Thompson v. Thompson

In Thompson v. Thompson, 64 V.I. 71 (V.I. Super. Ct. 2016), the court applied the United States Supreme Court's two-part test articulated in Landgraf for determining when a federal statute may be applied retroactively. First, the court must examine whether the Legislature "expressly prescribed the statute's proper reach." Thompson, 64 V.I. at 75-76. Then, in the absence of an express legislative command, the court must analyze "whether the new statute would have retroactive effect, i.e., whether it would impair rights a party possessed when he acted, increase a party's liability for past conduct, or impose new duties with respect to transactions already completed." Id. at 76. The Superior Court determined that there was no express command regarding section 109's proper reach embodied in the legislation itself. Id. at 77. It then found that application of section 109 would have no retroactive effect on the parties, but instead, "promotes judicial efficiency, discourages forum shopping, and advances the principles of equity intended by the Legislature." Id. at 78.