VirginLaw > 2017

The Blog

  • Disaster Unemployment Assitance

    Disaster Unemployment Assistance

    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.

  • Virgin Islands Poses Unique Challenges to Insurers

    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.

  • Victory for Emotional Support Animals-3rd Circuit holds Fair Housing Claim survives death of dog owner in Virgin Islands

    Appellants Barbara Walters and Judith Kromenhoek
    filed these civil rights actions under the Fair Housing Act.
    Walters and Kromenhoek sought accommodations for their
    disabilities in the form of emotional support animals, which
    were not permitted under the rules of their condominium
    association. They allege violations of their right to a
    reasonable accommodation of their disabilities, 42 U.S.C.
    § 3604(f)(3)(B), and interference with the exercise of their
    fair housing rights, 42 U.S.C. § 3617. They also allege
    supplemental territorial claims.
    Among other issues, these cases raise the question
    whether a Fair Housing Act claim survives the death of a
    party. We hold that the District Court improperly answered
    this question by applying a limited gap-filler statute,
    42 U.S.C. § 1988(a), and, in turn, territorial law. We
    conclude that the survival of claims under the Fair Housing
    Act is not governed by Section 1988(a), but rather by federal
    common law, under which a Fair Housing Act claim survives
    the death of a party. Accordingly, we will reverse the District
    Court’s grant of summary judgment against Walters executrix.

  • Evictions in the USVI

    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.

  • Trademark Representation-Intellectual Property

    If you are looking for trademark and/or copyright representation in the Virgin Islands, we are here to help. In addition to our trademark and copyright infringement practice the following services are also provided by our firm:
    Due diligence for intellectual property transactions
    Trademark registration in the US Virgin Islands
    Trademark prosecution in the US Virgin Islands
    Registration of copyrights in the US please give us a call to find out how we can help you.