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Legal Memorandum: Court's Personal Jurisdiction in VI

Issue: Does a Virgin Islands court have personal jurisdiction over a non-territory resident?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Personal jurisdiction; Non-territory resident; Court
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 882 F. Supp. 399
Cited Statutes: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2)
Date: 11/01/2008

The Superior Court of the Virgin Islands determines a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) by considering the allegations of jurisdictional facts in a light most favorable to the assertion of personal jurisdiction, with the plaintiff bearing the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction.  C & C/Manhattan v. Sunex Int’l, Inc., No. CIV. 98/1999 (V.I. Terr. Ct. Oct. 14, 1999).  Accord In re Tutu Wells Contamination Litig., 846 F. Supp. 1243 (D.V.I. 1993); Wright v. Xerox Corp., 882 F. Supp. 399 (D.N.J. 1995).

This Court makes two inquiries when determining whether it has personal jurisdiction:  “(1) whether the long arm statute allows the court to exercise its adjudicatory powers and (2) whether the court’s exercise of these powers is permissible under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”  Citibank, N.A. v. Chammah, No. CIV. 145/1996 (V.I. Terr. Ct. Oct. 2, 2001). 

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