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2007 Published Opinions
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September 17, 2007
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/096
St. Thomas - St. John Board of Elections, Appellant/Cross-Appellee/Defendant, v. Harry Daniel, Appellee/Cross-Appellant/Plaintiff
      This appeal concerns the failure of the St. Thomas- St. John Board of Elections (the "Board") to certify Harry Daniel ("Daniel") as one of the thirty elected delegates to the Virgin Islands Fifth Constitutional Convention (the "Convention"), Daniel, a resident of St. John and a candidate for delegate from the St. Thomas- St. John district, filed an action in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands against the Board seeking injunctive, declatory and alternative mandamus relief requiring the Board to certify him as a winner of the special election for delegates to the convention. After a trial in the matter, the Superior Court granted Daniel mandamus relief and ordered the Board to certify him as a delegate. The Board appealed, asserting that the trial court erred by failing to completely bar Daniel's claim based on laches, and by granting mandamus relief. In a cross-appeal, Daniel argues that the trial court correctly recognized his challenge to the Board's refusal to certify him as a delegate, but erred in barring his post-election contest to the form of the ballot. For the reasons which follow, we reverse the decision of the Superior Court and remand with instructions to dismiss Daniel's complaint.
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August 29, 2007
S. Ct. Civ. No. 2007/058
John Enrietto and Mark Farrell, Appellants, V. Rogers Townsend & Thomas PC, Richard Scott and Julius Van de Voorde, Appellees/Intervenors
      The board of directors of Bluebeard's Castle Villas III Condominium Association ("Villas III') sued the condiminium developers, Equivest St. Thomas, Inc. ('Equivest") and other defendants, alleging, inter alia, that the defendants misappropriated condiminium assessments and failed to adequately maintain the condiminium. (Joint Appendix "J.A." at 640-682) The complaint seeks damages for alleged violations of the Virgin Islands Criminally Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act, fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and the imposition of equitable liens and a constructive trust on insurance proceeds. (J.A. at 655-678.) Two directors on the Villas III board, Mark Farell and John Enrietto, appellants herein, were appointed to serve on the board by the Equivest pursuant to powers of appointment Equivest retained under the condiminium bylaws. (.J.A. at 32.) The remaining directors, Richard Scott and Julius Van De Voorde, apellees herein, moved the trial court to disqualify Farrell and Enrietto from participating in litigation-related decisions by the board because they have conflict of interest in controlling the litigation against Equivest. Apellees argued that, because Equivest appointed Farrell and Enrietto, those two board members essentially served at the pleasure of Equivest and were, therefore, conflicted in making litigation decisions hostile to Equivest. (J.A. at 120-127.) The trial court granted the motion on February 27, 2007. (J.A. at 29) On March 8, 2007, Farrell and Enrietto moved for reconsideration of the court's order. (J.A. at 298-304.) The trial court denied the motion for reconsideration by order entered on April 17, 2007. (J.A. at 36-44) Farrell and Enrietto filed a notice of appeal on April 18, 2007. (J.A. at 1-3)
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July 6, 2007
S.C. Civ. No. 2007/012
People of the Virgin Islands, Petitioner, v. Elbe Braithwaite, Respondent.
      The Government of the Virgin Islands petitions for relief, including mandamus, enjoining the trial court from holding probable cause hearings for defendants summoned to court for an initial appearance in complaint-initiated criminal prosecutions. The Government argues that the filing of a complaint "dispenses with the need for a judicial probable cause examination, "(Mot, for Stay and Pet, for Expedited Writ of Mandamus2.) The Government asks the Court to direct the trial court to vacate its order requiring the hearings in complaint-initiated prosecutions and to prevent the trial court from sanctioning government attorneys who continue to object to its practice of conducting probable cause examinations in such cases. For reasons which follow, the Government's Petition will be denied.
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