Case Caption: Melvin Walters, Sr., et al. v. Loretta A. ParrottCase Number: S.Ct. Civ. No. 2009-0049Date: 04/30/2013Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

In litigation between two parties who never married but maintained a long relationship, involving two parcels of real property and claims for partition and sale, a counterclaim for recovery of rent received from tenants, and disputes over access to the property as well as maintenance expenses among other issues, with additional questions relating to jurisdiction over the properties at issue, contempt sanctions, recusal of the judge, and a motion for a new trial, the trial court properly exercised jurisdiction over the real properties. One of the parties had an equitable interest in the property, and the Superior Court has jurisdiction in matters of unjust enrichment, equitable lien, and all other equitable theories. The trial court also did not err in denying a motion for contempt and sanctions, a matter wholly within its discretion, and in this case there is no argument that the trial court erroneously applied the law or committed clear error in its application of the facts. Neither party provided appendices with any order one of the parties allegedly refused to obey, obviating review the trial court's reasoning concerning any motion for contempt and sanctions that allegedly was denied. The trial court also did not err in denying a motion for recusal since none of the grounds identified in 4 V.I.C. § 284 is alleged, and no cognizable legal reason is advanced for the trial judge to have recused herself from this case. The trial court did not err in denying a motion for reconsideration or new trial. No evidence was identified demonstrating that the trial court's findings are clearly erroneous, and there is no argument that a party was denied an opportunity to present evidence. The record reflects that the trial judge entered her findings of fact and conclusions of law after hearing the testimony of both parties, and they appear to be reasonable based on testimony elicited at trial. It has not been demonstrated that certain expense reimbursement claims involve newly discovered evidence that was not available to be presented at trial. Therefore the judgment and orders of the Superior Court are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion