This section describes the steps to take and the people you should contact if you wish to file a complaint.

What to Expect
  • The Court Administrator's Office (CAO) will be concerned with your complaint. Every complaint will receive full attention and follow up.
  • The CAO will refer any complaint about alleged misconduct of the court staff or a problem with court procedure, to the appropriate court or person for action within 72 hours. Court staff includes: managers, clerks, court officers, court operators and law clerks. Types of misconduct includes poor treatment at the service counter or over the phone, harassment, discrimination or bias. Examples of complaints about court procedure include unfair scheduling practices, delays in decision making, or inconsistent information on filing procedures.
  • In response to your complaint, the CAO will review the court’s action and, if warranted, the office will conduct a more formal investigation into the matter.
  • You will receive a response to your complaint once a review or investigation is complete.
What Not to Expect
  • Although the court will provide information on simple points of court procedures, it will not give recommendations about what would be best for you to do in a particular case.
  • Court staff will not give legal advice. They are not lawyers. They cannot interpret the law or give you any insight about how a judge might rule on your request.
  • The CAO cannot change a decision of the judicial officer (a judge, acting judge, hearing officer or magistrate). Only a higher court can overturn a court order.
  • Court and CAO staff cannot interpret, justify, or explain the meaning of the court’s order for you.
  • The CAO cannot change any decisions involving the determination of financial need or the appointment of a lawyer. You will need to ask the court clerk for information on how to file an appeal.
Complaints Against Judicial Officers

The CAO will not investigate or discipline a judicial officer. You will need to contact the Judicial Conduct Board. Your complaint must be in writing and sent to:

Andrew Maas, Esq., Chair
Judicial Conduct Board
Ryan, Smith and Carbine
PO Box 310
Rutland, VT 05702

Complaints Against Lawyers

The CAO will not investigate or discipline a lawyer. You will need to contact the Professional Responsibility Board. Your complaint must be in writing and sent to:

Professional Responsibility Board
c/o Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry St, Ste, 213
Burlington, VT 05401

Complaints Against Court Staff or Court Procedure

If your complaint does not involve a lawyer or judge, you can file a complaint in writing or over the phone by calling (802) 828-5025.

In Writing

If filing your complaint in writing, include the following information:

  • Your name and mailing address
  • A daytime telephone number
  • Which court your complaint involves and a docket number, if available
  • Whether you have already contacted the court and, if so, when and to whom you spoke
  • A brief summary of your complaint
  • A brief summary of the solution you expect
  • Copies of any documents, letters or other materials that pertain to or support your complaint.

Send your letter to:
The Office of the Court Administrator
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0701

By Phone

When leaving a voicemail message, please provide:

  • Your first and last name
  • A daytime telephone number
  • Which court your complaint involves and a docket number, if available
  • Whether you have already contacted the court manager or clerk and, if so, when and to whom you spoke
  • A brief summary of your complaint
  • A brief summary of the solution you expect