules 3, 7, 10, and 12 of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure, promulgated as emergency amendments on April 28, effective May 4, 2015, be made permanent, and that those rules and Rules 8 and 9 of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure, as amended or added in this order, are prescribed and promulgated as permanent.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.
October 5, 2015
expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure (“Day is a Day”)
expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Day is a Day”)
The proposed amendment to Rule 45 adopts Federal Rule 45’s “day is a day” standard for computation of the running of time period in criminal cases so that time is computed identically under all of the rules of procedure. 
 
The proposed amendments to Rules 12.1(a), 29, 32, 33, and 47 conform their time periods to the “day is a day” standard. 
 
In consideration of the practical difficulties associated with investigation of the circumstances of a proffered alibi defense, and with security and disclosure of expert assessment in the case of insanity or other mental state defenses, the proposed amendment to Rule 12.1(a) increases the period for provision of notice of such defenses from 10 to 30 days, in contrast to other contemporaneous amendments of 10-day periods, which are extended to 14 days.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON OCTOBER 5, 2015.
October 5, 2915
expand  Proposed Amendments to the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure and the Appendix of Forms ("Day is a Day")
expand  Proposed Amendments to Rule 32 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure
The proposed amendment to Rule 32 adds subdivision (g) in response to the Court’s decision in State v. Morse, 2014 VT 84, to provide specific procedures for the conduct of, and evidentiary standards in, restitution hearings convened pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7043.  The subdivision also specifies written pre-hearing disclosures that are required to be made to the defendant by the prosecuting attorney, who has the burden of proof in establishing restitution claims payable to a victim of crime.
 
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED ON JULY 17, 2015.
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

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 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
expand Order Promulgating Addition of Rule 16.1 to the Vermont Rules of Probate Procedure
expand Order Promulgating Additional Emergency Amendments to Rules 3(d) and (g), 7(a), 8(b), and 9(c) of the Vermont Rules of Small Claims Procedure
Rules 3(d) and (g) as amended by emergency rule on January 11, 2016, effective April 15, 2016, are further amended to eliminate and clarify the requirements of the January 11 amendments that the parties file documents after the original complaint and answer and that the clerk process the answer and other documents before they are served. These requirements were unnecessary and imposed burdens of time and expense on the clerks’ offices.  Comparable provisions are added by simultaneous amendments to V.R.S.C.P. 7(a), 8(b), and 9(b).  Rule 9(b) was also amended to add the requirements that it be “appropriate” for the clerk to provide the writ to assure that the creditor is entitled to the writ.
 
March 7, 2016April 15, 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