In English
Línea Nacional para la Violencia Doméstica: 1-800-799-7233 o (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Conozca la Ley: U.S. Virgin Islands

ACTUALIZADA 22 de octubre, 2016

Stalking Protection Orders

Imprimir esta página
Ver por Sección

A stalking protection order is a civil order that provides protection from stalking/cyberstalking committed by someone who is not an intimate partner or family/household member.

Basic info and definitions

arribaWhat is a stalking protection order?

A stalking protection order is a court order that aims to protect victims of stalking or cyberstalking by someone with whom you do not have an intimate or familial relationship* (such as an acquaintance, co-worker, neighbor, or stranger).  If you have an intimate, family-member, or household-member relationship with the person stalking you, you may qualify for a domestic violence restraining order instead.

* VI ST T. 5 § 1471(a)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

arribaWhat is the legal definition of stalking in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Stalking is when someone purposely and repeatedly follows you and engages in a course of conduct or makes a credible threat with the intent of annoying you or placing you in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm or injury and causes you emotional distress.*

An abuser makes a "credible threat" when s/he makes an explicit or implicit threat with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat, so as to cause you to reasonably fear for your personal safety or the safety of a family member.**

* VI ST T. 5 §§ 2071(a); 1472(1)
** VI ST T. 5 §§ 2071(b); 1472(2)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

arribaWhat is the legal definition of cyberstalking in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Cyberstalking is defined as when someone communicates (or is responsible for communicating) words, images, or language to you through email or electronic communication that causes you substantial emotional distress.  The communication must be directed at you and cannot serve a legitimate purpose.*

* VI ST T. 5 §§ 1472(5); 2071(e)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

arribaWhat is a course of conduct?

A course of conduct is an act that happens more than once, however brief, within a year, that is directed specifically at you and shows a continuing purpose to cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.  A course of conduct can include the following behavior (done directly or indirectly and by any action, method, or by any device):

  • monitoring;
  • observing;
  • pursuing;
  • threatening;
  • communicating to or about you; or
  • interfering with your property.*

* VI ST T. 5 § 1472(c)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

Getting the order

arribaWho can file for a stalking protection order? Can a minor file?

If you are an adult and are a victim of stalking, you can apply for a stalking protection order.  You must include your name, the name or a description of the abuser, the dates of the act(s), and a description of the act(s) that you claim constitute stalking.*  If you are a minor and are a victim of stalking, a parent, guardian, or adult residing with you can file on your behalf.**

* VI ST T. 5 § 1473(a)
** VI ST T. 5 § 1473(b)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

arribaWhat types of stalking protection orders are there? How long do they last?

For good cause shown, the judge can issue a temporary order when you file your petition if s/he considers it necessary.  A hearing will be scheduled no longer than 10 days after your petition is filed, and you and the abuser will both have a chance to present evidence to the judge and tell your side of the story.  You and the abuser both have the right to have an attorney represent you.  If your hearing is continued or rescheduled to a new date, the judge can extend your temporary order but only for another 10 days.*

After a hearing where the abuser has notice and the judge hears evidence, the judge may issue a stalking protection order that must remain in effect for a period of up to two years or until amended, modified or dismissed by the judge.  However, you can ask the court to extend your order for an additional one year.**

* VI ST T. 5 § 1474
** VI ST T. 5 § 1475(b),(c)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

arribaHow can a stalking protection order help me?

In a stalking protection order, the judge can order the abuser (or anyone acting on the abuser’s behalf) not to:

  • follow you or harass you in person or by telephone, computer, or by any other form of communication;
  • abuse, molest, or interfere with your privacy rights;
  • enter your property, residence, or place of employment, or  come within fifty feet of those locations;
  • The judge can also order anything else necessary to keep you safe.*

Note: The judge can order the abuser to pay your attorney’s fees and can award you money for injuries you suffered during an incident.  If the judge finds that your request for a protection order was not in good faith, the judge may order you to pay the respondent’s attorney’s fees.**

* VI ST T. 5 § 1475(a)
** VI ST T. 5 § 1475(e)

¿Le fue útil esta información?

back to top