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2010 Unpublished Opinions
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November 23, 2010
S.Ct.Civ.No.: 2009-0119
Edwin A. Callwood vs. People Of The Virgin Islands, Ex Rel: Veronica L. J. Callwood
      The Court holds that the Superior Court’s December 2, 2009 Order was not a final order and did not end the litigation on the merits. The Superior Court’s December 2, 2009 Order merely transferred the matter to the Paternity and Child Support Division and ordered Appellant, Edwin Callwood, to comply with the terms of his January 18, 2006 divorce decree. Accordingly, the Court holds that it does not have appellate jurisdiction over this matter.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (19 kb)

September 27, 2010
S.Ct. Crim. No. 2007-0063
Clayton Brown vs. People of the Virgin Islands
      The Court holds that, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 4(g), a letter from a criminal defendant to the trial judge in which the defendant states his desire to appeal constitutes a valid notice of appeal despite its informality of form or title. Moreover, when a letter from a criminal defendant evidencing his intent to appeal lacks a Superior Court datestamp, but was retroactively docketed by the Superior Court on a date that would render the defendant’s appeal timely, the ambiguity should be resolved in favor of the defendant. Finally, the Court holds that, when the Superior Court amends its certified docket entries to correct errors or omissions after the docket entries had already been transmitted to the Supreme Court and to the parties, the Clerk of the Superior Court possesses a duty to notify both the Supreme Court and the parties of any retroactive changes, particularly when the changes are directly relevant to the appeal.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (38 kb)

July 16, 2010
S.Ct.Misc. No. : 2009-0025
In Re: The Honorable Leon A. Kendall.
      The Court holds that the First Amendment does not bar a prosecution for indirect criminal contempt when the charged conduct was made in the course of the defendant’s official capacity as a Superior Court judge presiding over a case. The Court further holds that, because a motion for judgment of acquittal requires that all evidence be viewed in the light most favorable to the People, the Special Master was correct to propose that the defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal be denied. Finally, the Court finds that, although the defendant’s motion for a mistrial was ripe for consideration, the motion should be denied because the defendant failed to timely object to the challenged procedures.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (74 kb)

June 23, 2010
S.Ct.Civ. No.: 2009-026
Virgin Islands Conservation Society, Inc., (S. Ct. Civ. No. 2009-0026) vs. Golden Resorts, LLLP, (Appellee/Defendant.)
      The Supreme Court ordered that Appellant’s appeal from the Superior Court’s February 25, 2009 order, which dismissed Appellant’s action against Appellee for injunctive relief, will be held in abeyance. Because the validity of the default permit granted by the Board of Land Use Appeals (“BLUA”) is an issue that remains pending in the Appellate Division of the District Court, the Court held that Appellant’s challenge to the extensions of the default permit are not yet ripe for review. Specifically, the Court concluded that a decision by the Appellate Division or the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that Appellee was not entitled to a default permit would moot all issues concerning whether the default permit was properly extended by the BLUA.
      Download Opinion  (30 kb)

June 8, 2010
S.Ct.Crim. No.: 2008-0045
Aurelio Rivera III (Appellant/Defendant) vs. People of the Virgin Islands (Appellee/Plaintiff).
      The Supreme Court affirms the Superior Court’s June 2, 2008 Order of Judgment and Commitment, which sentenced Appellant to twenty years of incarceration for numerous counts including first degree robbery. Specifically, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause was not violated when the trial court admitted a photo array at trial without the testimony of the police officer who prepared the photo array, because the witness who identified the suspect testified at trial and the photo array did not contain any statements, testimonial or otherwise, by the police officer.
      Download Opinion  (26 kb)

April 7, 2010
S.CT.Crim. No. 2009-028
People of the Virgin Islands vs. Jose Alberto Rodriguez,
      The Superior Court abused its discretion in excluding the Government's DNA evidence based on the Government's violation of a discovery order, because the court did not consider whether a less severe sanction than exclusion was feasible to achieve the desired results.
      Download Opinion  (201 kb)

January 27, 2010
S.CT.CRIM. NO.: 2008-072
Daniel Carlo Castillo (Appellant/Defendant) vs. People of the Virgin Islands (Appellee/Plaintiff)
      The Court denies a motion to withdraw as counsel in a criminal appeal as of right because counsel’s Anders brief, while indicating that counsel believed Appellant’s appeal lacked merit, did not establish that Appellant’s appeal was wholly frivolous. Specifically, the Court holds that while an argument may lack merit when it is against the weight of legal authority, it is not a frivolous argument unless it is against the overwhelming weigh of legal authority and also entirely without any basis in law or fact or without any logic supporting a change of law.
      Download Per Curiam Order  (29 kb)

January 14, 2010
S.CT.Civ. No.: 2008-082
Marie Augustine Harris, (Appellant/Plaintiff,) v. Rafael Garcia, M.D., Maxwell Martin d/b/a D & D Apothecary Hall Pharmacy, Ernest Roper, John Doe, (Appellees/Defendants.)
      Appellant Marie Harris (hereafter “Harris”) appeals from a September 24, 2008 Superior Court order denying her motion for reconsideration of the Superior Court’s October 3, 2007 order dismissing Harris’s action against Rafael Garcia (hereafter “Garcia”), Maxwell Martin (hereafter “Martin”), Ernest Roper (hereafter “Roper”), and John Doe (hereafter “Doe”) (collectively “Appellees”) for failure to submit proof of subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, we shall reverse the Superior Court’s denial of reconsideration and vacate its dismissal order.
      Download Opinion  (35 kb)
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