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Legal Statutes: Vermont

UPDATED March 29, 2017

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Subchapter 1: General Provisions

back to top1104. Emergency relief

(a) In accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, temporary orders under this chapter may be issued ex parte, without notice to the defendant, upon motion and findings by the Court that the defendant has abused the plaintiff or his or her children, or both. The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order. A minor 16 years of age or older, or a minor of any age who is in a dating relationship as defined in subdivision 1101(2) of this chapter, may seek relief on his or her own behalf. Relief under this section shall be limited as follows:

(1) Upon a finding that there is an immediate danger of further abuse, an order may be granted requiring the defendant:

(A) to refrain from abusing the plaintiff or his or her children, or both, or from cruelly treating as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 352 or 352a or killing any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held as a pet by either party or a minor child residing in the household;

(B) to refrain from interfering with the plaintiff's personal liberty, the personal liberty of plaintiff's children, or both; and

(C) to refrain from coming within a fixed distance of the plaintiff, the plaintiff's children, the plaintiff's residence, or the plaintiff's place of employment.

(2) Upon a finding that the plaintiff, his or her children, or both have been forced from the household and will be without shelter unless the defendant is ordered to vacate the premises, the Court may order the defendant to vacate immediately the household and may order sole possession of the premises to the plaintiff.

(3) Upon a finding that there is immediate danger of physical or emotional harm to minor children, the Court may award temporary custody of these minor children to the plaintiff or to other persons.

(b) Every order issued under this section shall contain the name of the court, the names of the parties, the date of the petition, the date and time of the order and shall be signed by the judge. Every order issued under this section shall state upon its face a date, time, and place when the defendant may appear to petition the Court for modification or discharge of the order. This opportunity to contest shall be scheduled as soon as reasonably possible, which in no event shall be more than 10 days from the date of issuance of the order. At such hearings, the plaintiff shall have the burden of proving abuse by a preponderance of the evidence. If the Court finds that the plaintiff has met his or her burden, it shall continue the order in effect and make such other order as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff.

(c) Form complaints and form orders shall be provided by the Court Administrator and shall be maintained by the clerks of the courts.

(d) Every order issued under this chapter shall bear the following language: “VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIME SUBJECT TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OR A FINE, OR BOTH, AND MAY ALSO BE PROSECUTED AS CRIMINAL CONTEMPT PUNISHABLE BY FINE OR IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH.”

(e) Affidavit forms required pursuant to this section shall bear the following language: “MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS IN THIS AFFIDAVIT IS A CRIME SUBJECT TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OR A FINE, OR BOTH, AS PROVIDED BY 13 V.S.A. § 2904.”

1979, Adj. Sess., No. 153, § 1; 1985, No. 79, § 4; 1989, Adj. Sess., No. 294, § 2; 2005, Adj. Sess., No. 193, § 5; 2013, No. 17, § 9, eff. July 1, 2013; 2015, Adj. Sess., No. 153, § 32, eff. July 1, 2016.