Case Caption: Caroline Fawkes, in her official capacity as Supervisor of Elections, Virgin Islands Joint Board of Elections, Board of Elections, St. Thomas-St. John, and Kevin A. Rodriguez a/k/a Kevin A. Rodriquez, v. Janelle K. Sarauw and Brigette BerryCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2016-0106Date: 01/04/2017Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

Considering an appeal from the grant of a preliminary injunction enjoining a candidate from taking the oath of office as a member of the Legislature, no error is found. The Superior Court correctly held that the affirmative defense of laches did not bar a challenge to the candidate's qualifications to serve, since the equitable defense of laches does not apply to an action challenge the qualifications of an individual to hold office. The Superior Court erred in applying a taxpayer residency test to determine whether the candidate was a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands for the past three-years, since for purposes of section 6(b) of the Revised Organic Act, bona fide resident is synonymous with domicile. The error is harmless, however, in that domicile is determined by considering physical presence and intent, and the Superior Court made factual findings with respect to those factors. The Superior Court did not err when it concluded that the challengers to the candidate's qualifications were likely to succeed in establishing that the candidate was not a bona fide resident of the Virgin Islands, since the Superior Court's factual findings in this regard were not clearly erroneous. The Superior Court's grant of a preliminary injunction is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion