Case Caption: Raphael Mendez v. Government of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S.Ct. Civ. No. 2009-0084Date: 01/18/2012Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

A pro se appeal from denial of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed. After assault and firearms charges under the Virgin Islands Code were brought against the petitioner in the United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands in 1990 arising from a shooting incident, he was transferred to a federal correctional institution in North Carolina for psychological examination. Six months later the warden of that facility initiated civil commitment proceedings against petitioner in the North Carolina federal district court, and two decades later he remains civilly committed by order of the North Carolina federal court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4246. However, the charges against petitioner in the Virgin Islands were dismissed by the District Court of the Virgin Islands in 1992. Consequently, while statutory changes in 1991 and 1994 have vested jurisdiction over criminal and civil matters - including applications for the writ of habeas corpus - in the territorial courts of the Virgin Islands, they are without jurisdiction over this petitioner. Any due process defect inhering in the Superior Court's reliance on ex parte submission of court records in making its decision below was harmless because such records are properly subject to judicial notice and petitioner admits that all territorial criminal charges against him have been dismissed. The Superior Court's order dismissing the pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion