Like an anvil suspended by a thread, the final transfer of control of Vitelco and the Innovative cable companies from bankruptcy court stewardship to their parent company’s biggest creditor remains unconsummated thanks to a partial, temporary stay this week from the V.I. Supreme Court.
On Sept. 14, V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks vacated an earlier stay and dismissed Jeffrey Prosser’s appeal of the V.I. Public Services Commission decision to approve the transfer.
Willocks found Prosser, former owner and CEO of Innovative Telephone, had “failed to provide a clear showing of irreparable and substantial financial or property loss as alleged, " that "(t)here is nothing in the record that suggests that the PSC’s findings of facts and conclusions were arbitrary, capricious or procured through fraud,” and, quoting from Prosser’s own legal counsel, that "(n)one of the material contained in the Petition for Reconsideration included new information as previously represented.”
Prosser promptly appealed to the V.I. Supreme Court, asking for a stay on the transfer as long as his appeal is still pending. In its order, the high court says it does not have enough information yet to determine if Prosser has a substantial case on the merits or will suffer irreparable harm if no stay is issued — the only legal routes to justify a stay. A temporary, partial stay will allow the high court to get the information and for the other side to respond to Prosser’s appeal, according to the order.
The Supreme Court’s order of Sept. 20 notes that Prosser also appealed to the V.I. Superior Court for a stay while he appeals the Superior Court’s ruling. Court rules prefer the Superior Court address such stays first, so "a partial temporary stay will allow the Superior Court to rule on the motion for stay … filed in that court."
The order, which is issued on behalf of the entire court and does not specify if it was written by one or all of the justices, gives Prosser until Sept. 27 to file all the transcripts and other salient information from the Superior Court. It stayed the transfer "until such a time as we rule upon Appellant’s Motion for Stay Pending Appeal."