Police lawsuit bill goes to House floor

By Guy Page

A bill requiring a legal analysis of removing qualified immunity from Vermont police officers has been voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. 

S254 was introduced as a Senate bill to strip all Vermont police of their immunity from civil rights lawsuits stemming from their work. Faced by concerns that exposing police to lawsuits from litigious anti-police organizations would almost certainly deplete an already thinly-staffed Thin Blue Line, the Senate instead opted for further study.

The House version changes the study language but does not reimpose the original Senate bill language removing qualified immunity. 

The House Judiciary Committee vote on S254 was 7-4 in favor. The bill is on today’s House “notice calendar,” meaning it will likely be up for House debate and preliminary approval tomorrow. 

Last week, Windham County Sheriff Mark Anderson said he would terminate his department’s contracts with 14 towns if his officers lose qualified immunity. 

Categories: Legislation

3 replies »

  1. Can we start to use legislation to “build up” instead of always “stripping down”? Our legislation is always so negative, hateful, threatening, and demeaning

  2. Why not strip qualified immunity from legislative personnel? If anyone is harmed by one of their laws they should be held liable. Strip it from judges so that if they let someone off with a slight sentence or without bail, and they reoffend, the judge should be able sued and held responsible.

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