Case Caption: Anduze Alexander v. Hilda Alexander, as guardian of Austin AlexanderCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2016-0012Date: 09/23/2016Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

Considering an appeal from a Superior Court judgment granting summary judgment in favor of a father concerning real property that was purportedly conveyed to his son via a 2008 quitclaim deed, no error is found. The Superior Court correctly held that the deed conveying the property to the son was invalid because it only contained one witness's signature verifying the conveyance, instead of the two witnesses' signatures required by 28 V.I.C. § 42(a). Although some delay inheres in the witnessing of a deed, subscribing witnesses must, in a timely fashion after the grantor signs the deed, be identified on the deed as witnesses and affix their signatures thereto. It is insufficient to prove a deed's validity, as the son attempted to do in this case, through a person's affidavit attesting to the fact that they witnessed the grantor sign a deed conveying property and could have signed the deed as a witness, as an affidavit does not comply with the statutory requirement that the individual sign the deed as a subscribing witness. The son's belated attempt to unilaterally cure the defective recorded deed is also rejected, as the proffered witness did not sign the deed in a timely fashion when he signed the already recorded deed seven years after purportedly observing the father sign the deed. The Superior Court's grant of summary judgment is affirmed, as the original deed was defective to convey title of the property due to the lack of a second witness's signature on the deed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion