Case Caption: In Re: Kenth W. RogersCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2010-0093Date: 02/27/2012Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

Orders of the Superior Court holding an attorney in contempt of court in two cases are affirmed. The attorney, counsel in two matters before the Family Division of the Superior Court, filed various motions including a mislabeled motion to disqualify the judge, did not attend scheduled conferences and did not appear pursuant to show cause orders. He was found in contempt of court pursuant to section 14 V.I.C. § 581(3), and daily fines were imposed. After additional hearings two fines of $500.00 were imposed and these appeals followed. An order finding contempt against an attorney who is not a party to the underlying litigation is immediately appealable. Two $25 retrospective sanctions were imposed for direct contempt, which may be punished summarily under 14 V.I.C. § 581 and Superior Court Rule 138 where an attorney fails to appear at a hearing and refuses to provide a legitimate explanation for that failure. Per diem sanctions in these cases were civil in nature and their imposition did not violate due process. The Superior Court had jurisdiction to impose the sanctions despite the filing of a notice of appeal after the commencement of hearings below in each case, and the attorney's failure to appear was not excused simply because there was a pending motion to disqualify the trial court judge. The Orders are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion