Local Rules of Civil Procedure of the Virgin Islands apply in all proceedings in civil actions. Rules 72.1-3 and 73.1-2 govern proceedings before Magistrate Judges. Generally, a civil action commences with the filing of a complaint. According to rule 3.1, a complaint or other document initiating a civil action should be accompanied by a completed civil cover sheet on a form available at the Court’s website. A party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant.
A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage. According to Rule 4, once a complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue the required summons to the defendant(s). Under Section 7.1, documents to be filed in court include: motions, response in opposition, and reply..
After commencement of trial, a party may demand for trial by jury. According to Rule 38.1, the demand can be made by endorsing it on a pleading. This can be done by placing a notation on the front page of the pleading. Failure to make such a notation does not amount to waiver of jury demand. A judgment is passed after trial. Generally, cost of litigation is adjudged to the prevailing party.