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Legal Memorandum: Procedure for the Release of a Lien

Issue: Under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is summary judgment appropriate in addressing the release of a lien?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Release of a lien; Summary Judgment; Triable issues of fact
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 91 F. Supp. 2d 451; 802 N.Y.S.2d 821
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2007

Summary judgment is inappropriate in a case in which a party seeks release of a lien when there are triable issues of fact as to the entitlement to release of the lien.  Lamparelli Constr. Co. v. Berkley Square of Hamburg, Inc., 802 N.Y.S.2d 821, 822-23 (App. Div. 2005) (affirming denial of summary judgment).  See also Morell v. United States, 91 F. Supp. 2d 451, 462-63 (D.P.R. 2000) (remaining genuine issues of material fact as to whether levies or liens were properly issued could not be determined at summary judgment); Am. Sec. Bank, N.A. v. York, Civ. A. No. 91-1212 (D.D.C. Sept. 1, 1992) (issues surrounding, inter alia, refusal to release lien on shares so that a stock swap could occur were triable issues of fact that precluded summary judgment on the defendants’counterclaimants’ counterclaim).  In Battaglia Elec., Inc. v. Bancroft Constr. Co., No. Civ.A.01C04114RRC (Del. Super. Ct. Mar. 13, 2003), the Delaware court denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of the release of its lien rights.  Id. at *1.

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