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

Rule 160. Violations clerk

(a) Appointment and functions. The court, whenever it determines that the efficient disposition of its business and the convenience of persons charged so requires, may constitute the clerk or deputy clerk of the court for a judicial division or any other appropriate official of the government, or, if such other appropriate officials are not available for appointment, any suitable and responsible person, as violations clerk for such judicial division. It shall be the function of a violations clerk to accept appearances, waiver of trial, plea of guilty and payment of fine and costs in traffic offenses, subject to the limitations hereinafter prescribed. The violations clerks shall serve under the direction and control of the presiding judge.

(b) Designated offenses; schedule of fines. The court shall by order, which may from time to time be amended, supplemented or repealed, designate the traffic offenses within the authority of the violations clerk, provided that such offenses shall in no event include offenses cognizable in the district court, accidents resulting in property damage or personal injury, operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic or habit-producing drug or permitting another person who is under such influence to operate a motor vehicle owned by the defendant or in his custody or control, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident.

The court, by published order to be prominently posted in the place where the fines are to be paid, shall specify by suitable schedules the amount of fines to be imposed for first, second and subsequent offenses, designating each offense specifically in the schedules, provided such fines are within the limits declared by statute or ordinance. Fines and costs shall be paid to, receipted by and accounted for by the violations clerk in accordance with these rules.

(c) Plea and payment of fine and costs

(1) Parking offenses. Any person charged with a parking offense may mail the amount of the fine and costs indicated on the ticket for such violations, together with a signed plea of guilty and waiver of trial, to the violations clerk.

(2) Other offenses. Any person charged with any traffic offense, other than a parking offense, within the authority of the violations clerk may appear in person before the violations clerk and, upon signing a plea of guilty and waiver of trial, pay the fine established for the offense charged, and costs. He shall, prior to such plea, waiver and payment, be informed of his right to stand trial, that his signature to a plea of guilty will have the same force and effect as a judgment of court, and that the record of conviction will be sent to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety of this territory or the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the state where he received his license to drive.

Where the person so charged promptly seeks to appear before the violations clerk in order to plead guilty, waive trial and pay the established fine and costs, and finds the violations clerk's office closed, he may, where he resides outside the judicial division, telephone the violations clerk, determine the amount of the fine and costs, and forthwith mail the same, together with a signed plea of guilty and waiver of trial, to the violations clerk.

(d) Procedure after three convictions. No person who has been found guilty or who has signed a plea of guilty to three previous traffic offenses in the current calendar year shall be permitted to appear before the violations clerk unless the court shall, by general order applying to certain specified offenses, permit such appearance, conditioned upon the payment of a substantially increased fine, which increase shall be specified in such general order.--Amended May 27, 1965.

Explanatory Notes

Change of names of Department and Commissioner of Public Safety. Act June 15, 1984, No. 4964, ' 1, Sess. L. 1984, p. 177, changed the names of the Department of Public Safety and the Commissioner of Public Safety to U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department and Police Commissioner.

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