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2008 Unpublished Opinions
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November 17, 2008
S.Ct.Civ. No.: 2008-080
In Re: Rodney Miller, Sr. (Petitioner)
      This matter is before the Court on Rodney E. Miller, Sr.’s(hereafter “Petitioner”) Petition For Writ of Mandamus filed with this Court on October 17, 2008. Petitioner primarily argues that the Superior Court exceeded the lawful exercise of its subject matter jurisdiction when it issued an August 5, 2008 Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) pursuant to title 14, section 606(h) of the Virgin Islands Code. The TRO restrained activity on several enumerated stateside and Virgin Islands bank accounts and real properties owned by Petitioner, among others. Petitioner requests that this Court issue a writ of mandamus “to confine the lower court to its lawful exercise of jurisdiction within the territory of the Virgin Islands.” (Petition at 31.)
      Download Per Curiam Order  (14 kb)

November 14, 2008
S.Ct.Crim. No.: 2007-112
People of the Virgin Islands, (Appellant/Plaintiff) v. Maximilliano Rios (Appellee/Defendant)
      This matter comes before the Court as a result of an appeal brought by the People of the Virgin Islands (hereafter “People”) of the Superior Court’s September 18, 2007 Order sentencing Appellee Maximilliano Rios (hereafter “Rios” or “Appellee”) to a suspended sentence of one year incarceration for unlawful possession of a firearm. The People contend that this sentence violates title 14, section 2254 of the Virgin Islands Code, which, according to the People, prohibits a court from suspending the mandatory minimum sentence for this crime. For the following reasons, we dismiss the People’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
      Download Opinion   (16 kb)

October 11, 2008
S.Ct. Crim. No. 2008-086
Neilcon St. Louis, (Appellant/Defendant) vs. People of the Virgin Islands, (Appellee/Plaintiff)
      This matter is before the Court on the motion to withdraw as appellate counsel, brought by Appellant’s court-appointed attorney, Debra S. Watlington, Esquire. Counsel’s motion was accompanied by an Anders1 brief stating that there are no non-frivolous issues for this appeal. For the following reasons, we will deny counsel’s motion to withdraw, but will remand the case to the trial court to correct an illegal split sentence.
      Download Opinion   (31 kb)

October 3, 2008
S.Ct.Civ. No.: 2008-051
In Re: FirstBank Puerto Rico as successor in interest to The Chase Manhattan Bank (Petitioner).
      Before the Court is Petitioner FirstBank of Puerto Rico’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus to direct the Clerk of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands to issue a writ of execution. For thereasons stated below, we will deny the petition.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (24 kb)

September 26, 2008
S.Ct. Civ.No.: 2008/074
In Re: Rodney Miller, Sr. (Petitioner)
      THIS MATTER is before the Court on Rodney E. Miller, Sr.’s(hereafter “Petitioner”) Petition for Appellate Stay and For Writ of Mandamus filed with this Court on September 18, 2008. In an Order entered on September 24, 2008, we denied Petitioner’s request for an appellate stay on the dual grounds that Petitioner failed to comply with Supreme Court Rule 8(b) and that the trial judge had granted Petitioner a continuance of the contempt proceedings.
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August 14, 2008
S.Ct.Civ.No.: 2007/081
Janet Defraites-Bergin and Benson Bergin, (Appellants/Plaintiffs,) vs. Board of Directors of Burnett Towers Condominium Association, et al.(Appellees/Defendants. )
      Janet DeFraites-Bergin and Benson Bergin (“Appellants”) filed the underlying action for damages against the Board of Directors of Burnett Towers Condominium Association (the “Association”), Leonard Filey, Edward Lewis, Donald Morris, Angel Bonelli, and Charles Hobson (“Appellees”) alleging that Appellees unlawfully turned off the utilities in the condominium unit owned by Appellants resulting in cleaning, hotel, and food expenses, as well as pain, stress and mental anguish. Appellees filed a counterclaim against Appellants alleging nonpayment of common charges pursuant to the By-Laws of Burnett Towers Condominium Association (the “By-Laws”). Following a bench trial, the trial court granted judgment in favor of Appellees on Appellant’s complaint and awarded Appellees judgment on their counterclaim against Appellants in the amount of $24,340.00 plus fees of $8,625.00 and costs of $200.00. Appellants subsequently filed the instant appeal asserting that the trial court should be reversed because: (1) the trial court erred in failing to enter findings of fact, (2) Appellees failed to give Appellants proper notice of termination, (3) Appellants did not refuse to pay common charges, and (4) the testimony of the president of the Condominium Association was not credible. For the reasons which follow, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.
      Download Opinion   (21 kb)

June 30, 2008
S.CT.BA.No. 2007/013
In the Matter of the Disbarment of Jacqueline A. Drew, Esq.
      This matter is before the Court on Petitioner’s, The St. Croix and The St. Thomas Subcommittees of the Ethics and Grievance Committee of the U.S. Virgin Islands Bar Association (collectively “the Committee”), “Motion for Entry and Judgment by Default” and “Motion for the Appointment of an Attorney-Trustee for the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Drew.” For the following reasons, the petition will be granted.
      Download Opinion   (34 kb)

June 27, 2008
S.CT.Civ. No. 2007/069
Susan Spencer, (Appellant/Defendant) vs. Carmen Navarro, (Appellee/Plaintiff.)
      In the underlying action, Carmen Navarro (“Navarro”) sued Susan Spencer (“Spencer”) in the Small Claims Division of the Superior Court for damages to her vehicle as the result of a hit-and-run traffic accident on December 31, 2006. Spencer filed an answer to the complaint denying the allegations, but failed to appear at the scheduled March 20, 2007 trial. Consequently, the Superior Court entered judgment by default against her.1 On March 23, 2007, Spencer filed a motion to reconsider, and the court scheduled a hearing on the motion for April 24, 2007. At the hearing, the court heard testimony from both parties and two witnesses, and denied Spencer’s motion for reconsideration. The court entered a written order denying the motion for reconsideration on May 11, 2007. On the same day, Spencer filed a motion for relief from judgment or, alternatively, for a new trial, which the court denied by order entered on May 23, 2007. Spencer timely filed the instant appeal on May 29, 2007, arguing that the trial court overlooked evidence and violated the collateral source rule. For the reasons which follow, we remand this matter to the Superior Court to make findings of fact.
      Download Opinion   (20 kb)

May 19, 2008
S.Ct. Civ. No. 2007/050
Judi's of St. Croix Car Rental, Linda Denner and Dennis Denner, (Appellants/Defendants) vs. Jahmeca Weston, (Appellees/Plaintiff)
      This matter came before the Court on appeal from a Superior Court order setting aside dismissal and entering judgment in favor of Appellee. In an Opinion entered on February 22, 2008, we reversed the Superior Court order and remanded the case to the trial court. Subsequently, counsel for Appellants submitted a “Bill of Costs” together with an Affidavit, requesting that we award him attorney’s fees in this matter.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (20 kb)

April 16, 2008
S.Ct. Civ. No. 2007/061
Elizabeth Pichardo (Appellant/Plaintiff) vs. Cecil R. Benjamin, Commissioner of Labor, etal. (Appellees/Defendants)
      Appellant Elizabeth Pichardo (hereafter “Pichardo”) challenges the Superior Court’s refusal to consider her due process claims in its Order affirming the decision of the Department of Labor (hereafter “DOL”) that Cool It, Inc. d/b/a/ Agave Terrace Restaurant(hereafter “Agave”) did not violate the Wrongful Discharge Act (hereafter “WDA”) in firing her. Pichardo asks this Court to find that her due process rights were violated by the DOL’s nineteen month delay in holding a hearing and the additional twenty-three month delay in issuing its decision. For the reasons stated below, we find that the Superior Court correctly declined to address Pichardo’s due process arguments on a writ of review. Therefore, we will affirm the decision of the Superior Court.
      Download Opinion   (31 kb)

March 3, 2008
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/040
DeMaris Ballantine Seales, (Appellant/Plaintiff) vs. Christopher M. Devine, (Appellee/Defendant)
      Appellant Demaris Ballantine Seales ("appellant" or "Seales") challenges the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment to Christopher M. Devine for breach of contract, malicious prosecution and damages. For the reasons stated below, the grant of summary judgment will be affirmed.
      Download Opinion   (306 kb)

February 28, 2008
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/029
Terrencia Maduro,( Appellant/Plaintiff), vs. American Airlines, Inc., and Executive Services, Inc., d/b/a American Eagle, (Appellees/Defendants)
      Terrencia Maduro ("Maduro") sued American Airlines, Inc. and Executive Services, Inc.. doing business as American Eagle (collectively "American"), alleging that American is liable for damages she incured when the airline bumped her from a flight. American denied Maduro's allegations ,and for several years after American served its answer, the parties conducted virtually no discovery. American eventually moved for summary judgement. The trial court granted American's motion, and Maduro filed this appeal. For the reasons which follow, we will affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgement in favor of American.
      Download Opinion   (503 kb)

January 18, 2008
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/076
Ishmael S. Ibrahim, (Appellant/Petitioner), vs. Government of the Virgin Islands, (Appellee/Respondent).
      Ishmael S. Ibrahim ("Appellant") seeks an order from this court, reversing the trial court's denial of his motion for reconsideration of the trial court's previous order denying his petition writ of habeas corpus. In denying the motion for reconsideration, the trial court also ordered Appellant not to file, and the Clerk of the Superior Court not to accept from Appellant, further pleadings of motions in this case.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (239 kb)

January 7, 2008
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/015
Lucan Corporation, Inc., d/b/a, Lucan/s Gift Shop, Lucilla Posada and Rudolfo Posada, (Appellants/Plaintiffs) vs. Robert L. Merwin & Co., Inc., Robert L. Merwin and Colombia Emeralds International Properties, Inc., (Appellees/Defendants)
      Appellants Lucan Corporation, Inc. doing business as Lucan's Gift Shop, Lucilla Posada and Rudolfo Posada (collectively "Appellants") challenge the Superior Court order dismissing their claim for failure to prosecute and the denial of their motion to reconsider the dismissal order. For the reasons stated below, we lack jurisdiction to consider the appeal of the order of dismissal. However, upon consideration of the denial of the motion to reconsider, we reverse and remand.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (336 kb)
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