Relief from Abuse

The Vermont Relief from Abuse Statute provides that:

“Any family or household member may seek relief from abuse by another family or household member on behalf of himself or herself or his or her children by filing a complaint under this chapter. A minor 16 years of age or older, or a minor of any age who is in a dating relationship as defined in subdivision 1101(2) of this chapter, may file a complaint under this chapter seeking relief on his or her own behalf. The plaintiff shall submit an affidavit in support of the order.”  15 VSA 1103.

Given the broad nature of the statute, requests for Relief From Abuse Orders in Vermont (RFA’s for short), can, based on the individual allegations set forth in the affidavit of the complainant, vary significantly.

In many cases, the judge can grant a temporary RFA based solely on the affidavit if they find that the allegations set forth in the affidavit are sufficient to find that abuse occurred and that their is a danger of further abuse.

Relief that is commonly granted in Vermont RFA Orders may result in:

  • An individual being removed from their home;
  • A blanket no contact order between the defendant and complainant;
  • Restrictions or limitations on contact with minor children; and
  • A prohibition on possessing firearms.

Regardless of the temporary relief, a defendant in an RFA has a right to an evidentiary hearing.  This hearing allows them to examine the witnesses of the complainant and to bring in witnesses of their own to refute the allegations.

Chadwick & Spensley PLLC is available to represent both defendants and complainants   at Vermont Relief from Abuse hearings throughout Vermont.  With offices located in Brattleboro, Pittsford, Randolph and Rochester, the firm is never far from the needs of its clients.

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