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Prosser’s Adversaries Win in Another Mainland Court

Oct. 25, 2005 — Jeffrey Prosser’s adversaries have won yet another decision from yet another stateside court.
In their most recent decisions, courts in Virginia, Delaware, Florida and Georgia have ruled against Prosser’s Innovative Communication Company on matters great and small.
(See "Court Actions Against ICC Multiply ".)
ICC owns the V.I. telephone system, which is one of the territory's largest employers.
This time the courtroom was in Philadelphia and it belonged to the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
That court was faced with an application for a writ of mandamus filed by ICC’s disenchanted bankers, the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative. RTFC wants Prosser’s company to repay the half-billion dollars or so it lent to ICC. RTFC claims that the company violated the terms of the loan agreements — ICC disagrees.
That case was in the U.S. District Court of the Virgin Islands before Judge Curtis Gomez. RTFC had asked Gomez to recuse himself on the grounds of published reports that his appointment to the federal bench had been encouraged by Holland Redfield, who is both an ICC officer and a member of the Republican National Committee for the Virgin Islands.
Gomez had not acted on that request and kept postponing hearing dates until RTFC went over his head to the Third Circuit seeking to speed the Judge’s decision on the recusal request.
On Oct. 17, three judges of the Circuit Court handed down a four-line decision directing Gomez to respond within 30 days to the RFTC filing.
In the meantime, the Third Circuit said, "We will retain jurisdiction in this matter and defer ruling on said petition until such response is received."
In such situations the appeals court does not necessarily retain jurisdiction, but it did in this instance. It appears in this case, according to a lawyer following these matters, that the judges seemed to be sending a message to Gomez that "we are keeping an eye on what happens".
While courts on the mainland have been unkind to Prosser lately, he did win a courtroom victory in Belize recently, regarding how many directors he can name to the Belizean phone company, of which he has been seeking to regain control. (See "Prosser Wins a Round in Belize Fight.")

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