Frank v. Enrietto, 010715 FED3, 13-4537

Docket Nº:13-4537
Opinion Judge:CHAGARES, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:IRA FRANK; RICHARD CORNELL; KENNETH DREW; NICHOLAS GOODPASTER; PETER DAVITT, Appellant v. JOHN ENRIETTO; MARK FARRELL
Judge Panel:Before: CHAGARES, JORDAN, and SHWARTZ, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 07, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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IRA FRANK; RICHARD CORNELL; KENNETH DREW; NICHOLAS GOODPASTER; PETER DAVITT, Appellant

v.

JOHN ENRIETTO; MARK FARRELL

No. 13-4537

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

January 7, 2015

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) December 8, 2014

On Appeal from the District Court of the Virgin Islands Appellate Division, Division of St. Thomas & St. John (D.C. No. 3-06-cv-00212) District Judges: Hon. Curtis v. Gomez and Hon. Raymond Finch

Before: CHAGARES, JORDAN, and SHWARTZ, Circuit Judges.

OPINION [*]

CHAGARES, Circuit Judge.

This case arises out of an October 8, 2005 Board of Directors election at Bluebeard's Castle Hilltop Villas ("Bluebeard"). The losing candidates in that election filed a complaint against Ira Frank, Kenneth Drew, Richard Cornell, Nicholas Goodpaster, and Peter Davit in that group's capacity as Bluebeard's Condominium Association (collectively, "the defendants") in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands arguing that the method of vote counting violated Bluebeard's bylaws. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground that the vote counting method complied with the Virgin Islands Condominium Act ("VICA"), which superseded the bylaws. The Superior Court denied summary judgment, held that the bylaws controlled, ruled that the votes had been incorrectly counted, and denied plaintiffs' motion for discovery to see the votes. After the Superior Court denied both sides' motions for reconsideration, the defendants appealed to the Appellate Division of the District Court of the Virgin Islands, which found that the VICA does not mandate percentage voting and affirmed the Superior Court's judgment. The defendants now appeal, and for the reasons that follow, we will affirm.

I.

We write exclusively for the parties and therefore set forth only those facts that are necessary to our disposition. John Enrietto and Mark Farrell each sought election to Bluebeard's Condominium Association ("the Association"), and both lost. They later learned that the votes had been calculated on a percentage basis — whereby votes were counted based on each unit's or weekly interval's respective interest in the common area of the condominium — rather than one the "one-unit, one-vote" basis prescribed in the bylaws, whereby each unit received one vote and each owner of a weekly time-share unit received 1/52 of a vote. See Joint Appendix ("JA") 98; 155-56. Enrietto and Farrell later discovered that they would have won under the one-unit, one-vote system. See Plaintiffs' Br. 4 n.1.

Section 2 of the bylaws, which concerns voting, provides that:

One (1) vote shall be assigned to each Condominium Villa Unit, regardless of whether or not such Condominium Villa Unit is committed to interval ownership. The vote assigned to Condominium Villa Units committed to interval ownership is divisible so that each Condominium Interval Unit shall be assigned 1/52 of the vote of the Condominium Villa Unit in which such Condominium Interval Unit is located.

JA 98. The "Declaration of Condominium Establishing Bluebeard's Castle Hilltop Villas A Condominium" ("the Declaration") provides that "Bluebeard's Castle, Inc. . . . does hereby make, declare and...

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