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Legal Memorandum: Causes of Action and Statutes of Limitation

Issue: Under the law of the Virgin Islands, what are the potential statutes of limitation applicable to actions brought under the Automobile Dealers’ Day in Court Act and other, possibly relevant alternative causes of action?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Statutes of limitation; Actions under the Automobile Dealers' Day; Fraud
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: 15 U.S.C. § 1223; V.I. Code Ann. tit. 5, § 31(3)(A), § 31(5), § 32(c); 15 U.S.C. § 15b; V.I. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1507(2)
Date: 04/01/2015

Actions under the Automobile Dealers’ Day in Court Act must be commenced within three years after the cause of action shall have accrued.  15 U.S.C. § 1223.  Contract actions as well as actions based on liability created by statute in the Virgin Islands must be commenced within six years.  V.I. Code Ann. tit. 5, § 31(3)(A).              Actions related to fraud must be commenced must be commenced within two years.  V.I. Code Ann. tit. 5, § 31(5); see also Carroll v. Robert F. Craig P.C. (In re Innovative Commun. Corp.), 507 B.R. 841, 849 (Bankr. D.V.I. 2014) (finding § 31(5) applies to common law fraud).  The discovery rule applies to fraud claims, and the cause of action does not accrue until the aggrieved party discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the fraud.  Carroll, 507 B.R. at 849; see also V.I. Code Ann. tit. 5, § 32(c) (providing, at least in context of conveyance, “in an action upon a new promise, fraud, or mistake, the limitation shall be deemed to commence only from the making of the new promise or the discovery of the fraud or mistake”).

Actions under the Sherman Antitrust Act must be commenced within four years after the cause of action accrued.  15 U.S.C. § 15b.  Actions under the Virgin Islands Antimonopoly law must be commenced within four years after the cause of action accrued.  V.I. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1507(2). 

Civil conspiracy appears to be likely covered by the two-year statute of limitations “for any injury to the person or […]

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