Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands
VISCLogo.png
Established2007 (15 years ago)
JurisdictionUnited States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
Composition methodGubernatorial selection with legislative advice and consent
Authorized byLegislature of the Virgin Islands via Act No. 6687, 2004 V. I. Sess. Laws 179 (codified at 4 V.I.C. ch. 2)
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States
Appeals fromSuperior Court of the Virgin Islands
Number of positions5
WebsiteSupreme Court of the Virgin Islands
Chief Justice of the Virgin Islands
CurrentlyRhys S. Hodge
Interior of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court
Interior of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands is the highest court in the territory of the United States Virgin Islands. The Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction over all appeals from the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, a trial level court, on January 29, 2007. The Supreme Court currently consists of a Chief Justice and two associate justices,[1] but up to four associate justices may be appointed.[2] Supreme Court justices are each appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature for a ten-year term. There is no intermediate court of appeals, and the Supreme Court does not have discretion in hearing appeals. Appeals of Supreme Court decisions were heard by writ of certiorari by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit until December 29, 2012, but since then they have been heard by the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

On June 19, 2012, after a review of finished cases, the Third Circuit recommended that appeals from the Supreme Court go to the U.S. Supreme Court instead of the Third Circuit. In July 2012, Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen (D-VI) introduced a bill to shorten the time from 15 years from the Supreme Court's inauguration in 2007 to immediately upon bill passage for this to take effect, and the bill passed the House of Representatives in November and the Senate in December 2012.[3] President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on December 29, 2012, and all appeals from Supreme Court decisions from that day forward go to the U.S. Supreme Court.[4]

The court was expanded from three to five seats in 2016.[5]

References

  1. ^ "About Us". Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. Retrieved 26 August 2021. The court presently consists of a chief justice and two associate justices.
  2. ^ 4 V.I.C. § 21(a) ("The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Justice of the Virgin Islands and no fewer than two but no more than four associate justices."), as amended by Act of July 30, 2016, No. 7888, sec. 2, 2016 V.I. Sess. Laws 103, 107.
  3. ^ "H.R.6116 - 112th Congress (2011-2012): To amend the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands to provide for direct review by the United States Supreme Court of decisions of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court, and for other purposes. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2020-03-19.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ staff, Source (December 30, 2012). "President Signs V.I. Supreme Court Bill into Law". Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "History of the V. I. Judiciary". Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-08-19.