Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
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Rules Governing the
Superior Court of the Virgin Islands

RULES GOVERNING THE TERRITORIAL COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Part I GENERAL PROVISIONS

Part II PROCEDURE IN THE CIVIL DIVISION

Part III PROCEDURE IN SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION

Part IV PROCEDURE IN CONCILIATION DIVISION

Part V PROCEDURE IN FAMILY DIVISION

Part VI PROCEDURE IN THE CRIMINAL DIVISION

Part VII PROCEDURE ON APPEAL TO THE DISTRICT COURT

Part VIII PROBATE AND FIDUCIARY PROCEEDINGS

Part IX VIRGIN ISLANDS BAR

Part X RULES FOR THE MAGISTRATE DIVISION

Preface to the First General Amendments to the Rules of the
Territorial Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands


In the 1984 amendments to the Revised Organic Act of 1954, as amended, P.L. 98-454, Congress granted the Territorial Court the authority to promulgate "rules governing the practice and procedure of the courts established by local law . . . and the times and the places of holding court . . .". See section 21(c) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, as amended. Pursuant to this authority and 4 V.I.C. ' 76, the Court, in aid of its expanded jurisdiction, undertook to revise its Rules of Practice and Procedure. The first phase of this task was completed on December 13, 1993 when the proposed amendments were circulated for comment. The deadline for comment was January 21, 1994 but this was extended after several requests were received.

The amendments are intended to reflect modern conditions and the increased judicial autonomy granted by Congress to the people of the Virgin Islands. Also, the Court's expanded jurisdiction and its added responsibility to regulate the admission and disciplining of members of the Bar required a comprehensive revision of the rules consistent therewith. At the same time, however, consideration had to be given to ensuring that any comprehensive revision be as consistent as possible with the rules of the District Court of the Virgin Islands for the convenience of the members of the V.I. Bar.

Numerous comments, some of considerable length and detail, were received in response to the Court's request for comment. The comments were analyzed by the Court and as a result, a number of modifications to the proposed amendments were made. Obviously, the amendments will not satisfy the objections of all concerned, given the conflicting positions of the various interested parties. Nevertheless, the rules have now been finalized and their promulgation should go a long way towards facilitating the practice of law in the Territorial Court.

In undertaking the first general amendment of its rules, the Court acknowledges the contributions of those individuals, law firms, and agencies who submitted their comments, and urges all users of these rules to notify the Court of any errors and/or omissions which may be noted so that an appropriate Errata sheet may be published, if necessary.