Case Caption: Frank E. Hughley v. Government of the Virgin Islands, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2010-0015 & S. Ct. Civ. No. 2010-0075Date: 10/01/2014Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

The Superior Court did not err in dismissing as untimely a motion for sentence reduction made some eight years after the defendant's conviction and sentence on three counts of aggravated rape and six counts of unlawful sexual contact, since the Government expressly challenged the timeliness of that application and defendant did not respond to that challenge for nearly three years while the matter remained pending in the Superior Court. The Superior Court's August 24, 2010 order is affirmed. Denial of the petitioner's application for a writ of habeas corpus for failure to satisfy technical requirements in 5 V.I.C. § 1302 was erroneous. The petitioner expressly alleged that his imprisonment was unlawful because he had been convicted by an all-female jury. Although the petition was not verified under oath, the verification requirement codified in § 1302(3) represents a non-jurisdictional claims-processing rule. Denial of petitioner's prior petition for a writ of habeas corpus did not automatically prohibit a second petition, and here the Government never pled that petitioner was abusing the writ process with repeated applications. The possibility of future review by this Court could provide a justification for the Superior Court to consider the petitioner's second habeas corpus petition on the merits. The memorandum opinion of the Superior Court filed September 30, 2011 denying the petition for writ of habeas corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel is reversed ,and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion