Case Caption: Companion Assurance Co., et al. v. Shawn Smith, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2016-0056Date: 05/22/2017Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

An appeal in a case involving defamation, contracts, insurance and other issues arising out of theft of a vehicle, is dismissed as untimely. The Superior Court entered judgment on the claims but the defendant's filed timely motions for new trial and judgment as a matter of law. Seven and one-half months later the Superior Court held oral argument on the post-trial motions, and entered an order denying the motions. The defendant's filed a notice of appeal within 30 days of that order. However, Virgin Islands Rule of Appellate Procedure 5(a)(4) provides that-in a case where a party timely files in the Superior Court a motion for judgment as matter of law or for a new trial-the time for filing the notice of appeal for all parties is extended until 30 days after the entry of an order disposing of the last such motion; provided, however, that the failure to dispose of any motion by order entered upon the record within 120 days after the date of the motion was filed shall constitute a denial of the motion for purposes of appeal. In the present case the 120-day provision was triggered, and the notice of appeal was due within 30 days thereafter. Defendants did not file the notice of appeal in this case within that period, and Rule 5(a)(4)'s 120-day provision denying the motion for purposes of appeal divested the Superior Court of jurisdiction to rule on the post-trial motion once the 120 days expired. The appeal is dismissed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion