Case Caption: Gloria F. McGowan et al. v. Inez M. Hodge, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0018Date: 06/20/2017Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

On a motion for full panel review, the denial of two motions to dismiss is reaffirmed. Appellants timely filed their notice of appeal of the February 6, 2013 order on March 7, 2013 under V.I.S.CT.R. 5(a)(1). Because the Superior Court cannot rule on a pending attorney's fees motion while this appeal is pending, the pendency of an attorney's fees motion does not defeat the finality of an otherwise final judgment. However, the Superior Court also could not have ruled on a March 23, 2007 motion for attorney's fees while a prior appeal was pending and should have refused to exercise jurisdiction over that motion. Thus, the May 17, 2007 order constitutes a nullity in that it was issued despite an effective notice of appeal having been filed with this Court, and the Superior Court applied the wrong legal standard in according it deference. Consequently, this appeal presents no substantial question and the disposition is wholly controlled by prior precedent. The motions to dismiss are denied. The February 6, 2013 opinion and order is summarily vacated and the Superior Court is directed, on remand, to adjudicate the appellants' March 23, 2007 motion without reference to or deference towards the May 17, 2007 order.

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