Case Caption: Chavez Ali v. Thishelle HayCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2017-0046Date: 01/11/2019Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: 2019 VI 1Summary: Attempted appeal from the Superior Court’s denial of an emergency motion for return of children, treated by the parties and the Superior Court as an application for a temporary restraining order, and appeal from the imposition of a $150 sanction against counsel for tardiness on the second day of the hearing below, are both dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Generally, temporary restraining orders are not appealable interlocutory orders, and in this case the order denying the TRO motion and continuing the custody petition in this case lacked the necessary indicia of finality for two reasons: (1) the subsequent visitation and custody orders were subject to change; and, (2) the opposing party was never served, nor did she appear at the TRO hearing. With respect to the Superior Court’s order sanctioning counsel $150 for tardiness, the notice of appeal in this case specifies one party (the client) as the party taking the appeal, and only references a single order. Thus, counsel never separately appealed the Superior Court order imposing a sanction against her. Instead, she merely included her argument in the appellate brief she submitted for her client. Raising arguments for a separate appeal of a nonparty for the first time in a party’s appellate brief is impermissible under Rule 4(b) of the Virgin Islands Rules of Appellate Procedure. In light of counsel’s failure to either file a separate appeal or join her appeal with the client’s appeal pursuant to Rule 4(c), she has not presented a proper appeal to consider and – because counsel failed to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the date that the Superior Court entered the order issuing her sanction – she waived her right to appeal that ruling. V.I. R. APP. P. 5(a)(1). The appeal is therefore dismissed in its entirety.
Attachment: Open Document or Opinion