The Vermont Judiciary is a coequal branch of government. It is an important element in the balance of power among the three branches of government. This balance of power is essential to the vitality of our democracy.
The courts provide a forum for resolution of disputes. This includes cases that address the protection of individual rights and public safety. It also includes cases that address business and commercial concerns.
The Vermont Judiciary consists of an appellate court, which is the Supreme Court, and a trial court, known as the Vermont Superior Court. There are 14 units of the Superior Court, one corresponding to each county. The Superior Court has five divisions: civil, criminal, environmental, family, and probate. The Judiciary also has a Judicial Bureau, which has statewide jurisdiction. Each of these courts has a distinct role in providing justice.
The Supreme Court has established many boards and committees to assist the court with:
- Disciplinary oversight of judges and lawyers
- Rules governing practice and procedure in the courts
- Access to court records
- Rules that regulate the introduction of evidence
- Procedures in civil, criminal, family, and probate case
View resources for students, parents, and teachers about the Vermont Judiciary and how government works.
The Vermont Judiciary establishes and participates in commissions and working groups in response to various needs and issues.
The Administrative Directives are policies and procedure issued by the Court Administrator for the administration of the state courts.
The Judiciary strives to be transparent and accountable as a steward of public funds. Judges and court staff use innovative approaches to achieve greater efficiency and enhanced performance. These strategies include the use of technology, case management techniques, and standardization of processes.
The court statistics information and reports are intended to serve as a detailed reference on the work of the Vermont Judiciary.
This section describes the steps to take and the people you should contact if you wish to file a complaint.
The Supreme Court justices administer the Vermont court system with the assistance of the court administrator and the chief superior judge. Court-appointed boards and committees also provide support to the court.
The chief superior judge assigns a presiding judge to each unit of the Vermont Superior Court. Assignments are for a specific length of time, usually one year. They are subject to the approval of the Supreme Court.
For more information on judicial nominations, see the Judicial Nominating Information page.
The Vermont Judiciary, recognizing that its legacy Case Management System is no longer able to support current and future organizational objectives and imperatives, has begun an initiative to select and implement a Next Generation Case Management System (NG-CMS).
The Supreme Court makes rules about procedures the state courts follow. Before changes to the rules are made, there is a chance to submit comments. The proposed rules and recently adopted rules are posted on this website.
The Public Portal is a web-based platform that offers court users and members of the general public customized role-based access to court records, hearing calendars and other data. The Portal also provides a convenient way to pay court fines online from anywhere on any compatible device.
The Vermont Supreme Court Gallery is curated by Associate Justice Marilyn Skoglund and Vermont State Curator David Schutz.
Free wireless access (Wi-Fi) is available at all courthouses.