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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Virgin Islands (U.S.)

To see if a company licensed to do business in the Virgin Islands, contact the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, which has offices on St. Thomas (340-774-3130) and St. Croix (340-773-2226).

Virgin Islands newspapers include the Virgin Islands Daily News, the St. Thomas Source and the St. John's Tradewinds.

Legal Materials

Good news: Most primary legal materials for the Virgin Islands are reasonably available in the continental U.S. If you don't have a local source for the print, the Columbia Law School Library has a good collection that they will copy and mail, fax or Fed Ex. Alternatively, most U.S. VI primary legal materials are available online.

Legislation: Virgin Islands laws are published in the Session Laws of the Virgin Islands and codified in the Virgin Islands Code Annotated (Butterworth).

The Code is available on Lexis (VI;CODE annotated; VILEG;VICDU unnannotated) and Westlaw (VI-ST-ANN). Historical editions of the Code are available on Lexis back to 1991 (VI;VIARCH) and on Westlaw back, to 1989 (VI-ST-ANNxx, where the "xx" can stand for the last two digits of any past year since 1989).

The Virgin Islands Legislature posts bill tracking histories for bills introduced from the 21st Legislature (1995-96) to the present.

Virgin Islands statutes and bills are available on Lexis from 1989 to the present (VI;VIALS) and on Westlaw (VI-LEGIS for the current year or VI-LEGIS-OLD back to 1987). If you subscribe, the Digital Session Laws Collection on HeinOnline has session laws back to 1980.

Regulations: Regulations are codified in the Virgin Islands Rules and Regulations. Virgin Island insurance regulations are available on Westlaw (VIIN-ADC).

Case Law: The Superior Court posts recent decisions from the past two months. Westlaw has decisions from the Virgin Islands Territorial Courts since 1966 and decisions of the U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands back to 1946 (VI;VIDIST). Lexis has decisions from the Virgin Islands Territorial Courts (VI;VICTS) since February 1990 and all decisions of the U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands (probably back to '46 too) (VI;VIDIST).

Older cases are published in Virgin Island Reports (Lexis), which includes cases official opinions of the Territorial Court, the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands, and the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals' cases originating in the Virgin Islands from 1917 to at least 2000. You can research these older cases using the Virgin Islands Digest (Lexis), covering 1917 to at least 1998.

Court Rules: The Superior Court of the Virgin Islands posts the Rules Governing the Territorial Courts of the Virgin Islands. Virgin Island Court Rules are also available from Lexis (VI;VIRULE).

Public Records:Westlaw has databases for Virgin Island bankruptcy filing records (VI-BKR) and real property records (VI-RPA).

See Also
British Virgin Islands

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman