Vermont Executive Secretary
Administrative Office of Courts
Administered by the Office of the Court Administrator, Vermont’s judicial system was divided in 1990 into civil, criminal, family, probate, and environmental. Further divisions operate in each of the counties, with the Supreme Court having appellate jurisdiction over all five divisions. Before 1990 the judicial system was divided by county, with county courts (renamed to superior courts) and district courts. The Vermont Public Records Division preserves historical records on microfilm; recent cases remain at the county court offices.
Vermont Court Record Availability
Except for certain online research capabilities, all court record access must be done at the local level. A list of statewide court fees is found at www.vermontjudiciary.org/Resources/courtfees.aspx.
Access to Vermont Court Records
Appellate opinions since 1990 and civil opinions since 2002 are available online for free. The Office of the Court Administrator has a goal to make all case files electronic. While “Vermont Courts Online” has case information on all Criminal and Family Divisions cases, only 12 of 14 Civil Division cases are included. In 2011, the public is only allowed access to civil division records. Written requests for criminal checks cost $30. Court transcripts can be ordered through independent vendors.
Vermont Courts Online charges a $12.50 start-up fee for five cases, available to the public for civil cases only. Criminal checks ordered through the Criminal Division cost $30.
Vermont court records date to 1777. Criminal and civil cases on “Vermont Courts Online” date to 1995, with public access to civil cases only.