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Legal Information: U.S. Virgin Islands

Statutes: Virgin Islands, U.S.

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December 2, 2019

96. Complaints

(a) A victim may file a complaint alleging the commission of an act of domestic violence with the Family Division of the Territorial Court. The complaint may be filed in any judicial division where:

(1) the plaintiff resides;
(2) the defendant resides;
(3) the alleged abuse occurred; or
(4) the plaintiff is temporarily located if she has left her residence to avoid further abuse.

(b) The Court in domestic violence actions shall not dismiss any complaint or delay disposition of a case because of the concurrent dissolution of a marriage, other civil proceedings, or because the victim has left the residence to avoid further incidents of domestic violence. Filing a complaint pursuant to this section shall not prevent the filing of a criminal complaint for the same act.

(c) The Court shall waive any requirement that the petitioner’s place of residence appear on the complaint.

(d) The Clerk of the Court, or other person designated by the Court, shall assist the parties in completing any forms necessary for the filing of a summons, complaint, answer or other pleading.

(e) Summons and complaint forms shall be readily available at the Clerk’s Office of the Family Division of the Territorial Court.

(f) All pleadings, process, and other Orders filed pursuant to this chapter shall be served upon the defendant in accordance with the rules of the Court. If personal service cannot be effected upon the defendant, the Court may order other appropriate substitute service.