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Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Subsequent PCR Petition

In Charles Chandler v. State, 2016 VT 62 (May 27, 2016), the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed the superior court’s dismissal of Chandler’s “Petition for Extraordinary Relief.”

Issue: Charles Chandler was convicted of impeding a public officer in 2009, and has appealed the conviction multiple times. In Chandler’s most recent appeal, the petition for extraordinary relief, he sought relief for specific acts and omission by his former attorney. The superior court dismissed his petition, and Chandler argued on appeal that the trial court misconstrued his pleading as a successive petition for post-conviction relief (PCR).

Holding: The Court affirmed the superior court’s dismissal of Chandler’s petition, finding that while he re-characterized his petition, his motion really was a PCR petition and, as such, was properly dismissed. Regarding Chandler’s motion to disqualify the trial judge, the Court found that there was no abuse of discretion, and that plaintiff’s motion was not enough to overcome the “presumption of honesty and integrity” afforded to judges in Vermont.

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