District Court of the Virgin Islands

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The District Court of the United States Virgin Islands (in case citations, D.V.I.) is a United States territorial court with jurisdiction over federal and diversity actions in the United States Virgin Islands, a United States territory and more specifically an insular area that is an unincorporated organized territory. The court sits in both St. Croix and St. Thomas. Unlike United States district courts, judges on the District Court of the Virgin Islands do not have life tenure, as the court is not an Article III court. Instead, the court is an Article IV court, created pursuant to Congress's Article IV, Section 3 powers. Appeals of the court's decisions are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

The District Court used to have jurisdiction over most local civil actions brought in the Virgin Islands, but the Virgin Islands Legislature—as allowed by the Revised Organic Act of 1954—gave this jurisdiction to the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, the local trial court, in 1991. Similarly, the Legislature gave the Superior Court jurisdiction over criminal actions brought under Virgin Islands law in 1993, although the United States Attorney may still bring such actions in the District Court in some circumstances.

Before the creation of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands in 2007, the Appellate Division of the District Court heard appeals from the Superior Court in three-judge panels. From 2007, the Supreme Court hears these appeals exclusively, with its decisions subject to review by the United States Supreme Court if that court decides to grant certiorari.

The current Judges in the District Court of the Virgin Islands are:

  • The Honorable George W. Cannon (Magistrate Judge - St. Croix Division)
  • The Honorable Ruth Miller (Magistrate Judge - St. Thomas Division)
  • The Honorable Raymond L. Finch (Senior District Judge - St. Croix Division)
  • The Honorable Curtis V. Gomez (District Judge - St. Thomas Division).
  • The Honorable Wilma A. Lewis (District Chief Judge - St. Croix Division)

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