Administrative Procedure Act – Vermont

Vermont Administrative Procedures Act is found in Title 3, chapter 25 of Vermont Statutes.  According to 3 V.S.A. § 800, the purposes of the Act are to maximize the involvement of the public in the development of rules and consistent inclusion of public participation in the rule-making processes.

3 V.S.A. § 806 provides that a person may submit a written request to an agency asking the agency to adopt, amend or repeal a procedure or rule.  Within 30 days of receiving the request, the agency may adopt a procedure or deny the request, giving its reasons in writing.  3 V.S.A. § 807, requires an agency to issue a declaratory judgment with respect to the validity or applicability of a rule, if the rule or its application interferes with or impairs a legal right or privilege of the plaintiff.

According to 3 V.S.A. § 809, in a contested case, all parties should be given an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice.  Also, opportunity should be given to all parties to respond and present evidence and argument on all issues involved.  Findings of fact should be based exclusively on the evidence and on matters officially noticed.  Further, informal disposition may be made of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order, or default.  3 V.S.A. § 810 provides that in contested cases, irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence should be excluded.  Further, a party may conduct cross-examinations required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

As per 3 V.S.A. § 812, a final decision or order adverse to a party in a contested case should be in writing or stated in the record.  A final decision should include findings of fact and conclusions of law.  3 V.S.A. § 815 provides for the judicial review of contested cases.  A person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available within the agency and who is aggrieved by a final decision in any contested case may appeal that decision to the Supreme Court.

3 V.S.A. § 817 provides for creation of a legislative committee on administrative rules to hold public hearings on a proposed or previously adopted rule.  As per 3 V.S.A. § 820, an interagency committee on administrative rules is created for assistance in the review, evaluation and coordination of programs and activities of state agencies, and to promote the purposes of Vermont Administrative Procedure Act.

3 V.S.A. § 836 contains the procedure for adoption of rules.  Rules should be adopted by taking the following steps:

  • prefiling,
  • filing proposed rule,
  • publishing proposed rule,
  • holding public hearing and receiving comments,
  • filing final proposal,
  • responding to legislative committee on administrative rules, and
  • filing adopted rule.

According to 3 V.S.A. § 837, a rule should be prefiled with the interagency committee on administrative rules fifteen days before filing the proposed rule.  As per 3 V.S.A. § 838, proposed rules should be filed with the secretary of state along with an economic impact statement and an incorporation by reference statement.

3 V.S.A. § 839 directs the secretary of state to arrange for formal publications of information relating to the proposal.  Formal publications should be made on Thursdays in a consolidated advertisement in the newspapers of record.  In addition to formal publication, the secretary of state should also arrange for publication of an abbreviated notice of proposed rules on a weekly basis in selected newspapers in the state.

According to 3 V.S.A. § 840, an agency may hold public hearings for each proposed rule.  Further, an agency should afford all persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views or arguments, orally or in writing.  The agency should also consider fully all written and oral submissions concerning the proposed rule, and all submissions on separate requirements for small businesses.

As per 3 V.S.A. § 841, after considering public comment an agency should file a final proposal with the secretary of state and with the legislative committee on administrative rules.  3 V.S.A. § 842 provides that within forty-five days after the filing of a final proposal, the legislative committee on administrative rules, reviews the final proposal.

According to 3 V.S.A. § 843, an adopting authority may adopt a properly filed final proposed rule after the passage of thirty days from the date a rule is first placed on the committee’s agenda or forty-five days after filing of a final proposal, whichever occurs first.  Adoption will be complete upon proper filing of the rule with the secretary of state and with the legislative committee on administrative rules.

As per 3 V.S.A. § 844 If an agency finds that an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare requires adoption of emergency rule, it may proceed to adopt an emergency rule without having been prefiled or filed in proposed or final proposed form.  Such rule is effective for a period of not longer than 120 days.


Inside Administrative Procedure Act – Vermont