The Board of Civil Authority is comprised of the elected Justices of the Peace and the Selectboard. It has an importance in town in the areas of elections, appeals of property valuations, representing the position of the town as it relates to the Vermont House and the Vermont Senate. Members, who are Justices of the Peace, may also officiate at weddings.
Elections: The Board of Civil Authority has charge of the conduct of elections, including determining the qualification of applications to the voter checklist, staffing of the polls, counting ballots, and transporting ballots to voters and for other election business.
Appeals and Tax Abatement: The Board of Civil Authority hears appeals from the decisions of the Listers. The BCA hears the appeal and testimony, conducts a site inspection and renders a final decision in writing. The BCA will conduct hearings on abatement of taxes to determine whether a taxpayer’s tax obligation should be forgiven under certain circumstances. For details on your rights as a property owner, click here to download the A Handbook on Property Tax Assessment Appeals, published by the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office.
Representation: The BCA acts as the voice of the town on matters that come up at the State level. For instance, the BCAs of the towns in a legislative district may vote to have a legislative district of two representative become two single-rep districts, within the scope of the law.
BCA Members (* designates Justice of the Peace, in office until February 2, 2019)
Justices of the Peace are elected locally, but are actually count officers. The number of positions in a town is determined by population. Huntington has seven JPs. The political position is elected for two years during a General Election, held in November. Candidates are chosen either at the Party caucus or by Party Committee. Independent candidates must get signatures on a petition in order to appear on the ballot; the State of Vermont determines the deadline for petitions for Independent candidates.
Justices of the Peace
- may officiate marriages in Vermont.
- may also administer oaths in all cases where an oath is required, unless a specific law makes a different provision.
- is a notary public ex officio and has all the acknowledgment powers of a notary public. However, the Justice of the Peace must file with the county clerk in order to act as a notary public (but the fee is waived).
- may also serve as a magistrate when so commissioned by the Supreme Court.