Case Caption: Joseph Gerace, et al. v. Maria Bentley, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2015-0046Date: 08/22/2016Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a civil action on contract and other theories, where the Superior Court dismissed the complaint of plaintiffs - who were residents when they filed the lawsuit but later moved out of the Virgin Islands - for failure to post a security bond under 5 V.I.C. § 547 because they are non-residents, this statute applied to the underlying matter and it does not violate the separation of powers principles inherent in the Revised Organic Act. However, the statute is nevertheless unconstitutional under both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. Accordingly, the Superior Court's April 16, 2015 opinion dismissing the complaint is reversed, the April 18, 2013 order setting a cost bond is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion