Vermont

ASSOCIATION

OF COUNTY JUDGES

2017-18
  • Hon. Karen Bradley, Pres.
  • Hon. Robert Johnson, V. P.
  • Hon. Jack Anderson, Treas.
  • Hon. Joyce McKeeman, Sec.

Chittenden

Superior Court
175 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05401

  • Judge Edward J. Costello Courthouse Burlington Vermont
  • COUNTY JUDGES AND OFFICERS

    Assistant Judges
    Hon. Connie Cain Ramsey 802-651-1720
    Hon. Charles L. Delaney 802-651-1641
    Email: Connie Ramsey
    Email: Charles Delaney

    County Clerk
    Anne Williams 802-951-5106
    P.O. Box 187
    Burlington, VT 05402
    ChittendenCountyClerk@gmail.com
    Mon. – Fri. 7:30 – 4

    County Sheriff
    Kevin McLaughlin

    Sheriff’s Office Address
    P.O. Box 1426
    70 Ethan Allen Drive
    So. Burlington, VT 05402
    802-863-4341

    Probate Judge
    Hon. Gregory J. Glennon 802-651-1518

    Probate Division
    P. O. Box 511
    175 Main Street
    Burlington, VT 05402
    Gregory.Glennon@Vermont.gov

    Civil Division
    P. O. Box 187
    175 Main Street
    Burlington, VT 05402

    Criminal Division
    32 Cherry Street, Suite 300
    Burlington, VT 05401
    802-651-1950

    Family Division
    32 Cherry Street, Suite 200
    Burlington, VT 05401
    802-651-1709

  • Courthouse Staff

    Assistant Judge Connie Cain Ramsey

    Connie was elected Assistant Judge in 2010 and started her first four-year term in February 2011.Judge Ramsey was re-elected in 2014 for the 2015 to 2019 term. She will be running again for the 2019 to 2023 term.

    Judge Ramsey is extremely dedicated to making sure all citizens of Chittenden County recieve a fair trial with a local citizen present.She is also dedicated to helping to ensure victims of domestic violence are kept safe, and that the best interests of children are considered above all else in divorce proceedings.


    Judge Ramsey has been trained by the State of Vermont in Courtroom Ethics and Procedure, and Uncontested Divorce Proceedings, and has earned the State Accreditation to Preside over Uncontested Divorces. In 2016 Ramsey travelled to the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and received 40 hours of training toward her VT Certification and Qualification as a Civil Mediator. She is an active member of the National Association of County Judges, as well as the Vermont Association of Assistant Judges. She also the author of historical, court-related articles.

    Judge Ramsey lives in Chittenden County with her husband Jack, Dachshund Oscar, and has two grown children, both educated within the Chittenden County Community (Burlington School System K-12, and UVM), Polly Mangan and J. Taggart Ramsey.


    Chittenden County Clerk Anne Williams

    Anne Williams was appointed Chittenden County Clerk on September 1, 2010 by Assistant Judges Thomas Crowley and Elizabeth Gretkowski, now retired and continuing appointment by the sitting Assistant Judges Charles Delaney and Connie Ramsey. She was born in Teaneck, New Jersey in the mid-sixties, and raised in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Anne attended the High Mowing School in Wilton, New Hampshire, and graduated from Keene State College with a degree in Business and Communications, Magna Cum Laude.

    Anne came to Vermont in 1995 after searching for a locale to raise her children. She felt that Vermont offered quality educational opportunities as well as the type of community that appreciates family values for all types of families. Her sons have graduated from South Burlington High School and Burlington High School and are continuing with their educations out of state. Her daughter attends school in the Burlington School District.

    Anne started her career in State Government in 2002, working as a trial court docket clerk and court room operator in the Criminal Court, and then became deputy clerk in the Superior Court prior to her appointment.

    Anne enjoys many of Vermont’s outdoor activities, she is an active gardener and skier, she commutes to work by bicycle or running via the Burlington Bike path, weather permitting. Besides her children and beloved husband Eric, Anne has a pug and a Shih Tzu Max and Ellie. Anne is also a licensed foster parent and an award winning cook.

  • Courthouse History


    Courtesy Special Collections, University of Vermont

    Built from 1903 – 1907, the former federal Post Office and Custom House is a strikingly beautiful marble building designed by James Knox Taylor, the architect of the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C.
    Conversion of the 32,000 square-foot, downtown Burlington building into the new Chittenden County Courthouse was planned by the Chittenden County Courthouse Committee members starting in 1972, approved by Chittenden County voters in 1974, and completed in 1975.


    Plaque that is on the building listing the Courthouse Committee members.

    Chittenden County’s Past Courthouses


    Courtesy Special Collections, University of Vermont

    1859 photo of City Hall Park.

    1. The First Courthouse is Built in the Center of City Hall Park in 1797.

    The county’s first court session was held in 1788 at the home of war hero Ira Allen, (where The Winooski Block stands today), in a section of Colchester called Winooski Falls (which later became the city of Winooski). Colchester was declared the county’s “Shire Town”.

    Two years later, in 1790, Burlington was named the new Shire Town of Chittenden County, and court was held at Gideon King’s Tavern. That building is still standing at 35 King Street.

    By 1797, the citizens of Chittenden County felt the need for a courthouse solely dedicated to the ministrations of justice. The first courthouse was built in the center of Courthouse Square (now City Hall Park) and served the county until 1801.

    2. The Second Courthouse was built in 1801, on the west side of Church Street, where City Hall is now.

    The first courthouse was razed just four years after its construction to make way for a facility large enough to also host the Vermont State legislature (who subsequently moved to Montpelier in 1805). A fire destroyed this courthouse in 1828 and it was promptly replaced in the same spot by a third courthouse.

    (Unfortunately, I could not find a photo of the first or second courthouses.)

    3. The Third Courthouse was built in 1828 in the same spot as the second.


    Courtesy Special Collections, University of Vermont

    This third courthouse served the county for forty-five years until 1873 when it became the Fletcher Free Library. (left)
    Burlington built its Town Hall next to the courthouse in 1854. (right)


    Courtesy Special Collections, University of Vermont

    The above 1926 photo is of the foundations being dug during the construction of City Hall, where Town Hall and the old Courthouse/Library used to be. The fourth and present courthouses can both be seen in the background to the left.

  • Courthouse Today

    The Chittenden County Courthouse of Vermont

    Chittenden Superior Court holds the largest amount of civil court cases in Vermont. The Court hears predominately civil cases that involve the private rights of individuals and organizations. We are located at 175 Main Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

    Chittenden, like all Vermont counties, has two elected Assistant Judges who are responsible for County affairs in addition to their court responsibilities.

    Chittenden Superior Court also handles passport processing and houses the Probate Court which is responsible for wills, trusts, estate settlements, name changes, adoptions, guardianships and uniform gifts to minors. The Chittenden County Probate is the largest Probate Court in Vermont.

    The Honorable Gregory J. Glennon presides over the Probate Court.

    The Chittenden County Superior Courthouse stands in downtown Burlington, at the southeast corner of Church and Main Streets. It is a large three-story masonry structure, its exterior finished in marble and dressed granite. The principal facade faces Main Street, and is five bays wide. The ground floor appears as a basement level, with large blocks of marble in horizontal bands and stylized arching over the window openings. The second and third floors, which are in a U shape opening to the south, have windows (tall on the second floor, short on the third) articulated by paired Ionic columns. The building is crowned by an entablature, ventilated cornice, and low balustrade.

    The federal government built the courthouse building from 1903 through 1907, it is one of the state’s finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. Until 1972 it served as a post office, custom house and federal courthouse. From 1963 until 1972 as the Smith-Goldberg Army Reserve Center) and remained in the Federal inventory. In 1972 The Treasury Department declared the building surplus, and it was acquired by in 1974 by Chittenden County.

    Passports

    The County of Chittenden is pleased to offer passport services to residents of the County. We process applications for first time applicants and anyone under the age of 16, by appointment from Monday through Thursday 8 to 3:30. Please call Anne at 802-951-5106 to make your appointment or for more information. For the most recent forms and information please visit the Department of State’s website at www.travel.state.gov

    Notary Commissions

    Notary applications are available at the courthouse, there is a $30.00 fee. the application must be notarized and valid ID is required.

    A person who wishes to become a Vermont notary public must be appointed by the assistant judges in the Vermont county in which he or she resides or, if a resident of an adjoining state, the Vermont county in which he or she is employed. The certificate of appointment must be filed and recorded in the office of the county clerk where issued.

    Notaries public hold office until ten days after the term of the appointing assistant judges expire, which is on the same date, every four years. The current commission expires February 10, 2019.

  • Courthouse Chronicles

    A visitor to the Burlington courthouse on Main Street will pass by two poster boards denoting important events in our courthouse’s history. These events piqued my curiosity, and so I researched some of the stories in depth.

    As a result, in conjunction with the Burlington Free Press, I am happy to present “The Chittenden County Courthouse Chronicles.” There are twelve chronicles written to date, beginning with the case of Woodhouse versus Woodhouse, Allienation of Affection – December 1922.

    Each article is in PDF format and will open in a new tab. Thanks for reading!

    “Alienation of Affection” Woodhouse versus Woodhouse – December, 1922

    Lorenzo and his wife Mary Kennedy Woodhouse had a young son, Douglas, who in 1917 caught the eye of the beautiful Dorrit at a UVM dance. Dorrit Stevens, the daughter of a poor soap salesman, grew up in Burlington in the shadow of the Woodhouses’s South Willard Street mansion.


    The Founding of Chittenden County and Its Courts

    Thomas Chittenden’s Fourteen-Year Fight for the Fourteenth State.

    At the same time America was fighting for independence from the British, Thomas Chittenden was fighting for Vermont’s independence from New York and New Hampshire. Each had a claim on the land that was then called the New Hampshire Grants.


    Chittenden County Jails

    Until 1969 all Vermont counties were responsible for their own prison systems. In Chittenden
    County in the shire town of Burlington, many will remember a stately, elegant Main Street Victorian mansion… with a jail attached. This memorable house was built in 1888, the jail was added to it in 1907 and stood until 1972.


    The Side Judge – A History of Vermont’s Assistant Judges

    In crafting the Vermont Constitution, the perceived need for “local knowledge” in a court case resulted in the establishment of the position of Assistant Judge. The Assistant Judge was to be a locally elected citizen to act as an intermediary between the traveling judge, who may have been from New York or Boston, and the local lawyers and townspeople.


    The Estate of Susan Hamilton, 1989

    Although the cornerstone of the American Constitution is its proclamation of equality for all, over the course of our history, it’s been the day-to-day courtroom battles that have moved equal rights from ideology to reality.


    Vermont’s Nomadic Judges

    Although the Traveling Judge or Circuit Judge is a character known to most of us from history
    books and tales of the Old West, the reasons for these mobile judges was based on one simple fact – there weren’t enough judges to go around,


    State of Vermont versus Cyrus B. Dean – Chittenden County Court’s First Criminal Case

    By land or by sea, smugglers trafficked goods through the rugged Green Mountains (Smugglers’ Notch) and across the blue-grey waters of Lake Champlain. It was smuggling on Lake Champlain that led to Chittenden County Court’s first recorded criminal case – a murder trial that was to become known as “The Black Snake Affair.”


    The Ghost of Mildred Brewster

    If you happen to visit Montpelier’s Washington County Courthouse you will notice the building’s brick, four-pillared, Greek revival design and elegant curvilinear stairway leading to the upstairs courtroom. You may also notice the flood of 1927’s high water mark just above your head in the lobby. You will not, however, notice the courthouse’s most omnipresent inhabitant, Mildred Brewster, because she’s invisible. Mildred is a ghost.


    “Bad Cop” – The Paul Lawrence Affair

    The movie Serpico, released in 1973, became a big hit for Al Pacino, who played Officer Frank
    Serpico, a real-life undercover detective in New York who helped expose corruption in the
    N.Y.C. police department.

    Coincidentally, during that same time period in Vermont, a series of events took place that oddly paralleled the Serpico movie. A young 21-year-old undercover police detective named Kevin Bradley played the Pacino-like role in a case that rocked the perceived unimpeachable integrity of Vermont, and challenged the local belief that something like that “couldn’t happen here.”


    “Judge Eaton” – The ‘Duke’ of Woodstock

    Like many college graduates born in Vermont, Duke Eaton considered the opportunities of an out-of-state career. But he was too proud of being a Vermonter to be lured away from his home state. He once statedto a colleague: “Why play for an away team when you can play for the home team?”


    Judge Edward J. Costello

    On any given day, people from varied walks of life, including lawyers and
    judges, accusers and the accused, pass through the doors of the Judge Edward J.
    Costello Courthouse complex at 32 – 36 Cherry Street in Burlington. Just who was
    this man whose lifetime of work on the bench merited the high honor of having a
    Chittenden County courthouse named after him?


    Disorder in the Court

    In 1971, the Chittenden County Courthouse was as much a fossil as the fossils
    embedded in the Isle La Motte blue-grey stone that trimmed the classic Redstone block
    walls of the century-old Burlington landmark.