Case Caption: In re: Amelia B. JosephCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0015Date: 04/05/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

A petition for writ of mandamus directing payment to a Virgin Islands attorney for services rendered in two court-appointed cases is denied because the respondents have now paid her in full. Respondents have not moved to dismiss this matter as moot, and the mootness doctrine, as applied by Virgin Islands courts, represents a non-jurisdictional claims processing rule that is subject to waiver. Moreover, the petition seeks additional relief beyond an order directing immediate payment, and there is a reasonable likelihood that this dispute may recur at some future date. Nevertheless, in determining whether a writ of mandamus is appropriate the factors considered include, but are not limited to, the public interest, the importance or unimportance of the question presented, and equity and justice. The remedy of mandamus is a drastic one, to be invoked only in extraordinary situations. Here, since the attorney has been paid, it cannot be said that issuing a writ directing the respondents to pay her would further the public interest, and the attorney has not requested a declaration that the respondents' apparent present practice of taking up to 60 days to issue payments to court-appointed counsel is illegal. Accordingly, it simply cannot be concluded that a writ of mandamus is appropriate under the circumstances.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion