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Appealing to the Vermont Supreme Court

In most cases, after a trial court or an agency makes a final decision, you can ask the Supreme Court to review that decision. This is called an "appeal." You are not required to have a lawyer to appeal your case, but the process is not easy, and the law can be complicated. You can find information about how to appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court, including how to request an appeal, file briefs and other documents with the Supreme Court, order transcripts, and prepare for oral argument, here.

Applying for a Public Defender

If you have been detained by a law enforcement officer or charged with a crime, you have the right to legal representation. You can hire your own lawyer or file an application with the state to have a public defender represent you.

Once you have completed and filed your applicationthe court clerk reviews it to see if you are eligible for a court-appointed lawyer.

The court clerk uses the financial information you provide to decide the amount that you will owe. You may be asked to pay a minimum fee even if you are receiving public assistance. You may file a written request with the court to reduce the amount you are ordered to pay.

If the clerk turns down your request for a public defender, you can ask the judge to review that decision. If the state is not seeking jail, a probationary sentence, or a fine in excess of $1,000, the state will not typically appoint a public defender. You can, though, still request a public defender and it will be up to the judge to decide whether to grant one.

Authorization to Perform a Marriage

If you live out of state, there are two ways you can be authorized to perform a marriage in Vermont. If you are at least 18 years old, you can get authorization from the secretary of state to serve as a temporary officiant. Or, if you are a member of the clergy, you can get a certificate from the probate division of the Superior Court.

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.

Civil Violation Complaints: Traffic, Municipal, and Fish and Wildlife Violations

A civil violation complaint includes traffic violations, municipal ordinance violations, and fish and wildlife violations.

Court 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.

Criminal Division Civil Cases

Civil cases in the criminal division include civil suspensions of driver's licenses, cases involving contested fish and wildlife fines, and appeals of decisions involving traffic and municipal ordinance violations.

Criminal Record Checks

There are many reasons why you might want to check someone's criminal record. For example, when you hire, loan, or rent property. You may also have personal reasons.


Until minors become adults, at age 18, they are legally incapable of making contracts or taking other legal actions. Minors are legally subject to the control of their parents. Emancipation releases minors from this control and allows them to make contracts and live independently.

Environmental Appeals

Learn more about Environmental Appeals.

Environmental Mediation

The environmental division often asks parties to attempt mediation to help reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.

Environmental Legal Services

The environmental division offers a free legal clinic in collaboration with the Vermont Bar Association Pro Bono/Low Bono Program. The lawyers who staff the clinic have knowledge and experience in environmental law and land use issues.

Expunging and Sealing Criminal Records

You may be able to have the records of a Vermont conviction or charge expunged, sealed, or pardoned under certain circumstances.  

Family Mediation

The Vermont Superior Court Family Mediation Program helps eligible parties in certain family and probate cases resolve their differences with the assistance of a mediator.

Juvenile Matters

Families find themselves involved in juvenile court for a number of reasons. All juvenile court proceedings are confidential. The public does not have access to juvenile court files or juvenile court hearings.

Name Changes

Legal name changes are necessary only if you want to change your name through an official court order. For non-legally-binding, day-to-day usage or for changes after marriage, an official court order is often unnecessary. To return to your maiden name, for example, the family division can include the change in the final divorce decree. If you do choose to legally change your name, the process is simple. You must file the petition in your county of residence.

New and Corrected Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates

If you need to correct a certificate of birth, death, or marriage, you may need to get a court order. You can do this through the probate division.

Abusive Litigation

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking can ask the court for an order to restrict the other party’s ability to file new litigation against them in some circumstances.