Brow v. Gov't of the U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

A Dec. 22, 1989, order by the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands required Brow's reinstatement in the Virgin Islands Police Department, with back pay retroactive to April 1, 1986. Third Department affirmed dismissal of Brow's 1992 petition to mandate retroactive restoration of wages and benefits. It lacked jurisdiction because Brow's mandamus petition was actually a bid to enforce the Dec. 22 Order, which under Virgin Islands law could only be done by the Territorial Court. In his action against the Virgin Islands, Brow filed a petition for writ of mandamus nearly identical to that he filed in the government's 2001 lawsuit seeking repayment of student loans. Brow was twice informed that only the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands has jurisdiction to enforce its prior order. District court dismissed Brow's instant action to direct the Virgin Islands to produce the money allegedly owed under the Dec. 22 Order and then allow him to use the money to satisfy his debt to the U.S. government. Such action requires enforcement of the Dec. 22 order against the Virgin Islands—the same action that the courts in Brow's prior actions correctly ruled hey lacked power to effect. Thus Brow must seek redress in the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands.

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