Vermont Supreme Court Decisions 2014

Skaskiw v. Vermont Agency of Agriculture  
Date: December 19, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 133
Docket Number: 2014-041

Justia Opinion Summary: The Vermont Spay/Neuter Incentive Program (VSNIP) was created in 2006 to subsidize dog, cat, and wolf-hybrid sterilization procedures for low-income Vermonters. Sue Skaskiw and the organization she directed, Vermont Volu...

Davis v. American Legion  
Date: December 19, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 134
Docket Number: 2014-099

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Marilyn Davis appealed the trial court's grant of defendants' Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss her claims, which sought to rectify alleged harms stemming from disagreements among Davi...

Vermont v. Hinton  
Date: December 12, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 131
Docket Number: 2014-163

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed the civil suspension of his driver's license and his conditional guilty plea to driving under the influence (DUI). He argued that the police lacked reasonable grounds to stop him, and thus, the court s...

State v. Breer
Date: December 8, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 132
Docket Number: 2014-392
Vermont v. Congress  
Date: December 5, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 129
Docket Number: 2011-307

Justia Opinion Summary: Latonia Congress was convicted by jury of second-degree murder. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether, in a murder prosecution, a jury can find a defendant guilty of voluntary m...

Langlois v. Town of Proctor  
Date: December 5, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 130
Docket Number: 2013-229

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Kathleen Langlois owned a building with commercial space on the first floor and an apartment on the second. She failed to pay the water bill for the property. Plaintiff alleged that she arranged with a represen...

Hayes v. Town of Manchester  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 126
Docket Number: 2013-277

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review involved the power of a court to require an estate to create a trust to satisfy potential future claims against the estate, as well as the proper application o...

In re Carrigan Conditional Use and Certificate of Compliance, Certificate of Occupancy, Certificate of Compliance  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 125
Docket Numbers: 2013-346, 2013-347, 2013-348

Justia Opinion Summary: Neighbors Barbara Supeno and Barbara J. Ernst appealed a superior court's decision to uphold the Town of Addison Development Review Board's (DRB) grant of certificates of occupancy for two detached decks and a conditiona...

Ring v. Carriage House Condominium Owners' Association  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 127
Docket Number: 2013-419

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal ended a longstanding feud stemming from plaintiff David Ring's renovation of his condominium units, resulting in multiple legal proceedings and several superior court decisions. Ring argued in this appeal tha...

In re Goddard College Conditional Use, Goddard College Act 250 Reconsideration  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 124
Docket Number: 2014-049

Justia Opinion Summary: This case raised the issue of whether Act 250 required consideration of alternative siting in every case in which a party objects to a proposed land-use project on aesthetic grounds, pursuant to 10 V.S.A. 6086(a)(8), wit...

Goodrum v. Vermont Department of Taxes  
Date: November 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 128
Docket Number: 2014-102

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Garfield and Lucille Goodrum owned 41.54 acres in Reading; all but two acres of land surrounding their home was enrolled in the UVA Program as undeveloped forest land. The Goodrums formed Turtle Hill Farm of...

Vermont v. Groce  
Date: November 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 122
Docket Number: 2012-479

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his conviction for sexual assault. On appeal, defendant argued: (1) the trial court erred by allowing certain hearsay testimony to be considered by the jury; (2) the trial court erred in scheduling a s...

Vermont v. Grenier  
Date: November 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 121
Docket Numbers: 2013-224, 2013-300

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated cases, defendants Brian Grenier and Jessica Harris's were charged with driving under the influence (DUI), and appealed the trial court's denial of their motions to suppress the results of their breath-alc...

Highridge Condominium Owners Assoc. v. Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners, LLC  
Date: November 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 120
Docket Number: 2014-066

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from a dispute between developer Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners, LLC ("K/P") and the Highridge Condominium Owners Association regarding developer's proposal to construct additional units in the Hig...

Barrup v. Barrup  
Date: November 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 116
Docket Number: 2012-415

Justia Opinion Summary: The primary issue in this case involved the rights of a former mother-in-law whose property interests were purportedly adjudicated in the final divorce decree between her son and his former wife in an action to which she...

Choiniere v. Marshall and Beach, PPLC  
Date: November 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 117
Docket Number: 2013-142

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Paul Choiniere and P&D Consulting, Inc. sued defendants, attorney Anthony Marshall and his law firm, Harris Beach, PLLC, alleging that they made negligent and intentional misrepresentations while representing...

Guntlow v. Town of Pownal Board of Abatement  
Date: November 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 118
Docket Number: 2014-139

Justia Opinion Summary: Two taxpayers appealed a trial court judgment affirming a decision of the board of abatement of the Town of Pownal, which denied their request for tax abatement. The taxpayers sought abatement of the property taxes on se...

State v. Campbell
Date: November 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 123
Docket Number: 2014-393
Town of Ira v. Vermont League of Cities and Towns  
Date: October 31, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 115
Docket Number: 2013-373

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Town of Ira brought this action to recover from its insurer, Vermont League of Cities and Towns Property and Casualty Intermunicipal Fund, Inc. (PACIF), certain losses related to the embezzlement of town funds...

Vermont v. Wilt  
Date: October 24, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 114
Docket Number: 2013-119

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Maureen Wilt appeals a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) on grounds that the trial court improperly allowed a police trooper to testify about the results of a field-sobriety test he administered...

State v. Hughes
Date: October 10, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 112
Docket Number: 2014-356
State v. Campbell
Date: October 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 113
Docket Number: 2014-350
Shaddy v. State of Vermont Office of Professional Regulation  
Date: September 19, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 111
Docket Number: 2013-303

Justia Opinion Summary: This was an interlocutory appeal of superior court decision, on appeal from a decision of an appellate officer, remanding this disciplinary case to the Board of Nursing to determine whether the Board intended that the ca...

Parker v. Potter  
Date: September 12, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 109
Docket Number: 2013-263

Justia Opinion Summary: This dispute involved the parties' neighboring plots of land. Plaintiffs claimed that through adverse possession, they acquired several strips of land adjacent to their property: a triangular area used for parking, a sma...

City of Newport v. Village of Derby Center
Date: September 12, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-310
City of Newport v. Village of Derby Center  
Date: September 12, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 108
Docket Number: 2013-310

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1997, the Village of Derby Center and the City of Newport entered into a contract whereby the Village would supply 10,000 gallons of water per day to the City. The City claimed that the contract did not authorize the...

State v. Pelletier
Date: September 9, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 110
Docket Number: 2014-291
Currie v. Jané  
Date: September 5, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 261
Docket Number: 2013-261

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties in this case met in 2002 or 2003 and had a romantic relationship. In August 2007, the pair bought a house in Orwell. Prior to the purchase, plaintiff had been renting an apartment within the house from the ow...

In re Babson  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 105
Docket Number: 2012-041

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner's state-appointed counsel filed an untimely notice of appeal of the trial court's denial of petitioner's first post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. It was uncontested that by failing to timely file a notice...

Evans v. Cote  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 104
Docket Number: 2013-077

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed a superior court order concluding that defendant violated 13 V.S.A. 3701(c) by intentionally knocking down a tree that belonged to plaintiff and trespassed on plaintiff’s land, and granted plaintiff $1...

Ainsworth v. Chandler  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 107
Docket Number: 2013-084

Justia Opinion Summary: Cases consolidated cases for appellate review stemmed from alleged injuries suffered by plaintiff Faye Ainsworth while she was at defendant Charles Chandler’s business, Chandler Electric. Plaintiff sued claiming she was...

Vermont v. Perry  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 102
Docket Number: 2013-337

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Roger Perry appealed the trial court's issuance of a mittimus ordering the Department of Corrections (DOC) not to give defendant credit for time served in connection with prior convictions. The State did not ch...

In re Musto Wastewater System  
Date: August 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 103
Docket Number: 2013-366

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered on a disputed permit for a wastewater system and potable water supply granted to applicants David and Martha Musto for a home on Lake Bomoseen. Next-door neighbor Carolyn Hignite appealed the environme...

Regan v. Pomerleau, DeForest Realty, Inc. and City of Burlington  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 99
Docket Number: 2013-101

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, the Supreme Court reviewed rulings by the environmental and civil divisions concerning a subdivision application for a property located within a residential development in the City of Burlington....

Fox v. Fox  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 100
Docket Number: 2013-147

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Neal Fox’s brother adopted defendant Eugene Fox when defendant was an infant. On April 6, 2012, defendant, a New Hampshire resident in his sixties, and plaintiff, a Vermont resident, attended a probate court he...

Mahoney, et al. v. Tara, LLC  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 90
Docket Number: 2013-183

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs’ family began renting a lakeside property 1949 and eventually purchased it in 1976. Throughout their lease and ownership of the Mahoney Lot, and by the terms of their deed, plaintiffs enjoyed the use of approx...

Murphy v. Patriot Insurance Company  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 96
Docket Number: 2013-235

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Helena Murphy appealed a superior court judgment in favor of defendant, Patriot Insurance Company, her homeowner’s insurer. The dispute between the parties stemmed from storm damage done to plaintiff's house in...

In re Manosh  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 95
Docket Number: 2013-280

Justia Opinion Summary: The question in this case presented to the Supreme Court was whether, in response to a post-conviction relief (PCR) petition, the court erred in vacating petitioner Nick Manosh’s 1992 conviction for a misdemeanor count o...

In re All Metals Recycling, Inc.  
Date: August 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 101
Docket Number: 2013-455

Justia Opinion Summary: Thirteen Town of Williston residents appealed the Superior Court, Environmental Division’s grant of a discretionary permit to All Metals Recycling, Inc., to establish an outdoor storage area and install a scale and scale...

Vermont v. Pettitt  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 98
Docket Number: 2012-442

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with two counts arising from the same alleged incident: (1) violation of a term of a relief-from-abuse (RFA) order that required him to remain at least three hundred feet from his girlfriend and her...

Vermont v. Spaulding  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 91
Docket Number: 2013-208

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Allen Spaulding appealed his conviction on domestic assault charges. The issues on appeal centered on the admission of the complainant’s written statement as past recollection recorded and claims of insufficien...

Vermont Transco, LLC v. Town of Vernon  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 93
Docket Number: 2013-243

Justia Opinion Summary: This property tax appeal centered on the valuation of five electrical substations, seven transmission lines, a fiber-optic line, land, and utility easements located within the Town of Vernon. Taxpayer Vermont Transco LLC...

O'Rourke, et al. v. Lunde and The Housing Group Limited Partnership  
Date: August 8, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 88
Docket Number: 2013-364

Justia Opinion Summary: This issue before the Supreme Court in this case arose from a dispute between a general partner and limited partners over the proceeds from the dissolution of their partnership. Appellant Alfred Lunde sought to reverse a...

Vermont v. Felix  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 68
Docket Number: 2012-248

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Tiffanie Felix appealed her conviction for the sale or delivery of 200 milligrams or more of heroin following a jury trial. She argued that the trial court erred in refusing to allow her to impeach the credibil...

Vermont v. Lumumba  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 85
Docket Number: 2012-254

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Yetha Lumumba is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He immigrated to the United States in 2004, where he became a legal permanent resident. In 2012, defendant, then a student at the University of Ver...

Vermont v. Porter, Jr.  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 89
Docket Number: 2012-344

Justia Opinion Summary: On the evening of September 9, 2009, the complainant was walking home along Colchester Avenue in Burlington when an unknown man attacked her and tried to force her into the cab of a pickup truck that was parked alongside...

Progressive Casuality Insurance Co. v. MMG Insurnace Co.  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 70
Docket Number: 2012-391

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Progressive Casualty Insurance Company insured the vehicle involved in the accident at issue in this case. Given the number of victims, the policy’s liability coverage did not fully compensate at least one of t...

Vermont v. Cornell  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 82
Docket Number: 2012-400

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Owen Cornell was convicted by jury of lewd and lascivious conduct with a twelve-year-old child. Defendant argued on appeal: (1) that the boilerplate "sex offender conditions" imposed by the trial court were not...

Vermont v. Bostwick  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 97
Docket Number: 2013-013

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Patrick Bostwick was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and sentenced to three to fifteen years, all suspended but six months. Defendant's probation order contained "special sex offender cond...

Vermont v. Provost  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 86
Docket Number: 2013-201

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Scott Provost appealed the decision of the criminal division that he violated his probation when he refused to admit the offense and failed to complete a domestic violence program in a timely manner, and engage...

Quazzo v. Department of Taxes  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 81
Docket Number: 2013-205

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayer Ugo Quazzo appealed a superior court decision to uphold a determination by the Commissioner of Taxes that he failed to prove a change of domicile for purposes of obtaining an income-sensitive homestead property...

Tschaikowsky v. Tschaikowsky  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 83
Docket Number: 2013-216

Justia Opinion Summary: James and Leslie Tschaikowsky were married in 1999, and were in the process of divorcing. In between, the parties legally separated, agreeing on terms of separation that were formally incorporated into a final order issu...

Stroup v. Doran  
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 92
Docket Number: 2013-420

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, plaintiffs Sylvia and Stanley Stroup sued defendants Peter Doran and Peter Doran Landscape Design, LLC for breach of contract, fraud, and consumer fraud after defendants failed to perform landscaping for plainti...

In re Katherine Z. Pope, Esq.
Date: August 1, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 119
Docket Numbers: 2014-119, 2014-359
In re C.L. and S.L., Juvenile
Date: July 29, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 87
Docket Number: 2014-084
Vermont v. Morse  
Date: July 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 84
Docket Number: 2013-045

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed a restitution order requiring him to pay $2,427.36 for damage to a car. On appeal, he argued: (1) the State failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the victim’s loss was uninsured; (2) the cour...

In re Burlington Airport Permit  
Date: July 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 72
Docket Number: 2013-158

Justia Opinion Summary: "At its heart, the present controversy is about noise - specifically, airport-generated noise and its effects on immediate neighbors." Airport neighbor, George Maille, appealed the Superior Court, Environmental Division'...

In re Girouard  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 75
Docket Number: 2012-372

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Roy Girouard appealed the superior court’s denial of a motion to reopen his Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 75 post-conviction relief petition and to order the Department of Corrections (DOC) to release him on...

Vermont North Properties v. Village of Derby Center  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 73
Docket Number: 2012-457

Justia Opinion Summary: Developer Vermont North Properties (VNP) appealed from the trial court’s decision in favor of the Village of Derby Center. The dispute centered on VNP’s rights, if any, to water and sewer allocations from the systems man...

JW, LLC v. Ayer and Martell  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 71
Docket Number: 2013-089

Justia Opinion Summary: In February 2005, tenants Brian Ayer and Debbie Martell began leasing a single-family home from landlord-plaintiff JW, LLC. Tenants resided in the home with their children and animals, including dogs and chickens. At the...

Demag v. Better Power Equipment  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 78
Docket Number: 2013-120

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Rodney Demag worked for a car dealership which also provided automobile service. As a convenience for customers, he picked up vehicles belonging to customers, leaving his own vehicle and returning the customer...

In re LaPlante  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 79
Docket Number: 2013-214

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of New Hampshire attempted to extradite Vermont resident and petitioner William LaPlante for failing to appear at a 2009 hearing allegedly related to a criminal conviction in New Hampshire in 1998. Following a...

Joseph v. Joseph  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 66
Docket Number: 2013-240

Justia Opinion Summary: In December 2011, wife Andrea Joseph filed for divorce after twenty-three years of marriage to husband Neil Joseph. In October 2012, the parties entered into a stipulation agreeing to equally divide certain joint Morgan...

Hoiska v. Town of East Montpelier  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 80
Docket Number: 2013-274

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant-taxpayer Elaine Hoiska appealed the Vermont State Appraiser’s valuation of her property in the Town of East Montpelier. She argued that the appraisal incorrectly treated her property as comprising two contiguou...

In re B.A.  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 76
Docket Number: 2013-343

Justia Opinion Summary: A mother appealed the family court’s adjudication of her daughter B.A. as a child in need of care or supervision (CHINS). She argued that the court erred in combining the merits of the CHINS proceeding with the disposit...

Kelley v. Department of Labor  
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 74
Docket Number: 2014-036

Justia Opinion Summary: Employer Maple Leaf Farm Association, Inc. appealed a decision of the Employment Security Board finding that its former employee Katherine Kelley was involuntarily terminated from her position and therefore eligible for...

In re Smith, Esq.
Date: July 18, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 77
Docket Number: 2014-203
Vermont v. Medina  
Date: July 11, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 69
Docket Numbers: 2012-087, 2012-101, 2012-102, 2012-103, 2012-207, 2012-231, 2012-309

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, in consolidated cases, challenged a recent amendment to Vermont's DNA-database statute as unconstitutional. As of July 2011, the amendment mandated warrantless, suspicionless DNA collection and analysis from...

In re Williams  
Date: July 11, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 67
Docket Number: 2012-179

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Eric Williams pled guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to serve forty to sixty years in prison. These charges stemmed from a fire in an apartment house in which petitioner lived...

LeBlanc v. LeBlanc  
Date: June 27, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 65
Docket Number: 2012-420

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appealed a trial court’s final divorce order. She asserted that the court erred in granting the parties a divorce because the statutory requirements for divorce were not satisfied. She also challenged the court’s...

Spencer v. Spencer  
Date: June 27, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 63
Docket Number: 2012-465

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties were married in 1981. In 1998, husband retired from the United States Army after almost twenty-two years of service. About two years later, the parties were divorced in Vermont pursuant to a stipulated judgme...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 62
Docket Number: 2013-239

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Aidan Brunner appealed his conviction for possession of brass knuckles or a similar weapon with intent to use it. He argued arguing that the implement at issue is neither brass knuckles nor a similar weapon und...

In re Grievance of VSEA  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 56
Docket Number: 2013-316

Justia Opinion Summary: Vermont State Employees' Association (VSEA) appealed a Vermont Labor Relations Board decision which found that the State was not required to give certain compensation to state employees in the weeks and months following...

Vermont v. Fontaine  
Date: June 20, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 64
Docket Number: 2014-096

Justia Opinion Summary: In Fall 2013, defendant pled guilty to a felony charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child as well as four counts of prohibited acts. The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) and a psychosexual evalua...

Luck Brothers v. Agency of Transportation  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 59
Docket Number: 2013-249

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, the Agency of Transportation advertised for bids to reconstruct a half-mile section of North Main Street in downtown Barre. Luck Brothers submitted the low bid and was awarded the contract for the project, which...

Martin v. Christman  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 55
Docket Number: 2013-250

Justia Opinion Summary: On July 3, 2009, plaintiffs Michaela and David Martin and their three-year-old daughter Gracie spent the day at a campsite that the family rented at a campground in Island Pond, Vermont. Defendants John and Joanna Christ...

863 To Go, Inc. v. Department of Labor  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 61
Docket Number: 2013-413

Justia Opinion Summary: The single issue in this appeal was whether payments by employer 863 To Go, Inc. to its delivery drivers should have been excluded from the calculation of employer's contribution to Vermont's system of unemployment compe...

In re Howard Center Renovation Permit  
Date: June 13, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 60
Docket Number: 2013-463

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Burlington School District appealed an environmental court decision approving Howard Center, Inc.'s application for interior renovations to an existing medical office to accommodate a new methadone clinic. The...

In re Hale Mountain Fish & Game Club  
Date: June 6, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 54
Docket Number: 2012-412

Justia Opinion Summary: Landowners Owen and Katherine Beauchesne appealed various proceedings involving their complaints challenging the operation of Hale Mountain Fish and Game Club. Here, they appealed the Environmental Division of the superi...

In re Spear  
Date: June 6, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 57
Docket Number: 2013-051

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented to the Supreme Court centered on the pay due to a state employee pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement when the employee temporarily takes on duties at a higher level. Grievant Chri...

Richard v. Richard  
Date: June 6, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 58
Docket Number: 2013-449

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband Gilles Richard appealed a family court order awarding wife Ellen Richard interest on a payment due under the final divorce decree. Husband argued that the award of interest was an impermissible modification of th...

Buxton v. Springfield Lodge No. 679, Loyal Order of Moose, Inc.  
Date: May 23, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 52
Docket Number: 2012-398

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff appealed two superior court decisions in a personal-injury negligence action: (1) an order dismissing all claims against defendant Robert Merrill, Sr., in his individual capacity, on summary judgment; and (2) a...

In re Allen  
Date: May 23, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 53
Docket Number: 2012-474

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner appealed a trial court order granting summary judgment to the State on his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). Petitioner was originally charged with aggravated sexual assault for allegedly penetrating...

Kneebinding, Inc. v. Howell  
Date: May 23, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 51
Docket Number: 2013-004

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Richard Howell appealed a judgment in favor of plaintiff Kneebinding, Inc. on his counterclaims alleging breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, defamation, trademark violation, and misappropri...

In re ANR Permits in Lowell Mountain Wind Project  
Date: May 23, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 50
Docket Number: 2013-180

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Energize Vermont, Inc. and several individuals challenged the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB)’s affirmance of a permit issued by the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), approving an operational-phase stormwa...

Brault v. Welch  
Date: May 16, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 44
Docket Number: 2013-189

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs James and Elise Brault appealed a trial court's order granting judgment to defendant Jeanne Welch in a dispute over a right-of-way. The deed in question purported to convey "a right of way five feet wide leadi...

Vermont v. Hemingway  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 48
Docket Number: 2011-233

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed the trial court’s order revoking his probation. On appeal, he argued that he did not receive a “certificate explicitly setting forth” his probation conditions, as required by 28 V.S.A. 252(c), and that...

In re Balivet  
Date: May 9, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 41
Docket Number: 2013-153

Justia Opinion Summary: The Judicial Conduct Board concluded that respondent Judge Ernest Balivet violated Canon 3(B)(8) of the Vermont Code of Judicial Conduct. The Supreme Court ordered review on its own motion. The alleged violation stemmed...

State v. Whiteway
Date: May 6, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 49
Docket Number: 2014-128
In re Hemingway  
Date: May 2, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 42
Docket Number: 2012-376

Justia Opinion Summary: In a post-conviction relief (PCR) proceeding to vacate convictions based on a change of plea following a plea agreement, the court granted petitioner’s motion for summary judgment. The PCR court concluded that the change...

Coburn v. Cook  
Date: May 2, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 45
Docket Number: 2013-057

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband appealed the trial court’s final divorce order. He argued the court erred by including certain items as part of the marital estate, awarding wife a disproportionate share of the marital estate, and failing to awa...

Patnode v. Urette  
Date: May 2, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 46
Docket Number: 2013-179

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and father were in a long-distance relationship for several years, throughout which mother lived in Vermont and father in Florida. In 2006, the parties had a child together. Although they never lived together as a...

Vermont v. Bolaski  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 36
Docket Number: 2012-036

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Kyle Bolaski appealed his conviction for second-degree murder after a jury trial. He argued the trial court erred in: (1) not instructing the jury that the jury had to find an absence of passion or provocation;...

In re Bruyette.  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 30
Docket Number: 2012-471

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) alleging ineffective assistance of counsel in his underlying criminal case because his lawyers induced him to reject a plea bargain for a much lower sentence "...

Stone v. Town of Irasburg  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 43
Docket Number: 2013-125

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Linda Stone sued the Town of Irasburg alleging that the selectboard had acted unlawfully in ordering her, as town treasurer, to raise her bond to $1,000,000. She sought monetary damages based on common law defa...

Cameron v. Rollo  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 40
Docket Number: 2013-169

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case centered on whether the family division had exclusive jurisdiction over the distribution of marital property acquired during a marriage that ended in annulment. In 2011, wi...

Hament v. Baker  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 39
Docket Number: 2013-220

Justia Opinion Summary: "Belle" is an eleven-year-old German wirehaired pointer who was greatly loved by husband and wife. The parties had no minor children, and they were able to reach an agreement on the division of their property and other f...

In re D.S., In re M.H.  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 38
Docket Number: 2013-278

Justia Opinion Summary: Mark, the father of D.S., and Todd, the father of M.H., appealed the trial court’s order terminating their residual parental rights. The children shared the same mother. Both fathers had extensive criminal records and we...

In re B.R.  
Date: April 25, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 37
Docket Number: 2013-388

Justia Opinion Summary: Father appealed a trial court’s order adjudicating B.R. a child in need of care or supervision (CHINS). He argued that the court’s decision was not supported by evidence. B.R. was born in November 2012. On Monday, March...

In re PRB Docket No. 2013.153
Date: April 17, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 35
Docket Number: 2014-078
Lasek v. Vermont Vapor, Inc.  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 33
Docket Number: 2013-143

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose following a fire that destroyed a commercial building in Rutland in 2010. Plaintiff Johnathan Lasek leased the northern half of the building and used the space as a workshop for his house-staining busines...

In re A.W.  
Date: April 11, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 32
Docket Number: 2013-375

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and father appealed a family court order adjudicating the minor A.W. to be a Child in Need of Care and Supervision (CHINS). They argued on appeal: (1) the court lacked jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody...

State v. Whiteway
Date: April 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 34
Docket Number: 2014-085
Moreau v. Sylvester  
Date: April 4, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 31
Docket Number: 2012-152

Justia Opinion Summary: In a consolidated appeal, defendant Christopher Moreau challenged the Washington family court's dismissal of his emergency petition for child custody and parentage complaint over children with whom he shares no biologica...

In re Hirsch
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 28
Docket Number: 2012-107
In re Programmatic Changes to the Standard-Offer Program and Investigation into the Establishment of Standard-Offer Prices under the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development  
Date: March 28, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 29
Docket Number: 2013-308

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Ecos Energy, LLC appealed the Public Service Board's decision that its proposed solar power project did not qualify for a standard-offer power purchase contract under Vermont's Sustainably Priced Energy Enterpr...

Brattleboro Savings & Loan Assn. v. Hardie, et al.  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 26
Docket Number: 2012-332

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2002, defendant Richard Hardie borrowed money from Brattleboro Savings & Loan Association in order to purchase a vacation home in Weathersfield. The loan was secured by a mortgage on the property and included a "secon...

In re Stocks  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 27
Docket Number: 2012-369

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Alvin Stocks appealed the superior court’s order granting summary judgment to the State on his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). He argued that the trial court did not comply with Vermont Rule of Crim...

In re Aleong  
Date: March 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 15
Docket Number: 2013-213

Justia Opinion Summary: Grievant John Aleong appealed a Vermont Labor Relations Board holding that his grievance of the termination of one portion of his teaching position at the University of Vermont fell outside the Board’s jurisdiction. Fin...

Murphy v. Sentry Insurance  
Date: March 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 25
Docket Number: 2012-335

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Sandra J. Murphy (as personal representative and administrator of the Estate of Christopher Murphy) appealed a superior court decision that vacated a jury verdict in her favor and entered judgment as a matter o...

Old Railroad Bed, LLC v. Marcus, et al.  
Date: March 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 23
Docket Number: 2012-341

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this case stemmed from a dispute over title to an old railroad bed adjacent to defendants' property that plaintiff purchased with the goal of creating a public recreational trail. D...

Bonanno v. Verizon Business Network Systems  
Date: February 28, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 24
Docket Number: 2012-261

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Nicholas Bonnano appealed the superior court’s grant of summary judgment against him and in favor of his employer, Verizon, and Verizon’s third-party claims administrator, Sedgwick Claims Management. Plaintiff...

Amherst Realty, LLC v. The Woods at Killington Owners’ Association, Inc.  
Date: February 28, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 21
Docket Number: 2012-320

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Amherst Realty, LLC, Richard Madowitz, and the personal representatives of the Estate of Douglas Kohl appealed a superior court's grant of summary judgment to The Woods at Killington Owners’ Association on Amh...

Manning v. Schultz  
Date: February 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 22
Docket Number: 2012-121

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal stems from a final judgment of divorce: whether, as husband contended, the trial court erred in its division of the marital estate by including an offset for the disparit...

Hogaboom v. Jenkins v. Town of Milton  
Date: February 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 11
Docket Number: 2012-367

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee taxpayer Trevor Jenkins owned and lived on property in the Town of Milton. He failed to pay property taxes for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 tax years. The Town mailed him three delinquent tax notices, in June 20...

In re Champlain Oil Company Conditional Use Application  
Date: February 21, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 19
Docket Number: 2012-405

Justia Opinion Summary: Twelve individuals and the Ferrisburgh Friends of Responsible Growth, Inc. appealed the Environmental Division’s affirming the grant of a conditional use zoning permit to Champlain Oil Company. The permit allowed Champl...

In re Brett  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 20
Docket Numbers: 2012-094, 2012-236

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals, petitioners, both recipients of home-based long-term care benefits through Vermont's Medicaid-funded Choices for Care (Choices) program, appealed decisions of the Human Services Board disallowing...

Vermont v. Reynolds  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 16
Docket Number: 2012-239

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed that conviction, arguing that his case should have been dismissed on speedy trial grounds and that he was entitled to a new trial based on statements made in closing...

In re Group Five Investments CU Permit  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 14
Docket Number: 2013-009

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from the Superior Court, Environmental Division’s affirmance of the zoning board’s grant of a conditional use zoning permit to applicant Group Five Investments, LLC, to build and operate a Dollar Genera...

In re L.M.  
Date: February 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 17
Docket Number: 2013-355

Justia Opinion Summary: The father of L.M. appealed the trial court's finding L.M. to be a child in need of care or supervision (CHINS). He raised numerous arguments. The Supreme Court found that while father's unstable living situation, standi...

Rodriguez v. Vermont Parole Board  
Date: February 7, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 18
Docket Number: 2013-155

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Vermont appealed the superior court’s reversal of the Vermont Parole Board’s decision to revoke Edwin Rodriguez’s parole. On appeal, the State argued: (1) the court erred in weighing the evidence and assessi...

Paine v. Buffa
Date: January 31, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-193
Paine v. Buffa  
Date: January 31, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 10
Docket Number: 2013-193

Justia Opinion Summary: The mother in this case appealed the family division's decision to place sole legal parental rights and responsibilities for the parties' two daughters with the father. She also appealed the family division's award of a...

Lathrop v. Town of Monkton  
Date: January 24, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 9
Docket Number: 2013-026

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Monkton brought a consolidated appeal from decisions of the state appraiser in three property tax cases challenging the Town's 2011 assessment. At issue was the manner in which the Town assessed land that had...

In re Bjerke Zoning Permit Denial
Date: January 24, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-108
In re Bjerke Zoning Permit Denial
Date: January 24, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-108
In re Bjerke Zoning Permit Denial  
Date: January 24, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 13
Docket Number: 2013-108

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant Alan Bjerke appealed the Environmental Division's affirmance of the Burlington Development Review Board's decision to deny his application for a zoning permit to alter the exterior of his house. Applicant argu...

State v. Aubuchon
Date: January 24, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-140
Vermont v. Aubuchon  
Date: January 24, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 12
Docket Number: 2013-140

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Brian Aubuchon appealed the superior court’s denial of his request under Vermont Rule of Criminal Procedure 35 for additional credit toward his aggregated minimum sentence. Under the facts and circumstances of...

Wesolow v. Town of Lowell  
Date: January 14, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 3
Docket Number: 2013-291

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Edward Wesolow was among the signers of a petition to place two articles on the warning for the Town of Lowell’s 2012 annual meeting. One of those articles was an advisory article expressing opposition to a win...

Pahnke/Office of Child Support v. Pahnke
Date: January 10, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 2
Docket Numbers: 2012-387, 2012-416, 2013-007
Pahnke/Office of Child Support v. Pahnke
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Numbers: 2012-387, 2012-416, 2013-007
Pahnke/Office of Child Support v. Pahnke
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Numbers: 2012-387, 2012-416, 2013-007
Vermont v. Nugent  
Date: January 10, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 4
Docket Number: 2013-078

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed the grant of defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law on his civil driver's license suspension. The trial court held that the State did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that defen...

State v. Nugent
Date: January 10, 2014
Docket Number: 2013-078
In re S.C.  
Date: January 10, 2014
Citation: 2014 VT 7
Docket Number: 2013-278

Justia Opinion Summary: In consolidated appeals of a termination-of-parental-rights judgment, appointed counsel for the appellant parent moved to withdraw on the ground that continued representation was barred by Rule 3.1 of the Vermont Rules...

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