Vermont Supreme Court Decisions 2013

LaFrance Architect v. Five Point Development South Burlington, LLC  
Date: December 20, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 115
Docket Number: 2012-203

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed the trial court's refusal to vacate a default judgment against it. This dispute arose from a 2009 contract between plaintiff LaFrance Architect, d/b/a Lake Architectural, and defendant Five Point Devel...

Vermont v. Wainwright  
Date: December 20, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 120
Docket Number: 2012-213

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, the issue before the Supreme Court presented centered on whether the same prior conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) could serve both to criminalize a refusal to submit to an evidenti...

State v. Wainwright, State v. Wilder
Date: December 20, 2013
Docket Numbers: 2012-213, 2013-010
Vermont v. Prison Health Services, Inc.  
Date: December 20, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 119
Docket Number: 2012-380

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on a contract dispute between the State of Vermont and Corizon Health, Inc., formerly known as Prison Health Services, Inc. (PHS). The State appealed a declaratory...

Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Foti Fuels, Inc. v. Kurrle Corporation  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 111
Docket Number: 2012-195

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Robert Foti sold most of his fuels business to defendant James Kurrle and agreed to sell gasoline to defendant through a retained wholesale distributorship. When the business relationship soured, plaintiff sued...

Foti Fuels, Inc. and Robert A. Foti v. Kurrle Corporation, Payjack, LLC and James J. Kurrle
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-195
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Brown v. Vermont  
Date: December 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 112
Docket Number: 2012-337

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Daniel Brown appealed a superior court decision granting summary judgment to the State on his claim of employment discrimination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. He...

Brown v. State
Date: December 13, 2013
Docket Number: 2012-337
Curran v. Building Fund of the United Church of Ludlow  
Date: December 6, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 118
Docket Number: 2012-346

Justia Opinion Summary: For over sixty years, the testator lived with her husband "Bill" Agan in the Town of Ludlow, where both were active in a variety of community organizations and activities. After Bill died, the testator placed her assets...

Baptie v. Bruno  
Date: December 6, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 117
Docket Number: 2013-003

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Thomas and Marie Baptie, administrators of the estate of their son, John Baptie, appealed a superior court's decision granting defendant and former police officer Aron McNeil, summary judgment dismissing their...

Vermont v. Burnett  
Date: November 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 113
Docket Number: 2012-255

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed the civil suspension of his driver's license and the admission of the breath-test results in his criminal prosecution for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor (DUI). Defendant contended...

Vermont v. Johnson  
Date: November 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 116
Docket Number: 2012-303

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Edward Johnson appealed his convictions for attempted aggravated murder, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious conduct, unlawful trespass, and enhancement under Vermont's habitual offender statute. On appeal, he argu...

Vermont v. LeClair  
Date: November 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 114
Docket Number: 2013-049

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed the superior court's denial of his motion to modify his sentence. He contended the court erred in failing to award credit for time served. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court reversed the su...

Vermont v. Gillard  
Date: November 22, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 108
Docket Number: 2012-433

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants appealed their convictions for unlawful trespass. Green Mountain Power Corporation (GMP) is an electric utility that operates several wind-power sites throughout Vermont. Construction required cutting trees, e...

O'Connor v. O'Connor
Date: November 21, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 110
Docket Number: 2013-083
Vermont v. Waters  
Date: November 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 109
Docket Number: 2011-319

Justia Opinion Summary: The complainant in this case and defendant Tyler Waters lived together for several years and have a minor child together. After they broke up, complainant got a relief-from-abuse (RFA) order against defendant. A 2009 mod...

Knutsen v. Dion  
Date: November 8, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 106
Docket Number: 2013-275

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Janet Knutsen appealed a superior court decision to deny her motion for summary judgment and and for granting defendant Vermont Association of Realtors, Inc.'s (VAR) motion for summary judgment on her consumer...

Roy v. Woodstock Community Trust, Inc.  
Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 100
Docket Number: 2011-265

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the court in this case arose from a proposed housing development in West Woodstock. In a prior case involving this development, the Supreme Court affirmed permits for the project granted by the town deve...

In re A.W. and J.W.  
Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 107
Docket Number: 2013-275

Justia Opinion Summary: Father appealed the family court’s denial of his motion to modify a final order terminating his parental rights to his children, A.W. and J.W., born in November 2000 and October 2006, respectively. On appeal, he argued t...

Whittington v. Office of Professional Regulation  
Date: October 25, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 93
Docket Number: 2012-058

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Leslie Anne Whittington appealed an Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) order that concluded she committed several acts of unprofessional conduct and sanctioning her to a five-year license suspension. Resp...

Brownington Center Church v. Town of Irasburg  
Date: October 25, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 99
Docket Number: 2012-224

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayer Brownington Center Church of Brownington, Vermont (now known as New Hope Bible Church and Ministries, Inc.) (the Church)), appealed a Superior Court determination that certain land and buildings owned by the Ch...

Vermont v. Kenvin  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 104
Docket Number: 2012-099

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Joseph Kenvin appealed the sentence he received upon reconsideration by the superior court, which reduced the time to serve on his conviction for careless and negligent driving from eleven-to-twelve months to n...

Straw v. Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of VT/NH  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 102
Docket Number: 2012-149

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Michelle Straw appealed a superior court judgment that dismissed her case for breach of an implied employment contract against defendant Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire (VNA)...

Vermont v. Scott  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 103
Docket Number: 2012-186

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his jury conviction for negligent operation of a motor vehicle and the sentence he received. He contended the trial court impermissibly allowed the State's crash reconstruction expert to testify about...

In re Estate of Fitzsimmons  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2031 VT 95
Docket Number: 2012-192

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Joanne Fitzsimmons Balkam appealed the superior court's partial summary judgment decision that reversed a probate court decision that had granted her permission, as executor of her mother's estate, to physicall...

Dernier v. Mortgage Network, Inc.  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 96
Docket Number: 2012-226

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Peter and Nicole Dernier appealed the dismissal of their action for: (1) a declaratory judgment that defendant U.S. Bank National Association could not enforce the mortgage and promissory note for the debt ass...

Vermont v. Cuomo  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 101
Docket Number: 2012-438

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed a superior court order that denied his motion to dismiss a two-count information alleging kidnapping and aggravated domestic assault. Defendant contended on appeal that the Orleans County State's Attor...

Paige v. Vermont  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 105
Docket Number: 2012-439

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a Vermont resident and voter, filed a complaint seeking declarations that Barack Obama is not a "natural born Citizen" as required for eligibility to be President in Article II, Clause 4, of the Federal Consti...

In re Ferrera & Fenn Gravel Pit  
Date: October 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 97
Docket Number: 2012-456

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Charles Ferrera and property owners Ronald and Susan Fenn appealed a Superior Court, Environmental Division order that affirmed the Town of Middlebury's denial of their application to operate a gravel pit. Appl...

Rutland Herald v. City of Rutland  
Date: October 11, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 98
Docket Number: 2012-368

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Rutland appealed a trial court's order, on remand, directing it to disclose certain records under the Vermont Public Records Act. The records concerned several Rutland Police Department employees who were inv...

Inman v. Pallito  
Date: October 11, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 94
Docket Number: 2012-382

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Daniel Inman appealed a superior court judgment granting the State of Vermont's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and denying judicial review of the Department of Corrections (DOC)'s dec...

CitiFinancial, Inc. v. Balch  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 86
Docket Number: 2012-118

Justia Opinion Summary: The Probate Court appointed Theodore Ballard's niece, Leala Bell, as Ballard's guardian. Bell signed a promissory note to a mortgage as a "borrower"; she did not expressly indicate that she was signing as Ballard's guard...

In re Towne  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 90
Docket Number: 2012-162

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Edwin Towne appealed the trial court's denial of his request for post-conviction DNA testing under Vermont's Innocence Protection Act. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the denial because the court corre...

Carpentier v. Tuthill  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 91
Docket Number: 2012-177

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Douglas Tuthill, Administrator of the Estate of Paul Oakes, appealed a jury's award of $150,000 in punitive damages to plaintiff Doreen Carpentier and the trial court's denial of his motion for remittitur. Defe...

Vermont v. Button  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 92
Docket Number: 2012-270

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was driving along a gravel country road at night in a scarcely populated area. A state trooper was traveling in the opposite direction and saw defendant's approaching vehicle. Defendant was not speeding or driv...

In re Lowry  
Date: October 4, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 85
Docket Number: 2012-371

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, petitioner lived with his girlfriend (witness) and their two young children. Their infant daughter was hospitalized for symptoms and injuries consistent with head trauma. A year later, petitioner was charged wit...

Franks v. Town of Essex  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 84
Docket Number: 2011-359

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue on appeal to the Supreme Court centered on the question of how non-rental residential properties subject to housing-subsidy covenants should be valued for property-tax purposes. Taxpayers in two cases consolida...

Vermont v. Green Mountain Future  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 87
Docket Number: 2012-072

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Green Mountain Future (GMF) appealed the grant of summary judgment, which found that it was a political action committee (PAC) and violated a number of provisions of the Vermont campaign finance laws. GMF argue...

In re Harwood  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 89
Docket Number: 2012-110

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Catherine Harwood appealed a Human Services Board decision that applied the doctrine of collateral estoppel to uphold the substantiation of her abuse of a vulnerable adult, and thereby placed her name on the a...

Demarest v. Town of Underhill  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 72
Docket Number: 2012-403

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners appealed a 2012 trial court order that upheld the Town of Underhill's decision to reclassify a segment of Town Highway 26 from a Class 3 and Class 4 highway to a legal trail. Petitioners argued that: (1) the...

Windham County Sheriffs Department v. Department of Labor  
Date: September 27, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 88
Docket Number: 2012-460

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Windham County Sheriff’s Department (WCSD) appealed a decision of the Employment Security Board that held it liable for reimbursement of unemployment compensation benefits as a base-period employer of a former...

Rollo v. Cameron  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 74
Docket Number: 2012-166

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant acting pro se appealed a final relief-from-abuse order issued by the family division of the superior court. He raised numerous claims on appeal, including allegations that he was not properly served with the te...

State Farm Mutual Automobile Co. v. Colby  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 80
Docket Number: 2012-221

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the omnibus clause in a automobile insurance policy provided coverage to a permittee to whom the insured owner loans the car when that first permittee was subject to a negligent entrustm...

In re Hoch  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 83
Docket Number: 2012-330

Justia Opinion Summary: Both petitioner and the State appealed two March 2012 orders in which the superior court vacated petitioner’s aggravated stalking conviction after granting each party summary judgment on different aspects of petitioner's...

Ying v. Heide  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 81
Docket Number: 2012-366

Justia Opinion Summary: The question in this case was whether the trial court's dismissal of plaintiff's eviction action on account of her lawyer's failure to attend a scheduled status conference can withstand a motion to set aside the judgment...

In re D.D.  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 79
Docket Number: 2012-417

Justia Opinion Summary: Father appealed a trial court’s conclusion that his son D.D. was a child in need of care or supervision (CHINS) because he was without proper medical care necessary for his well being. Father argued on appeal that the re...

Meyncke v. Meyncke  
Date: September 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 82
Docket Number: 2012-475

Justia Opinion Summary: Ex-husband and ex-wife each appealed a post-judgment order of the superior court that awarded the wife maintenance arrears and attorney’s fees, and construed a provision in the final divorce order distributing the partie...

Kellogg v. Shushereba  
Date: September 6, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 76
Docket Number: 2011-355

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Thomas Kellogg owned a house and land in Bethel. In 1999, he entered into a rent-to-own agreement with William Oren whereby Oren would pay over time for the property, at which point ownership would be transfer...

Anderson v. Vermont  
Date: September 6, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 73
Docket Number: 2012-272

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on whether Vermont’s nominating petition process for independent candidates for President of the United States unduly burdened the rights of such candidates and th...

GEICO Insurance Co. v. Bernheim  
Date: August 30, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 77
Docket Number: 2012-172

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, Nancy and Thomas Bernheim, appealed the trial court’s summary judgment decision granting plaintiff GEICO Insurance Company’s claim against them for reimbursement of $10,000 that GEICO had paid defendants unde...

In re Blow  
Date: August 30, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 75
Docket Number: 2012-267

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, who was sentenced to three to eight years in prison for lewd and lascivious behavior, appealed the trial court’s dismissal of his request for post-conviction relief on his claim of an Ex Post Facto Clause vio...

In re R.M., R.M., and C.M.  
Date: August 30, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 78
Docket Number: 2013-86

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a permanency review hearing, the superior court amended its initial disposition order from a goal of reunification to a concurrent plan for either reunification or adoption. The mother appealed, claiming that t...

Vermont v. Sullivan  
Date: August 23, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 71
Docket Number: 2012-134

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Corinna Sullivan challenged her conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), arguing the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress statements she made to police officers in her apartment. Finding...

Vermont v. Lawrence, Sr.  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 55
Docket Number: 2011-126

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted Defendant of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. On appeal, he asserted that the trial court erred in: (1) prohibiting cross-examination of complainant about certain statements she allegedly made;...

Vermont v. Cahill  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 69
Docket Number: 2012-085

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Cahill appealed his convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and reckless endangerment following an incident where he pointed a loaded firearm at a farmhand. He argued that the court erre...

Clarke v. Abate  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 52
Docket Number: 2012-229

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a high school female athlete, became a patient of defendant who was an orthopedic surgeon and a professor at the University of Vermont medical school, in September 2000, a few months after her sixteenth birthd...

Vermont v. Tuma  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 70
Docket Number: 2012-365

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Vermont appealed the suppression of evidence obtained in the stop of defendant Marek Tuma's vehicle that led to his arrest and charge of driving under the influence (DUI), arguing that the fact that one side...

Travia's Inc., and Mellion  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 62
Docket Number: 2012-422

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayers are owners and operators of Travia's Inc., a small bar and grill. The company is organized as a S-corporation. They appealed the Department of Taxes' (DOT) assessment of meals tax and alcoholic beverage tax for...

Smith v. Wright  
Date: August 9, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 68
Docket Number: 2012-431

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed a final relief-from-abuse order in which the family division of the superior court concluded that plaintiff was a vulnerable adult and that defendant abused and exploited her. The Supreme Court found t...

Vermont v. Johnstone  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 57
Docket Number: 2011-246

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether a probationer could be charged with violating probation for threatening his probation officer without evidence that he intended the officer hear or learn of the statements. Upon review,...

Vermont v. Betts  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 53
Docket Number: 2011-371

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Asim Betts was charged with felony possession of crack cocaine after a vehicle in which he was riding was stopped, and he was transported to the police station. After the trial court denied his motion to suppre...

Vermont v. Stokes  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 63
Docket Number: 2012-003

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, defendant challenged his conviction for unlawful trespass and his obligation (as condition of probation) to complete a Domestic Abuse Education Program (DAEP). Defendant was charged with entering...

Birchwood Land Company, Inc. v. Ormond Bushey & Sons, Inc.  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 60
Docket Number: 2012-083

Justia Opinion Summary: At the heart of this case was a dispute between developer, Birchwood Land Company, Inc., and contractor, Ormond Bushey & Sons, Inc. over a construction contract. The developer sued for breach of contract, claiming mainl...

McCormack v. Rutland Hospital, Inc.  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 59
Docket Number: 2012-104

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Gilbert and Shelagh McCormack appealed a superior court's denial of their motion for a new trial on the grounds of alleged juror bias. The issues on appeal to the Supreme Court were: (1) whether plaintiffs' mo...

Vermont v. Senna  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 67
Docket Number: 2012-173

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Loren Senna appealed a superior court decision to deny his motion to suppress evidence and dismiss the charges against him. Defendant was convicted of the cultivation of more than twenty-five marijuana plants a...

Cate v. City of Burlington  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 64
Docket Number: 2012-227

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Adam Cate sued the City of Burlington for breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) claiming that the City disciplined him for actions and in a manner not authorized by the City...

In re A.B. and A.B.  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 66
Docket Number: 2012-322

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appealed a trial court order terminating her residual parental rights to her children A.B. and A.B. She argued the trial court erred in denying her request to proceed pro se, which she made on the first day of the...

Vermont v. Mutwale  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 61
Docket Number: 2012-363

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed a trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw a guilty plea, arguing that he was not sufficiently advised of the potential immigration consequences of his conviction. Upon review of the trial court...

In re B.C.  
Date: August 2, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 58
Docket Number: 2013-073

Justia Opinion Summary: Father appealed a superior court's judgment terminating his parental rights with respect to B.C. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred in: (1) denying parent-child contact in violation of his fundamental rights; (2)...

In re Moore Accessory Structure Permit and Use  
Date: July 19, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 54
Docket Number: 2012-305

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellees' (two brothers and a sister) family owned and operated a farm in Pomfret. In 2009, neighbors appealed to the Environmental Division from a decision by the Town’s zoning board of adjustment (ZBA) granting a cons...

Vermont v. Amsden  
Date: July 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 51
Docket Number: 2012-128

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his convictions on charges of disorderly conduct and cruelty to a child. Upon review of the record, the Supreme Court concluded the evidence presented against Defendant was sufficient to support the co...

Preston v. Burlington City Reitrement System  
Date: July 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 56
Docket Number: 2012-208

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant City of Burlington Retirement System appealed a superior court judgment that reversed its decision to terminate the disability retirement of plaintiff, a former City firefighter. Upon review, the Supreme Court...

Hausermann v. Hausermann  
Date: July 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 50
Docket Number: 2012-390

Justia Opinion Summary: Wife appealed an order modifying spousal maintenance. She argued the trial court erred in setting the date for the modification to take effect, and by reducing husband's maintenance obligation based on her anticipated in...

Lesage v. Town of Colchester  
Date: July 5, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 48
Docket Number: 2012-196

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated cases, the common issue centered on whether Vermont laws allowed the Town of Colchester to consider certain intangible factors in assessing seasonal lakefront camps located on leased land. The Supreme Cou...

Vermont v. Fellows  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 45
Docket Number: 2011-386

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Frank Fellows appealed convictions for sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He argued that the trial court erred in allowing the State to question his siblings regarding his relationship...

Lydy v. Trustaff, Inc.  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 44
Docket Number: 2012-081

Justia Opinion Summary: Claimant Deborah Lydy was a traveling licensed practical nurse employed by defendant Trustaff, Inc. While on duty, a patient attacked her causing her to suffer (among other things) an acute cervical sprain. The issue bef...

Vanderminden, A Family LTD Partnership v. Town of Wells  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 49
Docket Number: 2012-092

Justia Opinion Summary: Vanderminden, a Family Limited Partnership, owned a contiguous piece of property in the adjoining towns of Poultney and Wells. The Wells portion was at issue in this case: the state appraiser affirmed the Town's valuatio...

In re William J. McCarty, Jr.
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 47
Docket Number: 2012-156
Agency of Natural Resources v. Persons  
Date: June 28, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 46
Docket Number: 2012-274

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Timothy Persons and the Trust A of Timothy Persons appealed an Environmental Division decision holding that certain excavation work performed on their property violated the state Wetlands Protection and Water...

Brown v. W.T. Martin Plumbing & Heating, Inc.  
Date: June 21, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 38
Docket Number: 2011-270

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Claimant Robert Brown tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder while at work. The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court in this case centered on whether the workers' compensation laws precluded a certain i...

In re Kimmick  
Date: June 21, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 43
Docket Number: 2011-378

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner William Kimmick appealed a superior court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), contending he received ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing. Finding no ineffective counsel or er...

Turnley v. Town of Vernon  
Date: June 21, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 42
Docket Number: 2012-098

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Vernon appealed a superior court decision that reversed its decision to fire police chief Kevin Turnley. The Selectboard determined that the chief made inaccurate statements at public meetings when asked abou...

In re Beliveau NOV, Town of Fairfax v. Beliveau  
Date: June 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 41
Docket Number: 2012-135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Fairfax cited homeowner Leon Beliveau for changing the use of his property from a single-family dwelling to a rooming-and-boarding house without obtaining the necessary zoning permits. Beliveau argued on appe...

In re Wood NOV, Town of Hartford v. Wood  
Date: June 13, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 40
Docket Number: 2012-146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Hartford and Marc and Susan Wood have been involved in a property dispute for over a decade. At issue: the construction of a large concrete retaining wall along the Woods property. They appealed the latest su...

In re K.F.  
Date: June 7, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 39
Docket Number: 2012-340

Justia Opinion Summary: K.F.'s (a juvenile) father appealed the termination of his parental rights. On appeal to the Supreme Court, he argued the trial court erred in denying his motion for new counsel since his previous lawyer had a conflict o...

In re Russo  
Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 35
Docket Number: 2011-004

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Vito Russo appealed a civil division order dismissing his post-conviction relief (PCR) petition for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner sought to attack convictions for which his sentences had been completed, and...

Coles v. Coles  
Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 36
Docket Number: 2011-322

Justia Opinion Summary: Father Tedley Coles challenged the trial court's denial of his motion to reopen the time in which to file an appeal of a maintenance and child support order. On appeal, he asserted that his motion was timely under Vermon...

Ayer v. Hemingway  
Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 37
Docket Number: 2011-431

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Patrick and Terese Ayer appealed a trial court's order granting summary judgment to Frances Harris and Louis Hemmingway, III. The dispute arose over plaintiffs' attempts to collect a debt from defendant Hemmin...

Vincent v. DeVries  
Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 34
Docket Number: 2012-026

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on a jury award of emotional distress and economic damages in a legal malpractice action. Defendant challenged the damages award on the grounds that emotional dist...

Felis v. Felis  
Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 32
Docket Number: 2012-077

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband Kenneth Felis appealed a final divorce order, arguing the superior court abused its discretion in setting parent-child contact, dividing the marital estate, and awarding wife nominal maintenance and attorney's fe...

O'Brien v. Synnott  
Date: May 17, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 33
Docket Number: 2012-164

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Kelley O'Brien sued defendants Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) and FAHC nurse Catherine Synnott for drawing his blood at the request of law enforcement officers and without his consent, and for injuries he su...

Roberts v. University of Vermont  
Date: May 10, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 30
Docket Number: 2012-206

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff appealed a superior court order affirming the University of Vermont's denial of his application for in-state tuition status. He raised a host of challenges to the court's ruling, arguing primarily that it was i...

In re J. H.  
Date: May 10, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 031
Docket Number: 2012-316

Justia Opinion Summary: "J.H." appealed an adjudication that she was a child in need of care and supervision (CHINS) for being "habitually and without justification truant from compulsory school attendance." J.H. contended: (1) the evidence was...

Vermont v. Turner  
Date: April 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 26
Docket Number: 2011-140

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, defendant John Turner was arraigned on one count of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child and one count of unlawful restraint of a victim less than sixteen years of age. His first trial occurred in March 2010,...

Vermont v. Carpenter  
Date: April 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 28
Docket Number: 2011-254

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Carpenter appealed his sentence of five to fourteen years imprisonment under Vermont's Habitual Offender Act after pleading guilty to one felony count of violating an abuse-prevention order (VAPO) and f...

Hanson-Metayer v. Hanson-Metayer  
Date: April 12, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 29
Docket Number: 2012-212

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant-defendant Elizabeth Hanson-Metayer [wife] appealed a superior court decision regarding the divorce between her and appellee-plaintiff Michael Hanson-Metayer [husband]. She claimed that the court erred by: (1) m...

Trudell v. Vermont  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 18
Docket Number: 2011-311

Justia Opinion Summary: Independent candidate Gary Trudell and voter Myron Dorfman challenged the constitutionality of Vermont’s schedule for filing candidate petitions, alleging that the uniform deadline for all party (major and minor) and ind...

Vermont v. Brooks  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 27
Docket Number: 2011-329

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Rusty Brooks appealed his convictions on two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a minor following a jury trial, alleging several errors. Defendant asserted that: (1) the trial court committed reversible err...

Vermont v. Freeman  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 25
Docket Number: 2011-342

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shaun Freeman was given a twenty-year-to-life sentence following a plea agreement on assault charges. On automatic appeal to the Supreme Court, he challenged two of the probation conditions that were attached t...

Investigation into Regulation of Voice Over Internet Protocol  
Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 23
Docket Number: 2012-109

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal concerned whether the Vermont Public Service Board had jurisdiction to regulate interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services provided in Vermont. The Board...

In re Investigation into General Order No. 45  
Date: March 25, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 24
Docket Number: 2012-448

Justia Opinion Summary: New England Coalition, Inc. (NEC) filed a complaint to the Supreme Court seeking injunctive relief to enjoin Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC, and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) from continuing to operate...

Vermont v. Casey  
Date: March 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 22
Docket Number: 2011-205

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shane Casey appealed his conviction of two counts of aggravated sexual assault, alleging that the trial court erred in: (1) denying defendant’s motion to sever a joint trial; (2) refusing to grant a new trial a...

LaMothe v. LeBlanc  
Date: March 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 21
Docket Number: 2011-292

Justia Opinion Summary: Father appealed a superior court family division's order that upheld a magistrate’s denial of his motion to modify his child support obligation. Specifically, father argued: (1) that the magistrate erred in declining to...

Vermont v. Snow  
Date: March 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 19
Docket Number: 2012-002

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Mark Snow appealed his conviction for sexual assault. He contended that the trial court gave an improper jury instruction, mischaracterizing the law and eliminating the State’s burden to prove each and every el...

Fagnant v. Foss  
Date: March 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 16
Docket Number: 2012-030

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff appealed a jury verdict finding that defendant’s conceded breach of a duty of care, and the resulting low-impact, rear-end auto accident, was not the proximate cause of any injuries and harm to plaintiff. Upon...

Welch v. Welch  
Date: March 8, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 20
Docket Number: 2012-184

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant ex-husband appealed a superior court - family division order which found him in contempt for failure to pay spousal maintenance as ordered. He claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction to find him in contempt...

In re O'Meara
Date: March 6, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 17
Docket Number: 2012-355
OCS/Pappas v. O'Brien  
Date: March 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 11
Docket Number: 2010-398

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated cases, the Supreme Court addressed disputes over child support. The disputes were described as "so stale that the parties' children are in and approaching their thirties." The basic questions were whether...

Marsh Inter Vivos Trust v. McGillvray, et al.  
Date: March 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 6
Docket Number: 2012-060

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case involved the interplay between rulings and requirements relating to zoning in connection with a planned development and enforcement of restrictive covenants and deed restri...

Vermont v. Dunham  
Date: March 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 15
Docket Number: 2012-130

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether a police officer's visual estimate of defendant's speed can support a reasonable suspicion to warrant a traffic stop. Defendants Todd Dunham and Heidi Tatham a...

Vermont v. Bogert  
Date: February 22, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 13
Docket Number: 2011-253

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, defendant Thomas Bogert, Jr. pled guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and no contest to one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of sexual assault. He was sentenced to a total of...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: February 21, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 14
Docket Number: 2012-133

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jeffrey Gentes, who entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI), argued on appeal that the superior court’s criminal division erred by denying his motion to dismiss both t...

Prue v. Royer, Sr.  
Date: February 15, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 12
Docket Number: 2011-417

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties in this case entered into a real estate agreement thirteen years ago. The trial court concluded that the agreement constituted a contract for deed and that the purchasers had therefore acquired an equitable i...

Vermont v. Vuley  
Date: February 8, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 9
Docket Number: 2011-087

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the hypothetical question "What are the chances?" could be considered a valid legal inference. Defendant Mark Vuley was convicted of arson after several unexpla...

Stella v. Spaulding  
Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 8
Docket Number: 2011-327

Justia Opinion Summary: In this medical malpractice action, plaintiff appealed the trial court's entry of judgment in defendants' favor following the court's discovery sanction, which precluded plaintiff from offering expert testimony or eviden...

Vermont Small Business Development Corp. v. Fifth Son Corp.  
Date: January 25, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 7
Docket Number: 2012-170

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant landlord appealed the grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the tenant. The trial court concluded that the landlord's eviction of the tenant from a property was wrongful. The landlord also appealed the...

Columbia v. Lawton  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 2
Docket Number: 2011-151

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the constitutional rights of a putative biological father who seeks an order of parentage when a court has already issued a parentage order determining the mino...

Vermont v. Hawkins  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 5
Docket Number: 2011-203

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jerald Hawkins appealed his conditional guilty plea to criminal refusal of an evidentiary breath test and the civil suspension of his driver's license, claiming that the trial court erred in denying his motion...

Vermont v. Dubuque  
Date: January 18, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 3
Docket Number: 2012-131

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Damon Dubuque was convicted for refusing a reasonable request for an evidentiary test after being convicted of DUI. He appealed the denial of a motion to suppress evidence of his refusal to give a blood sample...

Shattuck v. Peck  
Date: January 11, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 1
Docket Number: 2011-145

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Donna Mae Peck appealed a superior court judgment that granted plaintiff Victor Shattuck a writ of possession for the parties' former residence in Cavendish and that denied her counterclaim for an equitable int...

In re Stowe Highlands Merger/Subdivision Application  
Date: January 11, 2013
Citation: 2013 VT 4
Docket Number: 2012-100

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from litigation involving developer Stowe Highlands and its Resort Planned Unit Development (PUD) in the Town of Stowe. The Stowe Development Review Board (DRB) denied Stowe Highlands' application to...

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