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Legal Statutes: Vermont

UPDATED March 29, 2017

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Subchapter 1: General Provisions

back to top1108. Enforcement

(a) Law enforcement officers are authorized to enforce orders issued under this chapter. A foreign abuse prevention order shall be accorded full faith and credit throughout this state and shall be enforced as if it were an order of this state. Enforcement may include, but is not limited to:

(1) making an arrest in accordance with the provisions of V.R.Cr.P. 3;

(2) assisting the recipient of an order granting sole possession of the residence to obtain sole possession of the residence if the defendant refuses to leave;

(3) assisting the recipient of an order granting sole custody of children to obtain sole custody of children if the defendant refuses to release them.

(b) A law enforcement officer may rely upon a copy of any order issued under this chapter or any foreign abuse prevention order which has been provided to the law enforcement officer by any source. Law enforcement personnel may rely upon the written and sworn statement of the person protected by the foreign abuse prevention order that the order remains in effect. An officer's reasonable reliance as provided in this subsection shall be a complete defense in any civil action arising in connection with a court's finding under subsection (c) of this section that the order was not enforceable.

(c) A foreign abuse prevention order shall be enforceable in the courts in this state if all the following are satisfied:

(1) The defendant has received notice of the order in compliance with the requirements of the issuing state.

(2) The order is in effect in the issuing state.

(3) The court in the issuing state had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter under the law of the issuing state.

(4) In the issuing state the law gives reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process. In the case of ex parte orders, notice and opportunity to be heard must be provided within a reasonable time after the order is issued, sufficient to protect the defendant's due process rights. Failure to provide reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard shall be an affirmative defense to any charge or process filed seeking enforcement of the foreign protection order.

(d) A person entitled to protection under a foreign abuse prevention order may file the foreign abuse prevention order in any family division of the superior court by filing a certified copy of the order with the court. The person shall swear under oath in an affidavit that to the best of the person's knowledge the order is presently in effect as written. Upon inquiry by a law enforcement agency, the clerk of the family division of the superior court shall make a copy of the foreign abuse prevention order available.

(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, violation of an order issued under this chapter may be prosecuted as a criminal contempt under Rule 42 of Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure. The prosecution for criminal contempt may be initiated by the state's attorney in district or superior court in the unit or county in which the violation occurred. The maximum penalty which may be imposed under this subsection shall be a fine of $1,000.00 or imprisonment for six months, or both. A sentence of imprisonment upon conviction for criminal contempt may be stayed in the discretion of the court pending the expiration of the time allowed for filing notice of appeal or pending appeal if any appeal is taken. After two years have passed from conviction under this subsection, the court may on motion of the defendant expunge the record of the criminal proceeding and conviction unless the defendant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a violation of a domestic abuse order after such initial adjudication.
1981, Adj. Sess., No. 218, § 4; 1985, No. 79, § 5; 1995, Adj. Sess., No. 170, § 28; 2009, Adj. Sess., No. 154, § 238(c)(4), eff. July 1, 2010.