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Vermont Court Records

The state of Vermont has a rather simple and streamlined judiciary system which involves only three types of courts: the Supreme Court, Superior Courts, and the Vermont Judicial Bureau. Each one of these entities must provide documentation of court proceedings which are later turned into publically accessible court records.

The steady increase of digital storage capacities and rise of Internet accessibility has worked well for the public and law professionals alike who seek availability of Vermont court records. Whether for genealogical research, understanding the statutes when filing a new case, uncovering vital records, or for educational purposes, court records are a useful resource of the state.

Vermont Court Records

History of Vermont Courts

The history of the Vermont Supreme Court begins in 1777 when the constitution called for a court of justice in every county of the state. A Superior Court was organized with a Chief Justice and four additional judges. In 1782 the Superior Court was dismantled and a Supreme Court took its place with one elected Chief Justice and four or 5 other judges. It was in 1797 that the requirements were changed from oral opinions to those that must be written for each case, hence Vermont court records were born and have been kept ever since.

Vermont Court Statistics

Vermont Courts recieve 142,418 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 149,706 filings and gave 146,385 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 43,472 filings and had 41,134 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 149,706
2013 151,136
2014 140,122
2015 136,302
2016 134,824

Vermont Court Records Availability

Vermont’s law library is located next to the Capitol Building in Montpelier and boasts an impressive collection of court records, historical documents and legal resources. There are professional librarians on staff to assist with criminal and civil court records searches. Another fantastic resource is the Cornell Library at Vermont Law. While this is library is designed for students and faculty, the law requires public access to the government documents collection, including court records.

Online records can also be found for civil and small claims of the Vermont courts. The State Library has an online division specifically for document retrieval of recent Supreme Court decisions and is updated weekly. Also the District of Vermont offers a database searchable by judge or year for cases from 2000-present.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Domestic Relations: 12,170 (28.0 %)
Criminal: 16,060 (36.9 %)
Civil: 15,242 (35.1 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Domestic Relations: 13,327 (32.4 %)
Criminal: 15,103 (36.7 %)
Civil: 12,704 (30.9 %)

Vermont Main Court Information

The Supreme Court of Vermont is the highest of the land and deemed the court of last resort for the state. Not only does the Supreme Court serve as an appellate court, it holds the responsibility of administering the court system, provides disciplinary action as necessary to state justices and attorneys, as well as admits each attorney to practice law in the state.

The trial courts of Vermont are known as Superior Courts and are broken into three divisions with each hearing cases respective to their jurisdiction. The cell division oversees civil cases, such as small claims, eviction, and breach of contract, foreclosure and personal injury. The criminal division hears cases of a criminal nature, some civil disputes, appeals from the Vermont Judicial Bureau and lastly fish and wildlife violations. The family division of the Superior Court oversees matters such as child custody, divorce, domestic abuse, juvenile abuse or delinquency, and mental health commitments. Finally, the Judicial Bureau follows up on citations written by state or local law enforcement.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Vermont at year end 2016 has decreased by 72.9% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 21,047 with a rate of 3,362 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 21,047 149,706
2013 21,521 151,136
2014 20,321 140,122
2015 19,992 136,302
2016 12,170 134,824

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 21,047 21,201 3,362
2013 21,521 22,152 3,434
2014 20,321 20,406 3,243
2015 19,992 19,510 3,193
2016 12,170 13,327 1,948

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Vermont

More Domestic Relations Cases than Vermont:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Vermont:

State: Caseload:
Wyoming 9,361
Rhode Island 9,335

Vermont Caseload Statistics

Vermont’s Supreme Court caseload has remained stable over the last several years with 513 filings and 475 dispositions in 2013 compared to 530 filings and 571 dispositions in 2007.

Vermont Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Vermont counts 15,938 with 3,400 felony cases and 12,538 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2012 17,342 3,479 13,717
2013 18,046 3,605 14,301
2014 16,517 3,475 13,042
2015 16,092 3,135 12,831
2016 16,060 3,400 12,538

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 3,401 cases, it went from 18,643 to 15,242 with clearance rates of 101% and 83%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 18,643 101
2013 18,170 98
2014 11,747 86
2015 17,886 83
2016 15,242 83