Case Caption: Horace Brooks v. Government of the Virgin Islands, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2012-0110Date: 05/02/2013Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In proceedings after a union filed a grievance on behalf of a terminated government employee, and the Government refused to participate in arbitration, in which the Public Employees Relation Board concluded that the employee was not a member of the union because his position was exempt and not included within the union's supervisory bargaining unit, the Superior Court erred in dismissing a Petition for Writ of Review of this action. While, as filed, the employee was denominated as the petitioner requesting review, the court erred in denying a request to substitute the union, a party to the Board proceedings, as petitioner and erred in dismissing the petition for lack of jurisdiction for failure to name an aggrieved party in the caption of the petition. There is nothing in 24 V.I.C. § 380 to suggest that a mistake in naming the petitioner in the caption of the petition for review should constitute a jurisdictional defect, and no clear indications that the Legislature intended such a result. Thus, while the requirement that an aggrieved party file the petition is mandatory, it is not jurisdictional. Further, in the present case no prejudice would have inured to the Government or the Board if the court allowed the amendment. Consequently, the trial court erred when it dismissed the a petition for review without considering whether Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure would permit the nunc pro tunc substitution of the union as the petitioner in this case. The Superior Court's October 2, 2012 order is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion