Superior Court judge pro tempore Michael J. Bordallo issued yesterday a final judgment that found Senate vice president Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota) and his wife Villa M. Hocog liable to pay $292,048.53 to the Commonwealth Development Authority for non-payment of lease on a piece of land on Rota.
Bordallo forfeited and terminated the ground lease and option-to-purchase agreement that the Hocog couple entered with CDA for a 960-square-meter lot.
The judge awarded possession of the leased premises to CDA.
Bordallo awarded CDA with costs and attorney’s fees, but denied the agency’s request for payment of double rent.
According to court records, on Sept. 20, 2005, CDA acquired all rights, title, and interest to the land by assignment from the Bank of Guam. The Hocogs previously held a lease agreement for the lot with the bank.
As part of the assignment, CDA took over that agreement but ultimately terminated the lease in April 2006. The Hocogs, however, remained on the property as holdover tenants.
The parties negotiated a new agreement, culminating in a ground lease and option to purchase, which was executed in April 2009. The leased lot includes all improvements, including a two-story residential building.
Under the terms of the ground lease, CDA agreed to lease the lot to the Hocogs for a term of 30 years, beginning December 2008.
The Hocogs agreed to pay CDA a total of $212,000 plus 5-percent interest per annum in increments of $800 per month.
In addition to their rental obligations, CDA claims the Hocogs also owed $25,000 based on a prior month-to-month tenancy for this premises.
CDA, through counsel Jennifer Dockter, claims that despite attempts to collect, the Hocogs have failed to pay the $25,000 owed from the prior lease agreement.
CDA further claims that the defendants have made only one payment of $4,145.50 on Sept. 21, 2009, toward their current lease agreement.
CDA then filed a complaint to terminate the ground lease and option-to-purchase agreement in Feb. 2011. The Hocogs denied that they were in default.
CDA filed a motion for summary judgment seeking termination of the ground lease. The Hocogs claim that they have made timely monthly payments in satisfaction of their obligation under the ground lease and lease option.
Victor Hocog submitted in January an amended affidavit, asserting that his monthly payments to CDA were “for the house rental and not for the arrears.”
In granting CDA’s motion on Oct. 8, 2013, Bordallo said the only corroborative evidence to support the position of Victor Hocog was his statement: “That my income tax for calendar years 2007 and 2008 was withheld and that it was my understanding that is what applied for my house rental.”
Bordallo found the senator’s statement as too vague to meet his burden.
“It does not identify either the amount or dates of payments, nor does he explain how his 2007 and 2008 income tax returns account for the years from 2009 to the present in which he was obligated to make monthly payments,” the judge said.