Case Caption: Virgin Islands Narcotics Strike Force v. Public Employees Relations BoardCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2012-0038Date: 12/02/2013Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In an appeal from proceedings heard by the Virgin Islands Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) and then the Superior Court, an order directing the Virgin Islands Narcotics Strike Force to pay pre- and post-judgment interest a former agent is reversed. The Legislature, by conferring authority upon the PERB to review dismissals, demotions, and suspensions of regular employees-including the power to conduct hearings and order remedies such as reinstatement, back pay, and attorney's fees-necessarily also vested it with the power to seek judicial enforcement of its decisions. Since 3 V.I.C. § 530a(a) provides a comprehensive framework for a party to appeal an adverse decision of the PERB to the Superior Court, it unquestionably supersedes the general grant of jurisdiction provided for in 4 V.I.C. §76. To allow the former agent to invoke § 76 to seek an interest award from the Superior Court, months after the time to appeal the PERB's order to the Superior Court had expired, would result in judicial interference with the PERB's oversight of the Personnel Merit System that is contrary to the clear intent of the Legislature. Since the former agent filed his motion well beyond the 30-day period set forth in 3 V.I.C. § 530a, and motions were made to dismiss this attempted appeal as untimely, the Superior Court was required to issue an order granting summary judgment enforcing the final order of the PERB, as set forth in § 530a(a). The Superior Court's March 23, 2012 Opinion and Order is reversed and the case is remanded for entry of an order enforcing the PERB's September 11, 2009 Order.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion