Vermont Supreme Court

Justices of the Vermont Supreme Court are interested in finding a solution to the backlog of abuse and negelct cases stemming from the state's opioid epidemic.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

Vermont's opioid epidemic has created a backlog of child abuse and neglect cases in Vermont's courts. The Vermont Judiciary formed a commission to look at how the state handles the most severe cases in the family court. Now the commission recommends diverting these cases to a separate program that concentrates on individuals who are considered high-risk and high-need.

Exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Vermont's highest court heard arguments Wednesday over whether Burlington Police can charge a fee to someone who wants to look at body camera footage.

Provided by the Department of Mental Health in response to a request for public records.

Over the last year, about a dozen involuntary psychiatric patients have filed legal arguments claiming it is unconstitutional to make them wait in hospital emergency rooms for a treatment bed.

When psychiatric patients are deemed a threat to themselves or others and then refuse treatment, the state can force them to receive treatment against their will. But a shortage of inpatient beds means many have to wait in the ER for days to receive care.

The exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court.
John Dillon / VPR File

On Friday, Vermont's highest court ruled in favor of Gregory Zullo, of Rutland, in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Retired lawyer James Dunn's book "Breach of Trust" looks at the scandal surrounding Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel in the 1980s, tracing the growing controversy as it made its way up to the Vermont Supreme Court.
Onion River Press, courtesy

Lying under oath. Twisting court decisions for personal gain. Misuse of public money. And corruption in the judiciary that went all the way to Vermont’s highest court.

It may sound like the latest legal thriller, but it's the true story that rocked the state in the 1980s, ending with an investigation that saw the first-ever felony charges brought against a Vermont judge.

The exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court building on State Street in Montpelier.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Legal and cultural norms regard sharing nude or indecent photos of someone without their consent as a violation of privacy. But when it's done to shame or humiliate that person, Vermont law says nonconsensual pornography—so-called "revenge porn"—is a crime. Now a Vermont Supreme Court ruling has overturned a lower court's decision, bolstering the state's law and deeming it constitutional.

Gregory Zullo, center, at the Vermont Supreme Court Wednesday.
Henry Epp / VPR

Attorneys made arguments Wednesday before Vermont's highest court in a case involving a traffic stop that allegedly stemmed from racial profiling.

The Vermont Supreme Court building in Montpelier turns 100 years old this year.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

This year, the building that holds the Vermont Supreme Court turns 100. On Friday, state officials will celebrate that anniversary.

The exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court.
John Dillon / VPR File

Last week, the court overturned the conviction of a man who put Ku Klux Klan flyers on the Burlington homes of two women of color. The court said the state didn’t prove the action met the threshold of ‘threatening behavior.’

18-year-old Jack Sawyer, of Poultney, enters Rutland Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon wearing handcuffs.
Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press / Pool

An 18-year-old Poultney man, accused of plotting a thwarted school shooting earlier this year, cannot be held without bail, according to a decision by the Vermont Supreme Court Wednesday.

Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier.
Lillian Kate Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

At first glance, the numbers look optimistic. After three years of increases in family court cases related to addiction such as child abuse and neglect, numbers were down for fiscal year 2017.

Ben Scotch with his wife, Barbara, in 2017.
Provided by the family

Benson Scotch of Montpelier — a lifelong champion of the law, the arts and civil rights and liberties — has died at 83.

The exterior of the Vermont Supreme Court.
John Dillon / VPR File

Who is legally recognized as a parent? That's the question at the heart of a recent Vermont Supreme Court decision that a family law expert says exposes the gaps in Vermont's laws that affect modern families.

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. 

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