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Know the Laws: U.S. Virgin Islands

UPDATED November 23, 2016

Enforcing your Out-Of-State Order in the U.S. Virgin Islands

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If you are planning to move to the U.S. Virgin Islands or are going to be in the U.S. Virgin Islands for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General Rules for Out-of-State orders in the U.S. Virgin Islands

back to topCan I get my restraining order enforced in the U.S. Virgin Islands? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your restraining order can be enforced in the U.S. Virgin Islands as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you;*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case;) and
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a), (b)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state restraining order changed, extended, or canceled in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

No.  Only the state that issued your restraining order can change, extend, or cancel the order.  You cannot have this done by a court in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you may be able to get a new one issued in the U.S. Virgin Islands but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  To find out more information on how to get a domestic violence restraining order in the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit our VI Restraining Orders page.

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my restraining order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Yes.  As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* the U.S. Virgin Islands can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area.  To find a lawyer in your area click here VI Finding a Lawyer.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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