Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
FAQ - Civil Division
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What is a civil suit?

A civil suit is a dispute between two or more parties in which one accuses the other of violating some rule of civil law, which has caused an injury. Either party may be an individual or a corporation. Parties may seek money damages or equitable relief such as injunctions.

Do I need a lawyer to represent me?

Frequently, parties retain a lawyer to represent them in general civil lawsuits. However, a litigant may appear pro se (without a lawyer). Please note that in civil cases, all rules of evidence apply. In order to promote orderly and swift administration of justice, this Court adheres to both the rules and procedures established by the Superior Court and the Federal Civil Procedure and Rules. The rules are binding on this Court and those who appear before it. Further, the rules and procedures do not change because an individual may be representing himself or herself. The court will require you to follow the same rules and procedures that an attorney must follow.

Please note that all Court employees, including judicial assistants and Court Clerks, are prohibited from preparing complaints and other documents required for the filing of a general civil complaint. Court employees are prohibited from giving legal advice. If you have questions about your legal rights, the law or how to proceed with your case, you are strongly urged to seek the advice of an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may contact Legal Services of the Virgin Islands at (340) 774-6720 on the island of St. Thomas or (340) 773-2626 on the island of St. Croix. You may also contact the V.I. Bar Association at (340) 778-7497.

What do I do if I am served with a civil complaint?

If you are served with a civil complaint, you should consider speaking with an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that you protect all of the civil and procedural rights afforded to you under the law. Should you choose to proceed pro se, (without an attorney) you must conduct all legal research on your own and provide an appropriate response within the time provided for by law. Failure to respond or answer within a timely fashion can result in judgment being entered against you.

What is the fee for filing a civil complaint?

The cost of filing a civil complaint is Fifty Dollars ($50.00).

What is the fee for issuing a Summons?

The fee for issuing a summons is Thirty Dollars ($30.00).

What is the fee for issuing a Subpoena?

The fee for issuing a subpoena is Thirty Dollars ($30.00).

What is Civil Mediation?

Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third person called a “mediator” acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. Mediation can be an expedient and cost-effective means of resolving disputes. It is an informal and non-adversarial meeting where the parties themselves have an opportunity to discuss the disputed issues, and reach a mutually agreeable resolution without having to proceed to trial. Counsel may represent parties during the mediation, but the parties retain final authority in accepting proposed settlements.

How can a civil case be referred to mediation?

Superior Ct. R. 40(b)(1) states that a Judge may order the parties to mediate, or the parties themselves may file a written stipulation to mediate any issue between them at any time.

Some cases may not be the subject of mediation, including criminal actions; appeals from rulings of administrative agencies; forfeitures of seized property; habeaus corpus and extraordinary writs; declaratory relief; any case assigned by the Court to a multidistrict tribunal; or other matters as my be specified by order of a Judge in the territory.

Who are the individuals authorized to conduct civil mediations?

Individual mediators are certified by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. The requirements for certification are provided for in Superior Court Rule 40. For a list of civil mediators approved by the Superior Court, click here.

Where can I find the Fees of the Clerk of the Court?

FAQ - Civil Division
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