V.I. Judicial Branch Modifies Operations Again

The Ron De Lugo Federal Building is used as the courthouse on St. Thomas. (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)

Administrator of Courts, Regina Petersen, advises the public that to enforce social distancing protocols, effective Friday, March 27, the judicial branch has further curtailed operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 2020-0004 issued by the Supreme Court which suspended non-essential services within the judicial branch, Presiding Judge Harold W.L. Willocks today entered an order implementing remote hearing protocols for all or most essential and emergency matters, including, but not limited to, advice of rights, emergency petitions for abuse and neglect, domestic violence and stalking. Accordingly, public traffic to the courts shall be limited to these essential and emergency matters only.

In accordance with these orders, essential employees across the branch, where applicable, will work remotely and report to court facilities only in accordance with established emergency schedules. Due to the expansion of the telework program and the implementation of the aforementioned protocols, telework and remote hearing protocols, the judicial branch is further advising the public that the Raymond L Finch Supreme Court Building, No. 18 Strand Street, Frederiksted, St. Croix, will be closed for the duration of this pandemic. Until further notice, there will be no drop box at that location, and the public is advised to utilize the drop box at the R. H. Amphlett Leader Justice Center located at RR1 9000 Kingshill, St. Croix.

Territorywide all non-essential judicial branch employees have been asked to shelter in place and have been placed on paid administrative leave. During this period of modified operations, judicial officers and court personnel remain available to conduct the business of the court virtually and telephonically. For inquiries and/or assistance, utilize the following numbers:

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St. Croix District

Court Administration 340-713-6627

Office of the Clerk of Superior Court 340-713-6626

Probation and Pre-Trial Services 340-713-6642

St. Thomas-St. John District

Court Administration 340-693-4110

Office of the Clerk of Superior Court 340-693-6403

Probation and Pre-Trial Services 340-693-6429

Supreme Court

Office of the Clerk of Supreme Court 340-693-4100

Office of Bar Admissions 340-693-4120

Office of Disciplinary Counsel 340-693-4127

The public is further reminded of the following email addresses for the submission of filings to the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands:

Advice of Rights and Arraignments [email protected]

[email protected]

Complex Litigation Filings [email protected]

All Other Filings [email protected]

Conventional filings continue to be accepted at all Superior Court locations and at the Supreme Court located in Crown Bay on St. Thomas

The judicial branch reminds its employees and the public to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in response to this pandemic and to remain vigilant in social distancing.

For more information, contact:

Regina Petersen, Administrator of Courts

Judicial Branch of the Virgin Islands

P.O. Box 590

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 00804

Fax: (340) 774‐2258 × TTY: (340) 693-4118

[email protected]

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