Andrew Delaney

Latest Articles

Close but not quite State v. Alzaga, 2019 VT 63 By Andrew Delaney Mr. Alzaga got hit with a DUI-refusal charge. Contrary to what it sounds like, this is not a criminal charge for refusing to drive while under the influence. In Vermont, if you’ve been convicted of DUI, then you can’t refuse a breath test if a law-enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to request one. “Reasonable grounds” in this context is akin to probable…
Safer bet for a service animal Gill Terrace Retirement Apartments v. Johnson, 2017 VT 88 By Elizabeth Kruska Here’s a landlord-tenant case from some time ago. Ms. Johnson was a tenant in the Gill Terrace Retirement Apartments in Ludlow. Ms. Johnson started living in her apartment in 2002. Also important to know is that part of her rent was paid with federal housing assistance. Not sure when, but sometime after October 1, 2009, Ms. Johnson’s…
Time is money Doyle v. Burlington Police Dept., 2019 VT 66 By Jacob Oblak A citizen named Reed Doyle witnesses an incident in a public park involving Burlington Police officers, and he becomes concerned about the officers’ use of force. So Mr. Doyle does two things. He makes a citizen complaint to the police directly, and he asks to view the police’s body camera footage of the incident. The police chief tells Mr. Doyle his…
Some cases are just sad.  Estate of Berry v. Fishman, 2019 VT 63 By Andrew Delaney This decision deals with Vermont’s recreational use statutes and the limits on liability. If you’re not familiar, the statutes essentially exempt landowners from liability when someone uses their land for recreational purposes and no consideration is paid for the use. This is a tragic case. Three-year-old Parker Berry drowned while attending Elephant in the Field daycare in Waterbury, Vermont.…
You know what this place needs?A parking lot.  In re Purvis Nonconforming Use, 2019 VT 60 By Andrew Delaney Back in 2014, the City of Burlington found out that Mr. Purvis had paved paradise and put up a parking lot. To be fair, I don’t know anything about whether Mr. Purvis’s property is or is not paradise and whether the expansion of his parking area was with pavement or something else, but I wasn’t…
This setup is not final In re C.P., 2019 VT 62 (mem.) By Andrew Delaney Sometimes, an appeal isn’t complete enough for SCOV to do anything but dismiss the appeal. In most cases, a basic requirement for SCOV to review an order is that the order be final. Occasionally, there’s an interlocutory appeal but in the normal course of things in the appellate world, an order has to be final before it can be appealed…
Oblak v. University of Vermont Police Services, 2019 VT 56 Just a document.Nothing special about it . . . or is there? By Elizabeth Kruska This case is sort of a go-with to In re: Affidavit of Probable Cause, which was published earlier this year. The basic facts are this: a person called W.R. was investigated for an offense by the UVM Police Department, and was ultimately cited to go to court to face a…
Where’s the key?  In re Affidavit of Probable Cause, 2019 VT 43 By Elizabeth Kruska Interestingly, court records—by and large—are public documents. Suppose you read about a legal case on the interwebs and you think, “Huh. I think I’d like to know more about that case.” You can. You just go to the courthouse, ask to see the file, and in most cases, you get to look at it. You can even make copies. I…
Are they really lies?If there’s a privilege, it won’tsupport a defamation claim  Couture v. Trainer, 2017 VT 73 By Andrew Delaney Dad sued mom and aunt because he claimed that they coached daughter in saying “Daddy hit me.” He also alleged that they submitted defamatory audio and video recordings of daughter’s statements to his parole officer, and that mom made false statements to his parole officer and in mom’s petition for relief from abuse. Dad…