December 28, 2023

Changes to Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure Regarding the Printed Case

As of January 1, 2024, appellants will be required to file a printed case for most appeals even in cases where there is an appeal volume. The printed case is a compilation of relevant documents from the record on appeal. Traditionally, the appellate rules required appellants to provide the Supreme Court with a printed case so the Court could easily access relevant materials. When Vermont courts transitioned to an electronic case management system, that system allowed production of an appeal volume containing all the electronic documents from the superior court electronic case file, and the printed case was no longer required. Two years of experience using the appeal volume demonstrated that it can be inefficient and difficult to use, especially in cases where there are numerous and lengthy documents. Therefore, the Court reinstated the printed case requirement for most appeals. The amended rule is below:

Here are some important things to note regarding the rule change:

  • Despite its name, the printed case is not a paper document. Parties file the document in the same way they would any other filing. Lawyers must submit it through efiling. Self-represented parties may deliver it, mail it, or email it. If it is filed on paper, it is scanned into the electronic case record.
  • In appeals from superior court cases where there is an electronic record, there will continue to be an appeal volume.
  • The appellant must file a printed case at the same time the appellant’s brief is filed. The printed case must:
    • Have sequentially numbered pages.
    • Contain an index indicating the page in the appeal volume where the document is located and the page of the printed case where the document begins. V.R.A.P. 30(d)(2)(A).
    • Contain the record of actions, the decision on appeal, other parts of the record relevant to the party’s argument. V.R.A.P. 30(d).
  • It is not necessary, or helpful, for the printed case to contain all documents in the record. The Court will still have access to the appeal volume.
  • No printed case is required in the following:
    • Appeals from small claims cases
    • Appeals from the Human Services Board
    • Appeals from the Employment Security Board
  • The Court can waive the requirement of a printed case on its own initiative or based on a motion. V.R.A.P. 30(a)(1)(B).
  • The briefs must cite to the printed case if the document is in the printed case. V.R.A.P. 28(c).
  • The requirement to file a printed case applies to pending cases where the time for filing a printed case has not yet passed.