Case Caption: People of the Virgin Islands v. David A. ArmstrongCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2015-0126Date: 05/03/2016Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

Considering the People's appeal from a Superior Court opinion and order granting the appellee's renewed motion to suppress evidence seized from his vehicle, because Superior Court Rule 128 obligates the Superior Court to rule on all motions prior to judgment, and because that court possesses the inherent authority to review any of its earlier interlocutory orders prior to entry of final judgment, the Superior Court was within its rights to consider the renewed motion to suppress on the merits. However, since the Superior Court is also required to hold an evidentiary hearing whenever a factual dispute exists that requires it to weigh the evidence, it erred when it summarily granted that renewed motion. Accordingly, the Superior Court's December 15, 2015 opinion and order are vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings. On remand, the Superior Court is directed to hold a suppression hearing in which the People may introduce evidence to support the legality of the search of the appellee's vehicle, including challenging the credibility of a key witness affidavit upon which appellee's renewed motion principally relied.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion