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This is not a SCOV . . . really.  By Andy Delaney Once again, we have a month-plus of opinions to run through in a haphazard manner. Let’s get to it.  No opinions issued the week of April 23, 2021. I know it’s a little weird to say “week of” when talking about a Friday, but that’s the day the SCOV drops happen and that’s what I’m going with.  One decision April 16, and it’s…
By Andy Delaney While I write these up weekly, I don’t always post them. Hence, once again, we have a month and change to run through today. Let’s get to it.   One opinion this past week. It’s one of those tragic cases that doesn’t lend itself to humor. I’m sure most of us remember the wrong-way driver who killed five teenagers speeding the wrong way on the interstate, stole a police cruiser, again drove the…
No question many of us would like to be here right now State v. Spencer, 2021 VT 5 By Elizabeth Kruska Common occurrence: a person charged with an offense gets me on the blower and says something to the effect of, “well this needs to get dismissed on a technicality because the police didn’t read me my Mirandarights when they arrested me.” My response is frequently a gentle lawsplainer that can be pretty easily summed…
Put it on the books Baron v. McGinty, 2021 VT 6 By Andy Delaney This decision is a civil procedure case cloaked as an appeal from a child-support magistrate’s decision. If I’d known how important civil procedure was going to be in practice, I would’ve spent a lot more time in my first-year civ pro class taking notes and a lot less time playing Yahoo Pool against my classmates. Or maybe not. I remember sitting…
Lake Access Knaresborough Enterprises, LTD v. Dizazzo, 2021 VT 1 By Elizabeth Kruska  The facts of this case aren’t especially important to the reason for the appeal. Briefly, though, the dispute between the parties had to do with use of an easement over a property to access Lake Champlain. The matter kicked around in various stages of litigation until the spring of 2019 when the parties reached a partial settlement regarding the type of…
Betcha didn’t see the different picture comin’! By Andy Delaney Well, here we are a full month into 2021. Time sure flies when . . . uh. Never mind.  Two opinions on the 29th, both in the criminal-law realm. First up, we have a case dealing with whether Miranda warnings are relevant in a resisting-arrest case. To be clear, the issue didn’t come up at trial—the jurors had a question about it during deliberations. The…
Doggie Freakout Devices Green Mountain Fireworks v. Colchester, 2020 VT 64 By Elizabeth Kruska   Unpopular take: I don’t especially like fireworks. I never really understood them. I often went to see them on the Fourth of July with friends who liked them, so I’d go because they were going, not because I especially wanted to see the fireworks. (Sidenote: remember going places with friends? That was nice.) I know, however, that there are a…
Easement? I don’t need no stinkin’ easement Knaresborough Enterprises, LTD v. Dizazzo, 2021 VT 1 By Andy Delaney There’s nothing like lake access to get neighbors’ hackles up. This opinion hails from the shores of Lake Champlain.   Plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest had granted defendants’ predecessor-in-interest an easement for access to a beach on plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff wasn’t thrilled with the situation and filed a declaratory judgment action in the civil division to determine the extent of what rights,…
Flowery, Like the Idiom In re H.H., 2020 VT 107 By Elizabeth Kruska This opinion contains a cheeky British idiom I’d never heard before: “comes a cropper.” It means “to suffer a misfortune or to fail.” An American analogue would be “falls apart” or “goes sideways.” Spoiler alert: the State’s argument did all of that in this case, so the matter gets reversed and remanded to the Human Services Board for further hearing.  When a…
Government Surveillance Drones Peralta v. Brannan, 2020 VT 100 By Elizabeth Kruska Vermont has a fairly new statute that is often referred to as the de facto parentage statute. Boiled way down, it’s a way for someone who is not a biological parent to attain a legally recognized status of a child as a parent. It’s a change recognizing that families aren’t necessarily as easily defined as birth parents and birth children. This doesn’t mean…