For those of you injured during the hurricane and are unable to work, and those who have lost employment, or self-employment, following the hurricane – you may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA). DUA recipients receive weekly benefits for a period of up to 26 weeks or until you find employment. This benefit helps self-employed individuals (usually they are not eligible for unemployment benefits), business proprietors, in-home day care providers and individuals who had been hired for a job, but lost that job due to the hurricanes before it started. The Department of Labor can be contacted at 340-713-3410.
Attorney Bentz: Virgin Islands Poses Unique Challenges to Insurers
Attorney Karin Bentz said the Virgin Islands is known as a plaintiff-friendly region, which require a variety of legal strategies and responses from those defending insurance claims. Bentz spoke with A.M. BestTV at the 2017 national conference of the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters.
Ease of Eviction
The eviction process in the Virgin Islands is very straight forward. Once the tenant is served, but at least three days before the bench trial, the landlord may file a Forcible entry and detainer complaint with the Magistrate Division of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. The time varies between when the complaint is filed and when the case is actually heard. Barring an issue with service, most cases are heard within a month of filing. Similar to most civil proceedings, the most important aspect of the Forcible entry and detainer process is service. If the tenant is not served and, or the landlord lacks sufficient proof of service, the matter will not be heard. The tenant must be adequately served with notice before a Forcible entry and detainer action is heard.
Similarities between eviction process in the V.I. and mainland U.S.
Most jurisdictions in the United States mainland have enacted statutes to govern the relationship between landlord and tenant and, most specifically to provide landlords the ability to use a summary judicial proceeding to regain possession. Like the Virgin Islands, jurisdictions such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Missouri, require landlords to use a summary judicial proceeding to regain possession of a leased premises. This statutory action is called a different name in different states. For instance, in the Virgin Islands the statutory action is called an action for forcible entry and detainer. However, in states such as Alabama, Minnesota, Utah and Washington, the statutory action is referred to as an unlawful detainer action. In California, the eviction action is called an action for possession whereas it is referred to as a summary eviction action in Massachusetts, North Dakota and West Virginia. Regardless of how the action is styled, its main purpose is to afford landlords the opportunity to avail themselves of the court without resorting to force or violence to retake the leased premises. The Virgin Islands Forcible entry and detainer statute is of no exception.
MARVIN L. PICKERING, DIRECTOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ANNOUNCES THAT THE
GROSS RECIEPTS TAX AMNESTY, SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR KENNETH E. MAPP, ON OCTOBER 6, 2016 (ACT
NO. 7930) IS IN EFFECT AND WILL END ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2017.
DIRECTOR PICKERING STRONGLY URGES TAXPAYERS WHO HAVE OUTSTANDING GROSS RECEIPTS TAX OBLIGATIONS
TO FILE AND PAY THE GROSS RECEIPTS TAXES BEFORE THE DEADLINE. HE STATED THAT THE LAST GROSS
RECEIPTS TAX RETURNS THAT WILL QUALIFY FOR THE AMNESTY PROGRAM IS THE AUGUST 2016 MONTHLY GROSS
RECEIPTS TAX RETURN AND THE ANNUAL 2015 GROSS RECEIPTS TAX RETURN.
PAYMENTS FOR THE GROSS RECEIPT TAX UNDER THE AMNESTY PROGRAM SHOULD BE MADE BY CASH, CREDIT
CARD (VISA OR MASTERCARD), BANK CHECKS AND MONEY ORDERS. DIRECTOR PICKERING EXPLAINED THAT DUE TO
A CONCERN ABOUT DISHONORED CHECKS, WE ARE TAKING THIS PRECAUTION TO ENSURE THAT ALL
PAYMENTS ACCEPTED UNDER THE AMNESTY PROGRAM WILL BE HONORED BY THE BANK.
DIRECTOR PICKERING FURTHER CAUTIONED TAXPAYERS THAT THE
AMNESTY DOES NOT AFFECT THE BUREAU’S COLLECTION EFFORTS. “THE BUREAU WILL CONTINUE TO CONTACT
DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS AND ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN PAYMENTS THROUGH THE STATUTORY COLLECTION METHODS,” HE
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL THE DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS AND RETURNS BRANCH ON ST. CROIX AT
773-1040, EXTENSION 4254, OR 715-1040,
EXTENSIONS 2232 ON ST. THOMAS.
Under the False Claims Act (FCA) a private person (relator) may bring a qui tam civil action ‘in the name of the Federal Government” against “any person, who, inter alia, “knowing presents. . . to the. . . the . . .Government… a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.” 31 U.S.C. Section 3729(a). Most states have a False Claims statute. The Virgin Islands Legislature has not enacted a local false claims statute. Residents of the Virgin Islands however may file a qui tam action on behalf of the federal government, if federal funds are implicated.
What is a Qui Tam Action?
Qui tam is a type of lawsuit that a private person may bring against, an individual, a private company, or a municipal corporation (agency of the government) that is defrauding the federal government and recover funds on the behalf of the federal government. The qui tam action is filed under seal, i.e. it is kept secret, to give the U.S. Justice Department an opportunity to investigate the allegation of fraud. If the claims succeed, the relator’s share may be up to 30 percent of the proceeds of the action, plus reasonable expenses, costs, and attorneys’ fees.