Vermont Supreme Court

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that records of public business conducted on private email accounts are subject to the state's public records law.
Royalbroil / Wikimedia Commons

Vermont's Supreme Court ruled Friday that all records generated by public officials as they do their jobs are open to the public, regardless of where the record is stored.

Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber says the state's legal system should be availale to everyone who lives here regardless of their legal status.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber is hoping to reach an agreement with federal immigration officials that would allow undocumented workers to access the state's legal system without the fear of being arrested.

Free speech versus disorderly conduct was one of several issues presented in front of the Supreme Court of Vermont at the Vermont Law School on Wednesday.

Gov. Phil Scott says he hasn’t even looked at the list of six names sent to Gov. Peter Shumlin last month as possible replacements for outgoing Supreme Court Justice John Dooley. But Scott says he wants to start the nomination process from scratch nonetheless.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus/Pool

Shortly after Gov. Peter Shumlin delivered his farewell address to the state Legislature Wednesday, the Vermont Supreme Court unanimously ruled that he could not appoint a successor to Associate Supreme Court Justice John Dooley.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus/Pool

In a unanimous ruling that could impact its own make up, the Vermont Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a ruling that denies Gov. Peter Shumlin the ability to appoint a successor to outgoing Associate Justice John Dooley.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus/Pool

An overflow crowd descended on the Vermont Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon for a hearing that could have ramifications on gubernatorial appointments for years to come. 

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

A very unusual legal case will be decided in Montpelier Tuesday. The Vermont Supreme Court will hold a special hearing to determine whether Gov. Peter Shumlin has the authority to appoint a new member to the court.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is defending his decision to fill a vacancy on the Vermont Supreme Court, a vacancy that will occur after he leaves office.  Longtime Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley announced last week that he will step down from the court in March.

Toby Talbot / AP

A ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court could change the legal landscape for mental health care in Vermont. The high court ruled that mental health professionals should provide more information about potentially dangerous patients who are leaving treatment.

Toby Talbot / AP

The Vermont Supreme Court is considering whether a prison inmate who helped other prisoners with their court cases was practicing law without a license. The state thinks so and is pursuing criminal charges against the inmate.

Some of the decisions issued by the Vermont Supreme Court can be a little ... well, boring. But what if there was somebody to explain the idea of "legal indemnification" as two buddies arguing over a dinner tab? Or if you could have a caricature of Yosemite Sam walk you through the ins and outs of Vermont's Professional Responsibility Board? 

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled the state can't collect DNA evidence from suspects in criminal cases unless they've been convicted of a felony.

In a 3-2 decision issued Friday, the court ruled a state law that allowed for the collection of DNA from people charged with felonies after a court decided there was probable cause violated the Vermont constitution.

  Three years ago, Vermont's DNA database law was expanded to include people charged with felonies. Five Vermont trial courts have ruled the law unconstitutional.

Vermont has received a failing grade from a national advocacy group that says the state doesn’t require Supreme Court justices to disclose enough financial information.

This is the first time the Washington D.C. based Center For Public Integrity has looked at financial disclosure requirements for state Supreme Court justices – and it found most states lacking.

Governor Peter Shumlin will soon have a chance to shape the direction of the Vermont Supreme Court for years to come.

In April, Justice Brian Burgess announced his retirement from the Supreme Court and the formal process to find a successor has just gotten underway.

Last week, Vermont’s Judicial Nominating Board sent a letter out to every lawyer in the state informing them of the vacancy and outlining the application process.

Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna thinks the appointment could have a big impact on the future direction of the Court.

AP/Alden Pellet

Vermont Supreme Court Justice Brian Burgess has announced that he is retiring from the court.

Burgess, a former trial court judge and assistant attorney general, was appointed associate justice to the Vermont Supreme Court in 2005.

Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna says that Justice Burgess brought a good awareness of how decisions by  the Vermont Supreme Court would affect the lower courts. And Hanna says he was known for his excellent writing skills.