Legal Memorandum: Establishing Fraud Claim in VI

Issue: Under the law of the Virgin Islands, what must a plaintiff establish to prevail on a claim of fraud?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Fraudulent misrepresentation; Fraud; Specific pleading
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 742 F.2d 786; 964 F.2d 272
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b)
Date: 04/01/2015

Generally, “fraud” is identical to “fraudulent misrepresentation.”  Isaac v. Crichlow, No. SX-12-CV-065, 2015 V.I. LEXIS 15, 22 n.  (V.I. Super. Ct. Feb. 10, 2015) (Molloy, J.) (quoting Greenberg v. Tomlin, 816 F. Supp. 1039, 1054 (E.D. Pa. 1993)). 

Both “fraud” and “fraudulent misrepresentation” require specific pleading.  Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b); Isaac, 2015 V.I. LEXIS 15, 14 (citing Ringo v. Southland Gaming of the United States V.I., Inc., 2010 V.I. LEXIS 62, 15, (V.I. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2010) (Dunston, J.)).  Isaac set for the requirements:

Specifically, Rule 9(b) requires a plaintiff to plead: (1) a specific false representation of material fact; (2) knowledge by the person who made it of its falsity; (3) ignorance of its falsity by the person to whom it was made; (4) the intention that it be acted upon; and (5) that the plaintiff acted or relied upon it to his damage or detriment. Olive v. deJongh, 57 V.I. 24 (V.I. Super. Aug. 3, 2012) (citing Shapiro v. UJB Fin. Corp., 964 F.2d 272, 284 (3rd 1992)). Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally. Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). Under Rule 9(b), plaintiffs are required to “plead with particularity the ‘circumstances’ of the alleged fraud in order to place the defendants on notice of the precise misconduct with which they are charged, and to safeguard defendants against spurious charges of immoral and fraudulent behavior.” Seville Indus. Machinery Corp. v. Southmost […]


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