Each of Vermont's 14 counties has a Superior Court made up of four separate divisions. The Civil Division is a trial court where civil matters such as breach of contract, eviction, foreclosure, personal injury, land disputes, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases are heard. Appeals from the Probate Division are also heard in the Civil Division. While the Civil Division is not designed for pro se litigants (people representing themselves in court cases), there is no rule against it. People appearing in the Civil Division are expected to be familiar with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure and with the Vermont Rules of Evidence. The geographic jurisdiction for the Civil Division is the county in which it is located.

The Civil Division also includes Small Claims Court, which is designed for pro se litigants. Forms are provided in Small Claims Court. Cases asking for money up to $5,000 can be filed there.

U.S. Passport applications are processed at some Civil Divisions throughout the state, although not all provide that service.

Civil Mediation

Most civil cases require parties to attempt mediation unless waived by the court. Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to meet with a neutral person to try to reach an agreement without court involvement.

Debt & Collections

If someone has sued or threatened to sue you because you owe them money, you can visit Vermont Law Help. Vermont Law Help is not affiliated with the Vermont Superior Court. The site teaches about:

  • Debt and debt collections
  • Consumer rights
  • Credit and credit reports
  • Foreclosures and
  • Storage units

You may also qualify for free or lower cost legal help.

Foreclosures

If a bank or other party files a foreclosure case against you, you should not ignore it. Visit the Vermont Law Help website or call the Vermont Law Help hotline at 1-800-889-2047. You can find out if you qualify for free or lower cost legal services. The website also has helpful information about:

  • The foreclosure process
  • Foreclosure mediation to help you work with the bank to keep your house
  • Special rules if you have a loan from FHA, HUD, FmHA, or the VA
  • Other resources
Information for Consumers

You can learn about your rights as a consumer at Vermont Law Help. Vermont Law Help is not affiliated with the Vermont Superior Court. The site teaches about:

  • Consumer rights
  • Credit and credit reports
  • Debt and debt collections
  • Foreclosures
  • Storage units

You can also see whether you qualify for free or reduced fee legal help.

If you have a dispute with a business, you may want to contact the Attorney General's Office. You can contact the Consumer Protection Unit for more information about your rights.

If you have a legal dispute with someone who sold you something you may want to file a small claims case. Small claims court may not make sense if you are asking for more than $5,000.

Landlord & Tenant

This is basic and general information about evictions in most residential rentals. Some cities, like Burlington and Barre, have other laws you should know about. Rentals that are part of Section 8 or other state or federal subsidy programs also have additional requirements. Every case is different, and a lawyer can help you figure out what you need to know for your own case. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, talking to a lawyer about your own case will help you make the best decisions. If you are a tenant, you may be eligible for free or low cost legal services. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you should read all the information on this page.

Small Claims

Small Claims Court handles cases involving claims of $5,000 or less. This site offers information about how to sue in small claims court, what to do if you are sued, how to prepare for a hearing, what to do in a hearing, how to appeal a small claims judgment, and how to collect a judgment if you do win your case in small claims court.

Stalking and Sexual Assault

If someone is stalking you, you can file a request in the Civil Division for an order to have them stop. You can get such an order in the civil division only if the other person is not a family member or someone you have ever lived with or dated. For family members, people you have lived with, or people you have dated, you must file a request in the Family Division.

Notary Public

In Vermont the county assistant judge appoints notaries for the county in which they reside. The certificate of appointment is filed and recorded in the county clerk's office. A notary public holds office for four years. The current commission expires February 10, 2019.

Please refer to the Vermont Secretary of State's website for additional information.

Becoming a Notary Public

If you would like to become a notary public, you may apply at the county clerk's office in the county where you live. Notaries serve four-year terms; the current term ends February 10, 2019. The application is found here.

Passports and Visas

Where to Get a Passport

In Person

Some, but not all, Vermont county courthouses process passport applications. Some post offices also process passport applications.

Online

You may also complete the passport application process at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html

ID and Fees

To get a passport, you will need:

  • A certified copy of your birth certificate, which includes
    • A raised seal
    • A signature from the town clerk’s office
    • The date the certificate was filed with the town clerk
  • One passport photograph (some counties take passport photos), taken within the last six months

Please click here to find out what the current passport fees are

For information on speeding up the process or for any other questions, please contact your county court.

Visa Extensions

The US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is responsible for visa extensions

Immigration and Naturalization Service
St. Albans Office
64 Gricebrook Road
St. Albans, VT 05478

The national customer service number for the INS is 1-800-375-5283.

Opinions

You can browse Civil Division opinions from 2002 - present in the Opinions and Decisions library.

Opinions are unofficial

The texts of civil division opinions are unofficial. They have been reformatted from the originals. The accuracy of the texts and any accompanying data is not guaranteed. This database is not exhaustive; it does not include all civil division opinions. At this time, no opinions from Vermont’s criminal and family divisions are included.

Caution

Take appropriate care to ensure that the opinions you read fit your purposes. You should also determine whether they have been reviewed by the Supreme Court.

To cite an opinion from the website

The following format is recommended for use in Vermont:

Fingerlakes Constr. Co., Inc. v. Fillmore Farms, LLC, No. 56-2-04 Bncv (Vt. Super. Ct. Aug. 3, 2005) (Carroll, J.), available at https://www.VermontJudiciary.org/TCDecisionCvl/2005-8-19-6.pdf

Fees

The Vermont Legislature sets most of the fees charged for services provided by the Judiciary. The Justices of the Supreme Court establish rules to govern the allowance of fees not specified by law. Motions or petitions filed by one party at one time shall be assessed one fee.

Forms
(600-00028)
(100-00268)
(Form 502)