Virgin Islands Port Authority officials are not giving up their fight to evict the popular local eatery Patrick’s West Indian Delight from the U.S. Customs parking lot.
Patrick’s owner Patrick Joseph was originally served with a notice to quit the premises in October 2005. VIPA officials then took the matter to court in August 2006 where a V.I. Superior Court judge dismissed the case.
The dismissal, however, did not squelch VIPA’s determination to evict Patrick’s from the two parking spaces the eatery has occupied at the Cruz Bay parking lot for more than three decades.
VIPA officials served Joseph yet another notice to quit the premises in late October 2006, which set December 1 as the deadline for him to vacate the space.
Kendall Rules Case Should Be Civil Matter
Joseph stayed put and the matter was heard earlier this year before V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall, who ruled the case was being entertained by the wrong judicial body.
“There were brief arguments from both sides and Judge Kendall ruled that he did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the action brought by VIPA which was a summary forcible entry and detainer action,” said VIPA spokesperson Marc Stridiron. “He transferred the proceedings to a civil court. Pursuant to the ruling, the case will now move into a civil case between the Port Authority and Mr. Joseph.”
VIPA’s attorney is now appealing Kendall’s ruling, Stridiron explained.
“A notice of appeal has been filed and the Port Authority’s attorney is waiting for the briefing schedule,” said Stridiron. “Next we’ll get a schedule from the judge saying when our brief is due and when the respondent’s brief is due and our response to their brief.”
“As appeals go, it is in the very early stages,” he added.
In the meantime, residents and tourists alike continue to enjoy local food and lively conversation at Patrick’s West Indian Delight — at least for now.