Vermont Supreme Court Decisions 2016

Representative Donald Turner, Jr. and Senator Joseph Benning v. Governor Peter Shumlin
Date: December 28, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 136
Docket Number: 2016-428
State v. Geoffrey King
Date: December 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 131
Docket Number: 2015-053
State v. Tristan Cameron
Date: December 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 134
Docket Number: 2015-366
Representative Donald Turner v. Governor Peter Shumlin
Date: December 23, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 135
Docket Number: 2016-428
Vermont v. King  
Date: December 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 131

Justia Opinion Summary: The superior court certified a question of law for the Vermont Supreme Court’s review in connection with the prosecution of defendant Geoffrey King. Specifically, the court and parties asked the Supreme Court to determin...

Vermont v. Cameron  
Date: December 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 134

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Tristan Cameron appealed his conviction for grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle resulting in the death of a passenger. He argued on appeal that there was not enough evidence to convict him, that test...

Representative Donald Turner v. Governor Peter Shumlin
Date: December 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 135
In re William M. O'Brien, Esq.
Date: December 19, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 133
Docket Number: 2015-463
In re William M. O'Brien, Esq.
Date: December 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 133
In re D.S. and W.S., Juveniles
Date: December 16, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 130
Docket Number: 2016-182
In re D.S. and W.S.  
Date: December 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 130

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and father separately appealed a family court judgment terminating their parental rights to the minors D.S. and W.S. Mother contended the court improperly relied on factors beyond her control in concluding that he...

State v. Joshua Anderson
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 127
Docket Number: 2015-297
Great Northern Construction, Inc. v. Department of Labor
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 126
Docket Number: 2015-417
Kenneth W. Miller, II v. Eric Flegenheimer
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 125
Docket Number: 2015-448
In re Grievance of John Lepore
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 129
Docket Number: 2016-123
Kerry Clark v. Kyle Bellavance
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 124
Docket Number: 2016-135
David Barron v. Lisa Menard, Commissioner, Department of Corrections and Ralph Cherry
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 123
Docket Number: 2016-151
State v. Stuart Cleland
Date: December 9, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 128
Docket Number: 2016-440
Barron v. Menard  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 123

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner David Barron appealed a superior court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Department of Corrections, upholding his prison disciplinary conviction for threatening another person. He argued the DOC: (1)...

Clark v. Bellavance  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 124

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and father were the parents of a daughter, born in 2009. Mother and father were never married and their relationship ended before daughter was born; daughter lived exclusively with mother for the first twenty-one...

Miller v. Flegenheimer  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 125

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the Vermont Supreme Court's review was found in a series of e-mails exchanged between two business partners who jointly owned a document shredding company, and whether those e-mails (read together...

Great Northern Construction, Inc. v. Department of Labor  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 126

Justia Opinion Summary: The Employment Security Board (ESB) affirmed a Department of Labor audit of appellant, Great Northern Construction (GNC). The Department's auditor concluded that GNC had improperly classified two of its workers as indepe...

Vermont v. Anderson  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 127

Justia Opinion Summary: Eastern Bail Bond Agency, Inc., which had posted a surety bond for defendant Joshua Anderson, appealed the trial court's forfeiture of bail and subsequent denials of Eastern's motions to vacate and to reconsider. On appe...

Vermont v. Cleland  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 128

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a conditional guilty plea to drug and child-cruelty charges, defendant Stuart Cleland appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress, arguing that the affidavit submitted in support of a search war...

In re Grievance of John Lepore  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 129

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed a Labor Relations Board decision to reverse its dismissal of grievant John Lepore, instead suspending him for thirty days without pay. The Board agreed with the State that grievant committed serious of...

In re Petition of Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.
Date: December 8, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 132
Docket Number: 2016-396
In re Petition of Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.
Date: December 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 132
In re J.H.
Date: December 2, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 122
Docket Number: 2016-059
In re J.H.  
Date: December 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 122

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed the Human Services Board’s decision reversing a determination by the Economic Services Division of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) that J.H. could not be considered for a subsidized qual...

State v. Patricia Kane
Date: November 22, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 121
Docket Number: 2016-289
State v. Patricia Kane
Date: November 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 121
State v. Michael Rondeau
Date: November 18, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 117
Docket Number: 2014-048
State v. Cameron Albarelli
Date: November 18, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 119
Docket Number: 2015-165
State v. Michael Grace
Date: November 18, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 113
Docket Number: 2015-307
Vermont v. Grace  
Date: November 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 113

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Grace appealed after he was convicted for driving under the influence, third offense. Among other claims, he argued that the trial court erred by proceeding with a motion to suppress hearing without him...

Vermont v. Rondeau  
Date: November 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 117

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Rondeau appealed after he was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault, which were based on an information citing statutes not yet in effect at the time of the alleged criminal acts. The iss...

Vermont v. Albarelli  
Date: November 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 119

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Cameron Albarelli was convicted by jury of simple assault, disorderly conduct, and providing false information to a police officer. He appealed, arguing that the trial court erred because (1) the trial court er...

State v. Harley L. Breer, Jr.
Date: November 17, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 120
Docket Number: 2016-338
State v. Harley L. Breer, Jr.
Date: November 17, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 120
State v. Carolyn Lyford
Date: November 15, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 118
Docket Number: 2016-350
State v. Carolyn Lyford
Date: November 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 118
Edward F. Flanagan v. Nancy duMont (Flanagan)
Date: November 4, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 115
Docket Number: 2015-466
Flanagan v. duMont  
Date: November 4, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 115

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stems from a dispute regarding the parties’ obligations with respect to several tax liens discovered post-divorce in light of two hold-harmless provisions in a final divorce decree. Wife argued that the trial...

Regan v. Spector  
Date: October 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 116
Docket Number: 2015-415

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Michael and Denise Regan appealed the trial court’s decision denying them relief with respect to their complaint alleging that the redirecting of surface waters by defendant Town of Fayston and defendants Alan...

In re B&M Realty, LLC
Date: October 21, 2016
Citation: 2016 VT 114
Docket Number: 2015-454
In re B&M Realty, LLC  
Date: October 21, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 114

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Natural Resources Board and Applicant Two Rivers-Ottauquechee (TRO) Regional Commission appealed the Environmental Division’s award of an Act 250 permit to Applicant B&M Realty, LLC, to construct a large mixed...

Vermont v. Powers  
Date: October 14, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 110

Justia Opinion Summary: In an interlocutory appeal, the State challenged the trial court’s suppression of two sets of statements that defendant John Powers made to his probation officer. The trial court determined that suppression was warranted...

In re Mark Jankowski  
Date: October 14, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 112

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Mark Jankowski appealed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). In November 2010, petitioner pled guilty to sexual assault on a child, and was sentenced to a term of five to twenty years,...

Chandler v. Pallito  
Date: September 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 104

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Dennis Chandler appealed a superior court decision denying his claim for summary judgment, and granting the summary judgment motion filed by the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Corrections. Plaintiff...

Solomon v. Guidry  
Date: September 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 108

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Melissa Solomon appealed the dismissal, without consideration of the merits, of her petition for dissolution of a nonresident civil union. Plaintiff and defendant entered into a civil union in 2001 in Brattlebo...

In re MVP Health Insurance Company  
Date: September 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 111

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stems from the rate filing submitted to the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) by MVP Health Insurance Company (MVP) with respect to the Agri-Services health insurance plan. The State of Vermont, GMCB found that...

Plum Creek Maine Timberlands, LLC v. Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Rec.  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 103

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on a timber harvest by landowner Plum Creek Maine Timberlands, LLC in forestland enrolled in the current-use, tax-incentive program. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) issu...

In re B.G.  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 107

Justia Opinion Summary: B.G. was born in September 2006. Mother and father separated in 2007. B.G. has a younger half-sister, C.B., born in August 2009. Mother’s relationships with B.G.’s father and her two subsequent partners, including C.B.’s...

Wener v. Wener  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 109

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appealed a superior court order finding that her proposed relocation and parents’ breakdown in communication were changed circumstances warranting modification of parental rights and responsibilities and transferr...

Kuligoski v. Brattleboro Retreat
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 54A
C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. v. Dept. of Taxes  
Date: September 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 77A

Justia Opinion Summary: C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., a wholesale grocery distributor, disputed sales tax assessed by the Vermont Department of Taxes on the purchase of reusable fiberglass freezer tubs used in the transport of perishable items,...

TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc. v. Town of Rockingham  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 100

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayer TransCanada Hydro Northeast, Inc. appealed a superior court order setting the value of its Bellows Falls hydroelectric facility at $130,000,000, with $108,495,400 taxable by the Town of Rockingham TransCanada ar...

Rounds v. Mallets Bay Club, Inc.  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 102

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered around sixteen shares in the Malletts Bay Club, Inc. (MBC) that were sitting in escrow since 1998, when George Gordon conveyed the associated real property to J. Douglas Johnson. On summary judgment, t...

Vermont v. Hayes  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 105

Justia Opinion Summary: Following her conditional plea of guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI), second offense, defendant Lenore Hayes appealed the superior court’s denial of her motions to suppress evidence from the vehicle st...

Groves v. Green  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 106

Justia Opinion Summary: Father filed a parentage action on March 19, 2015. On April 8, 2015, mother filed a stipulation of parentage and a motion that she be granted sole parental rights and responsibilities for the children and that father be...

Vermont v. Prue  
Date: September 9, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 98

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Allen Prue was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted kidnapping following a jury trial. On appeal, he argued: (1) his March 27, 2012 confession should have been suppressed...

Khan v. Alpine Haven Property Owners' Association, Inc.  
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 101

Justia Opinion Summary: This case was the latest in a series of lawsuits, spanning more than thirty years, between defendant Alpine Haven Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (AHPOA) and certain home/lot owners. Plaintiffs filed the underlying su...

In re PRB Docket No. 2016-042
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 94
In re Wagner & Guay Permit  
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 96

Justia Opinion Summary: Neighbor Mary Bourassa appealed the Environmental Division’s affirmance of a zoning permit application by Philip and Barbara Wagner and Christopher Guay, who wanted to build a single family residence and detached garage...

Leitgeb v. Leitgeb  
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 97

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Vermont Supreme Court's consideration centered on the circumstances a child support order could compel an obligor parent whose income was below the self-support reserve to make month...

In re LaBerge NOV  
Date: September 2, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 99

Justia Opinion Summary: The LaBerges appealed the Environmental Division’s affirmance of a Notice of Violation (NOV) issued by the Town of Hinesburg Zoning Administrator (ZA) for violation of a Town noise ordinance arising from use of a motocro...

In re I.G.  
Date: August 31, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 95

Justia Opinion Summary: In involuntarily hospitalized patient diagnosed with schizophrenia appealed a trial court’s order allowing for his involuntary medication. Patient argued that the court erred by: (1) incorrectly applying the competency s...

Vermont v. Charbonneau  
Date: August 26, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 83

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Toby Charbonneau pleaded guilty to felony possession of stolen property and misdemeanor possession of stolen property. He was subsequently ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $35,791. On appeal, he chal...

Cenlar FSB v. Malenfant, Jr.  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2015 VT 93

Justia Opinion Summary: The lender Cenlar FSB appealed a judgment in favor of the borrowers Laurie and Joseph Malenfant, Jr. in the lender’s second action for a judgment on the note and foreclosure, after the first was dismissed with prejudice....

Casavant (Allen) v. Allen  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 89

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband appealed a final divorce order, arguing that the Family Division: (1) inequitably divided the marital assets; (2) committed reversible errors of fact; and (3) issued a decision based on impermissible bias. Findin...

Agency of Natural Resources v. McGee  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 90

Justia Opinion Summary: In an environmental enforcement action, the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) issued a violation and imposed a penalty of $10,000 against defendants Hugh and Eileen McGee for placing unpermitted fill in a Class II wetlan...

Vermont v. Dow  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 91

Justia Opinion Summary: Following an altercation with his wife and an ensuing conflict with police, defendant Miles Dow was charged with several counts, related to his conduct both towards his wife and to the responding police officers. During...

Vermont v. Nicholas  
Date: August 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 92

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Kerri Nicholas was convicted of one count of domestic assault, and one count of cruelty to a child. The child's teacher observed bruises and notified the Department of Children and Families. Defendant had a rom...

In re North East Materials Group LLC Act 250 JO #5-21  
Date: August 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 87

Justia Opinion Summary: This case came before the Vermont Supreme Court following the Environmental Division's decision on remand that a rock-crushing operation by North East Materials Group, LLC, (NEMG) was exempt from Act 250 as a preexisting...

In re Serendipity Morales  
Date: August 5, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 85

Justia Opinion Summary: The information filed by the State charged Serendipity Morales with six counts of unauthorized practice of law. Morales was an inmate at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Center, and it was alleged she engaged in t...

In re Costco Stormwater Dishcharge Permit  
Date: August 5, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 86

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on a decision of the environmental division of the superior court affirming several permits issued to appellee Costco Wholesale Corporation for the ex...

Coons v. Coons  
Date: August 5, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 88

Justia Opinion Summary: May 7, 2015 was the second day of Kenneth and Melissa Coons' divorce hearing. Near the end of the hearing, the trial court called a brief recess and asked counsel to meet in chambers. According to the trial court, during...

Vermont v. Richard  
Date: July 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 75

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant Gilles Richard was convicted for driving under the influence (DUI). He appealed, arguing: (1) several important factual findings by the court were clearly erroneous; (2) that the court should have sup...

Gould v. Town of Monkton  
Date: July 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 84

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-landowner Donald Gould appealed three superior court rulings pertaining to the Town of Monkton’s new zoning regulations. Landowner alleged that the new zoning regulations under a "UPD" or "Unified Planning Docu...

Ward v. LaRue  
Date: July 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 81

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties in this dispute were the parents of a daughter, born in August 2004. The parties were living in Vermont and obtained a final parentage order in December 2012: Mother was awarded sole legal and physical parent...

In re Stephanie H. Taylor, M.D.  
Date: July 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 82

Justia Opinion Summary: Dr. Stephanie Taylor appealed Vermont Medical Practice Board decision denying her request to vacate the provisions of a 2005 consent order in which she agreed to a “final and irrevocable” surrender of her medical license...

C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. v. Dept. of Taxes  
Date: July 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 77

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayer C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. disputed sales tax assessed by the Vermont Department of Taxes on the purchase of reusable fiberglass freezer tubs used in the transport of perishable items, as well as the Department...

Vermont v. Haskins, Jr.  
Date: July 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 79

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Glen Haskins, Jr. was tried for attempted murder. At trial, he theorized that a group of late-night club-goers with whom he was partying conspired to frame him for a stabbing that occurred in downtown Burlingto...

Vermont v. Villeneuve  
Date: July 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 80

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, defendant Jonathan Villeneuve pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He appealed the denial of his motion to seal the record of his conviction on the ground that the underlying conduct took...

Conant v. Entergy Corporation  
Date: July 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 74

Justia Opinion Summary: Employer Entergy Corporation challenged the denial of its request for a credit against future workers’ compensation benefits owed to claimant Sharon Conant. Employer argued on appeal that, given the payments it made to c...

In re A.S. and K.S.  
Date: July 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 76

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appealed the family court’s order adjudicating her children A.S. and K.S. as children in need of care or supervision (CHINS). On appeal, mother argued that the court erred in looking exclusively at the facts that...

In re J.W.  
Date: July 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 78

Justia Opinion Summary: J.W. was adjudged child in need of care or supervision (CHINS) because his mother would not adequately protect J.W. from father if the child was returned to mother’s care. Mother did not appeal this adjudication, rather...

Vermont v. Bean  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 73

Justia Opinion Summary: The altercation leading to defendant’s conviction occurred on July 29, 2014, at a Middlebury residential facility for persons with major mental illnesses. In a sworn statement admitted without objection, the complainant...

Deutsche Bank v. Pinette  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 71

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-lender Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (as trustee) appealed a superior court decision to grant defendant-borrower Kevin Pinette's motion to dismiss. The lender tried to foreclose on property of Pinette, b...

In re D.C.  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 72

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner D.C. appealed the denial of post-conviction relief (PCR), alleging that the change-of-plea hearing that preceded his adjudication of juvenile delinquency was constitutionally inadequate. The superior court hel...

Vermont v. B.C.  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 66

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed mental health orders involving D.H. and B.C. The State's Attorney contended it was entitled to a hearing on its motions for the continued treatment at the expiration of the mental health orders at issu...

Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. v. Dept. of Taxes  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 69

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. (lender) and Sears, Roebuck and Co. (retailer) appealed a superior court decision affirming the determination of the Vermont Department of Taxes (Department) that the parties, who...

In re I.B.  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 70

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose in early July 2012, when the State filed a CHINS (child in need of care and supervision) petition and request for an emergency care order based on concerns about mother’s ability to care for the minor I.B...

Mongeon Bay Properties, LLC v. Mallets Bay Homeowner's Assn.  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 64

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether, and under what circumstances, a court may decline on equitable grounds to enforce a provision in a long-term ground lease giving the lessor the right to terminate the lease and reente...

In re Petition of New England Police Benevolent Association  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 67

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on two petitions filed on behalf of sixty-nine sworn law enforcement officers of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, Vermont Department of Liquor Control, and Vermont Department of Motor Vehic...

Vermont v. Gagne  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 68

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a road rage incident in which defendant Jason Gagne chased a couple across town, eventually pulling up next to their truck and pointing a rifle at them. Before trial, defendant moved to suppress...

Vermont v. Koenig  
Date: June 3, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 65

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Amy Koenig appealed the denial of her motion to suppress evidence that ultimately led to her arraignment for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Defendant’s main argument on appeal was that the arrest...

Vermont v. Buckley  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 59

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his conviction by jury of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Defendant was acquitted of reckless endangerment. Defendant was charged with these crimes after allegedly point...

Vermont v. Levitt  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 60

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, Defendant was convicted by jury of simple assault and placed on probation. He petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse his conviction and remand for a new trial because the trial court improperly defined reasonab...

Vermont v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al.  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 61

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this interlocutory appeal presented for the Vermont Supreme Court's review centered on whether 12 V.S.A. 462 created an exemption from the general six-year limitation for Vermont’s claims against a host of defe...

Chandler v. Vermont  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 62

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his “Petition for Extraordinary Relief” under Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 75 and Vermont Rule of Appellate Procedure 21. Plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in construing a...

In re Burns Two-Unit Residential Building (Long, et al. Appellants)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 63

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicants Cynthia and Charles Burns wanted to make modifications to a two-unit residential building they owned in Burlington. A group of nineteen Burlington residents (neighbors) appealed a Superior Court, Environmental...

Vermont v. Kelley  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 58

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shawn Kelley argued that the Vermont Supreme Court should have vacated his domestic assault conviction because numerous reversible errors occurred during his jury trial. Specifically, he claimed that: (1) the t...

Lourie v. Lourie  
Date: May 13, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 57

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband Walter Lourie argued the family division of the superior court: (1) failed to consider the relevant statutory factors before incorporating the parties’ pretrial separation agreement into the divorce order; (2) er...

Vermont v. Witham  
Date: May 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2015 VT 51

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal raised "a narrow, but novel, issue:" whether offenders previously convicted of home improvement fraud could be found guilty under the same statute if they subsequently perform home improvement activities but...

In re Wight Manning  
Date: May 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 53

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner appealed a superior court’s order granting judgment to the State on his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) challenging his third conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) following his sentencing...

Kuligoski v. Brattleboro Retreat  
Date: May 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 54

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, E.R. was voluntarily admitted to the Psychiatric Department at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) with a “psychotic disorder” after having threatened young children in his home. During his first few days at C...

Town of Milton Board of Health v. Brisson  
Date: May 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 56

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Armand Brisson was the owner of a two-story brick structure built around 1850 and located in the Town of Milton. He had lived in that building for most of his life. At the time of the events in question, he was...

Vermont v. Graham  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 48

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed the dismissal of three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, filed against defendant Julianne Graham, a high school employee, based on her having engaged in sexual acts with a student over the summ...

Vermont v. Howard  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 49

Justia Opinion Summary: Police arrested defendant Stephen Howard for driving under the influence (DUI). The State appealed the granting of defendant’s motion to exclude evidence collected from a traffic violation stop of his car. The trial cour...

In re Petition of Rutland Renewable Energy, LLC  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 50

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Rutland and five adjoining landowners (“neighbors”) appealed the Vermont Public Service Board’s grant of a certificate of public good (“CPG”) to Rutland Renewable Energy, LLC (“RRE”) for construction of the C...

In re K.A.  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 52

Justia Opinion Summary: K.A., a twelve-year-old, middle-school boy, committed "inappropriate acts" outside his school, for which he was adjudged delinquent under a Vermont statute prohibiting lewd acts relating to prostitution. The charges stem...

Daims v. Town of Brattleboro  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 55

Justia Opinion Summary: Prior to a March 3, 2015 town meeting, plaintiffs submitted three separate petitions to amend the Brattleboro town charter. Among other things, the petitions sought to: (1) allow residents sixteen and older to vote at to...

Vermont v. Anderson  
Date: April 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 40

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant James Anderson appealed a trial court’s decision finding he violated two conditions of probation for his failure to complete sex offender programming to the satisfaction of his probation officer during the unsu...

Concord General Mutual Insurance Company v. Gritman  
Date: April 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 45

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Dylan Stinson appealed a judgment finding him liable to plaintiffs Kevin and Linda Flanagan for damage to their vacation home from a fire started in an outdoor fireplace on their deck by a group of teenagers wh...

Zink v. Zink  
Date: April 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 46

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband Bryan Zink appealed a trial court order denying his request to modify his spousal maintenance obligation and granting wife’s motion to enforce. He argued that the court erred in finding an absence of changed circ...

Vermont v. Cornell  
Date: April 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 47

Justia Opinion Summary: Convicted sex offender, defendant Owen Cornell, appealed the imposition of six probation conditions ordered by the sentencing court. He argued four of the conditions, that he reside or work where his probation officer ap...

In re Waterfront Park Act 250 Amendment (Alison Lockwood, Appellant)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 39

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1990, the City of Burlington obtained a land-use permit for the Waterfront Park (the Park). The City hosted a number of events at the Park in the summer of 1993 and may have hosted others prior to that time. In Decemb...

Clark v. Baker  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 42

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, the parents of a newborn baby, alleged that on June 12, 2012, their son died as a result of the medical malpractice of the Hospital defendants and the Baker defendants (Richard Baker, M.D. and Mary Beerworth,...

Vermont v. Reynolds  
Date: April 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 43

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Leo Reynolds was charged with four felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and one felony count of aggravated sexual assault on a victim younger than thirteen. Defendant was sixty-seven years...

TLOC Senior Living, LLC v. Bingham  
Date: April 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 44

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff TLOC Senior Living, LLC, owned and operated a senior living community in Middlebury, Vermont, doing business as “The Lodge at Otter Creek.” In July 2013, defendant Albert Bingham registered the name “The Lodge...

Burlington Administrators' Ass'n v. Burlington Bd. of School Comm'rs  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 35

Justia Opinion Summary: The Burlington Administrators’ Association and Nicolas Molander (collectively the Association) appealed a trial court’s confirmation of an arbitration decision that Molander, in his capacity as an interim assistant princ...

Vermont v. Gauthier  
Date: March 25, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 37

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Thomas Gauthier appealed a trial court’s order revoking his probation. In May 2009, defendant was charged with one count of engaging in a sexual act with a person under the age of sixteen, a felony, and one cou...

In re D.S.  
Date: March 25, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 38

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and father separately appeal from a family court judgment terminating their parental rights to the minor D.S. In March 2014, a CHINS petition as to D.S. was filed shortly before his birth based on the parents’ pat...

In re M.W.  
Date: March 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 28

Justia Opinion Summary: M.W. was born in August 2010. M.W. lived with his young parents in the maternal grandparents’ home for several months before moving into an apartment that the maternal grandfather built over a garage located fifty feet f...

Vermont v. Gates  
Date: March 16, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 36

Justia Opinion Summary: In December 2014, defendant Jeremy Gates was charged with felony extortion, domestic assault, and unlawful mischief in the amount of $250 or less following an incident involving his mother. Defendant appealed a 2016 supe...

Vermont v. Farrow  
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 30

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Tisa Farrow was arraigned on charges of driving under the influence (DUI). Before trial, defendant filed a motion in limine seeking to exclude from evidence the arresting officer’s testimony about his observati...

Burgess v. Lamoille Housing Partnership  
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 31

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Matthew Burgess appealed decisions of the superior court’s civil division which dismissed certain defendants and granting summary judgment to another defendant with respect to plaintiff’s claim that he was enti...

In re Christena Obregon, Esq.
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 32
Unifund CCR Partners v. Zimmer  
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 33

Justia Opinion Summary: Unifund CCR Partners, a debt buyer, was in the business of purchasing large portfolios of charged-off debts from original debt holders in the hope of eventually collecting from the original debtors. Unifund asserted the...

Osier v. Burlington Telecom  
Date: March 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 34

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-taxpayers Fred Osier and Eugene Shaver sued defendants Burlington Telecom, the City of Burlington and the City’s former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Jonathan Leopold to recover and restore to the City of...

Deveneau v. Weilt  
Date: March 4, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 21

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured when he struck a horse while driving on a Vermont State road. The horse belonged to Susan Wielt, who leased a house and land from Brian Toomey. Plaintiff sued Wielt and Toomey for negligence. Toomey...

Synecology Partners L3C v. Business RunTime, Inc.  
Date: March 4, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 29

Justia Opinion Summary: This was a dispute between two computer software companies. SynEcology Partners, L3C challenged the trial court’s order dismissing its complaint against Business RunTime, Inc. stemming from its failure to comply with Bus...

Vermont v. Mendez  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 24

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was a citizen of the Dominican Republic who lived and worked legally in Massachusetts as a permanent resident of the United States. In June 2013, he pleaded guilty to one charge of felony domestic assault stemm...

Vermont v. Atherton a/k/a Melton  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 25

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted by jury of sexual assault. On appeal of that conviction, he argued: (1) the seating of two biased jurors deprived him of his right to an impartial jury; (2) the trial court committed prejudicial e...

Vermont v. Rosenfield  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 27

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Rosenfield appealed the denial of his motion, which requested that the trial court “correct the record” by amending his third driving-under-the-influence (DUI) conviction to appear as a DUI-1. Defendant...

State v. Aaron Lontine
Date: February 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 26
Brisson Stone LLC v. Town of Monkton  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 15

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicants Allen Brisson, Michael Brisson, and Brisson Stone, LLC, claimed that their application for a commercial gravel extraction permit was allowed under the Town of Monkton’s zoning regulations. The Supreme Court af...

Vermont v. Bryan  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 16

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Thomas Bryan appeals appealed the denial of his motion to withdraw counsel and order finding him in violation of his probation. The critical question in this case was whether sexually touching a minor violated...

Morisseau v. Hannaford Brothers  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 17

Justia Opinion Summary: Claimant Debra Morisseau appealed a decision by the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor awarding summary judgment to employer Hannaford Brothers on the question of whether the employer was obligated to pay fo...

Vermont v. Careau  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 18

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his sentence and a special condition of probation imposed following a guilty plea for sexual assault of a minor. He argued that probation condition 43, which gave his probation officer unbridled author...

Vermont v. Alexander  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 19

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shamel Alexander appealed his conviction for trafficking heroin. He argued the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an unlawful seizure that was not supported...

In re Treetop Development Company Act 250 Development  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 20

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this dispute between the Treetop at Stratton Condominium Association, Inc. and the Stratton Corporation, Treetop Development Company, LLC, Treetop Three Development Company, LLC, and Intrawest Stratton Develo...

Vermont v. Atlantic Richfield Company  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 22

Justia Opinion Summary: An interlocutory appeal came before the Supreme Court, involving an issue of the “stream-of-commerce” doctrine of personal jurisdiction. Defendant Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. (TPRI) challenged a superior co...

In re T.M. and A.M.  
Date: February 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 23

Justia Opinion Summary: A father appealed a superior court order terminating his parental rights with respect to his two children, A.M. and T.M. Upon review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court concluded that the State failed to meet it...

In re Estate of Dezotell  
Date: February 5, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 14

Justia Opinion Summary: Decedent Lyman Dezotell was killed in an automobile accident in November 2001. At the time of his death, decedent had been married for about eight months to Maria Dezotell. Decedent had met Maria online, traveled to Roma...

In re Willowell Foundation Conditional Use Certificate of Occupancy  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 12

Justia Opinion Summary: The Willowell Foundation received a conditional-use permit to build a community center and related improvements on a large plot of land in the Town of Monkton. Neighbors challenged the permit, arguing the project violate...

In re Appeal of the Estate of Elaine Holbrook  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 13

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a disagreement among siblings regarding the allowance, validity, and interpretation of the will of their mother, Elaine Holbrook. David and Cheryl Holbrook, two of the testator’s six children and...

McGee v. Gonyo  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 8

Justia Opinion Summary: Pro se defendant Justin Gonyo appealed a family court order adjudicating nonparentage. The child at the center of this matter was born in 2011. Shortly thereafter, the child’s mother and defendant filed a Voluntary Ackno...

Adams v. Town of Sudbury  
Date: January 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 11

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of a struggle Vermont towns have had with taxing parcels of land that lie in more than one tax district. Taxpayer owned three units in a condominium community that was in both the Town of Sudbury and...

In re J.C. & T.F., Juveniles  
Date: January 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 9

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appealed a superior court order adjudicating the minors J.C. and T.F. to be children in need of care and supervision (CHINS). An in-home service provider with the Early Head Start program who visited the family on...

Demarest v. Town of Underhill  
Date: January 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 10

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Underhill appealed a trial court order that affirmed a decision of the County Road Commissioners requiring the Town to maintain a segment of Town Highway 26 (TH 26), a Class 4 highway. TH 26 has existed, in s...

Knutsen v. Cegalis  
Date: January 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 2

Justia Opinion Summary: In September 2012, a four-day hearing was held on father’s petition on behalf of the child for a final relief-from-abuse order against mother, as well as on mother’s cross-motion to modify parental rights and contact. Ac...

Wynkoop v. Stratthaus  
Date: January 15, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 5

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties to this appeal were co-lessees in a thirty-year ground lease for a ten-acre parcel of land owned by Star Meadows Farm, Inc. and located in Walden. The parties constructed improvements on the land and shared t...

Rasmussen v. Town of Fair Haven  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 1

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayer owned real property in the Town of Fair Haven. In 2014, the town listers assessed the value of the parcel at $585,800. Taxpayer appealed to the Board of Civil Authority (BCA). Taxpayer would not allow the BCA me...

In re Joseph Bruyette  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 3

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this motion presented for the Supreme Court's consideration was whether it should have adopted the “prison mailbox rule” and hold that a notice of appeal was deemed filed for purposes of Vermont Rule of Appella...

Vermont v. Alcide  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 4

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Ivan Alcide was charged with possession of heroin and cocaine and sought to suppress all evidence of drugs seized from his vehicle after a police dog indicated the presence of drugs. The trial court found that...

Baird v. City of Burlington  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 6

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerns appellants Sandra Baird and Jared Carter's standing to challenge the City of Burlington's recently adopted “Church Street Marketplace District trespass authority” ordinance (trespass ordinance). The Ma...

In re Election Petitions  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 2016 VT 7

Justia Opinion Summary: The Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) filed eight petitions with the Vermont Labor Relations Board to elect collective bargaining representatives under the Vermont Municipal Employee Relations Act (MERA). VSEA...

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