A constable, Mr Nicholas Tranquille, of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is now suing the force, and by extension Commissioner of Police Mr Michael B. Matthews in his capacity as head of the RVIPF, for failure to promote him to a higher rank.
"I can confirm we have received notice that a Constable has commenced litigation over his perceived failure by the Organisation to promote him to the rank of Sergeant," CoP Matthews told Virgin Islands News.
It is understood that BVI Law Firm, Sabal's Law based on Waterfront Drive, Road Town, Tortola is representing the Constable; however, while the firm confirmed that its lawyers are on the case, they declined to provide detailed information regarding the litigation.
"I can’t really give you any more details as the matter is pending at the civil court," Cop Matthews also said when grilled about the details of the case.
It should be noted that this is not the first time Mr Tranquille has taken legal action against officials at the RVIPF over issues relating to a promotion.
Back in May 2015 and via a notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review, Police Constable Nicholas Tranquille had challenged then Commissioner of Police (CoP) David Morris for allegedly failing to honour a judgement of the High Court of the Virgin Islands
which had ruled in favour of Tranquille.
According to the application, Tranquille was seeking to contest the Respondent/CoP who allegedly refused to exercise his power under Force Standing Order M 7 (4) to waive the requirement that the Applicant pass the examination for promotion to the rank of Sergeant thereby making him eligible for promotion.
Justice Nicole P. Byer on November 11, 2014, ruled in favour of Mr Tranquille who had taken the Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mr David Morris to court for not promoting him.
The judgment had stated that Mr Tranquille was assigned to serve in the Regional Police Training Centre in Barbados for two years, starting in July 2011, and he was also appointed to acting sergeant by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
During that time, it was announced that the RVIPF would be promoting qualified officers, but Mr Tranquille couldn’t complete the application process because he was located in Barbados, according to the judgment.
When Mr Tranquille returned to the VI in October 2013, he was informed that he would be reverted to the rank of constable.