District Court of the Virgin Islands

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District Court of the Virgin Islands
Seal of the United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands.png
LocationCharlotte Amalie
More locations
Appeals toThird Circuit
AuthorityArticle IV tribunal
Created by48 U.S.C. §§ 16111617
Composition methodPresidential nomination
with Senate advice and consent
Judge term length10 years
Chief JudgeWilma A. Lewis

The District Court of the Virgin Islands[1] (in case citations, D.V.I.) is a United States territorial court with jurisdiction over federal and diversity actions in the United States Virgin Islands, a United States territory and more specifically an insular area that is an unincorporated organized territory. The court sits in both St. Croix and St. Thomas. Unlike United States district courts, judges on the District Court of the Virgin Islands do not have life tenure, as the court is not an Article III court. Instead, the court is an Article IV court, created pursuant to Congress's Article IV, Section 3 powers. Appeals of the court's decisions are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

The District Court used to have jurisdiction over all local civil actions brought in the Virgin Islands, but in 1976 the Virgin Islands Legislature—as allowed by the Revised Organic Act of 1954—gave a portion of this jurisdiction to the former Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, at that time the local trial court. The jurisdiction of the Territorial Court was expanded to all civil actions in 1990. Similarly, the Legislature gave the Territorial Court jurisdiction over certain criminal actions brought under Virgin Islands law in 1985 and expanded that jurisdiction to all criminal cases in 1993, although the United States Attorney may still bring certain criminal actions in the District Court in some circumstances. In 2004 the Territorial Court was renamed the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.

Before the creation of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands in 2007, the Appellate Division of the District Court heard appeals from the Superior Court in three-judge panels. From 2007, the Supreme Court hears these appeals exclusively, with its decisions subject to review by the United States Supreme Court if that court decides to grant certiorari.

Current judges[edit]

As of June 4, 2019:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
Chief Judge Wilma A. Lewis Christiansted 1956 2011–present 2013–present Obama (Judge)
Obama (Chief Judge)
District Judge Curtis V. Gomez Charlotte Amalie 2005–present 2005–2013 G.W. Bush
Senior Judge Raymond L. Finch Christiansted 1994–2011 1998–2005 2011–present Clinton (Judge)
Clinton (Chief Judge)

Former U.S. District Judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
Warren H. Young[2] VI death
Almeric Leander Christian[3][4] VI 1919–1999 1969–1990 1970–1988 1990–1993 Eisenhower retirement
David Vincent O'Brien[5][6][7] VI 1932–1989 1981–1989 1988–1989 G.H.W. Bush death
Thomas Kail Moore[8] VI 1938– 1992– Reagan expiration of term

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "48 U.S. Code § 1614 - Judges of District Court". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "PN815—David V. O'Brien—The Judiciary". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "Judge Almeric Christian Dies". stjohnsource.com. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "PN725—Thomas K. Moore—The Judiciary". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "PN815—David V. O'Brien—The Judiciary". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "PN1220—Raymond L. Finch—The Judiciary". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "David V. O'Brien, Federal Judge, 57". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "PN725—Thomas K. Moore—The Judiciary". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2019.

External links[edit]