The Vermont Statutes Online
1109. Remedies for failure to pay
(a) As used in
due" means all financial assessments contained in a Judicial Bureau
judgment, including penalties, fines, surcharges, court costs, and any other
assessment authorized by law.
"Designated collection agency" means a collection agency designated
by the Court Administrator.
(b) A Judicial
Bureau judgment shall provide notice that a $30.00 fee shall be assessed for
failure to pay within 30 days. If the defendant fails to pay the amount due
within 30 days, the fee shall be added to the judgment amount and deposited in
the Court Technology Special Fund established pursuant to section 27 of this
contempt proceedings. If an amount due remains unpaid for 75 days after the
Judicial Bureau provides the defendant with a notice of judgment, the Judicial
Bureau may initiate civil contempt proceedings pursuant to this subsection.
(1) Notice of
hearing. The Judicial Bureau shall provide notice by first class mail sent to
the defendant's last known address that a contempt hearing will be held
pursuant to this subsection, and that failure to appear at the contempt hearing
may result in the sanctions listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection.
(2) Failure to
appear. If the defendant fails to appear at the contempt hearing, the hearing
officer may direct the clerk of the Judicial Bureau to do one or more of the
(A) Cause the
matter to be reported to one or more designated collection agencies.
(B) Refer the
matter to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for contempt proceedings.
electronic notice thereof to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles who shall
suspend the person's operator's license or privilege to operate. However, the
person shall become eligible for reinstatement if the amount due is paid or
(3) Hearing. The
hearing shall be conducted in a summary manner. The hearing officer shall
examine the defendant and any other witnesses and may require the defendant to
produce documents relevant to the defendant's ability to pay the amount due.
The State or municipality shall not be a party except with the permission of
the hearing officer. The defendant may be represented by counsel at the
defendant's own expense.
(A) The hearing
officer may conclude that the defendant is in contempt if the hearing officer
states in written findings a factual basis for concluding that:
defendant knew or reasonably should have known that he or she owed an amount due
on a Judicial Bureau judgment;
defendant had the ability to pay all or any portion of the amount due; and
defendant failed to pay all or any portion of the amount due.
(B) In the
contempt order, the hearing officer may do one or more of the following:
(i) Set a date
by which the defendant shall pay the amount due.
(ii) Assess an
additional penalty not to exceed ten percent of the amount due.
(iii) Order that
the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles suspend the person's operator's license or privilege
to operate. However, the person shall become eligible for reinstatement if the
amount due is paid or otherwise satisfied.
that the Criminal Division of the Superior Court incarcerate the defendant
until the amount due is paid. If incarceration is recommended pursuant to this
subdivision (4), the Judicial Bureau shall notify the Criminal Division of the
Superior Court that contempt proceedings should be commenced against the
defendant. The Criminal Division of the Superior Court proceedings shall be de
novo. If the defendant cannot afford counsel for the contempt proceedings in
the Criminal Division of the Superior Court, the Defender General shall assign
counsel at the Defender General's expense.
(1) If an amount
due remains unpaid after the issuance of a notice of judgment, the Court
Administrator may authorize the clerk of the Judicial Bureau to refer the
matter to a designated collection agency.
(2) The Court
Administrator or the Court Administrator's designee is authorized to contract
with one or more collection agencies for the purpose of collecting unpaid
Judicial Bureau judgments pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7171.
(e) For purposes
of civil contempt proceedings, venue shall be statewide.
Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 502, the Court Administrator is authorized to
contract with a third party to collect fines, penalties, and fees by credit
card, debit card, charge card, prepaid card, stored value card, and direct bank
account withdrawals or transfers, as authorized by 32 V.S.A. § 583, and to add
on and collect, or charge against collections, a processing charge in an amount
approved by the Court Administrator. (Added 2007, No. 51, § 2; amended 2007,
No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2009, No. 154, § 238; 2013, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), §