May 13, 2021

Vermont Judiciary to Lift Mandatory Remote Hearing Requirement

The Vermont Supreme Court has further amended Administrative Order 49, which declared a Judicial Emergency on March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amendment extends that effective date of the Administrative Order until July 5, 2021, based on the projections of public-health experts concerning the course of the pandemic. Although the Court will make amendments to the Administrative Order as conditions change, at least some provisions of the Administrative Order will continue to be necessary due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amendment also authorizes in-person hearings as of June 14, 2021. Hearings were previously required, with some exceptions, to be held remotely. By this date, individuals will have had an opportunity to become fully vaccinated. The Court anticipates that some hearings will continue to be held remotely after remote hearings are no longer mandatory and even after the conclusion of the judicial emergency. Amending the order now gives judges, court staff, parties, and their lawyers adequate time to plan for the possibility of in-person court proceedings.

The full Order and other updates regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and court operations are available at www.vermontjudiciary.org/covid19.