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Quichocho posts $1,200 cash bail; asks court to quash bench warrant

Lawyer Ramon K. Quichocho posted a $1,200 cash bail and asked the federal court to quash the bench warrant it issued against him.

At the same time, in a motion filed Friday, Quichocho asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to allow him to appear in court telephonically for the show cause hearing on the civil contempt issue because he is currently out of the CNMI.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued the bench warrant for Quichocho’s arrest last July 7 for failing to appear at a show cause hearing that day. She imposed a $1,200 cash bail.

The judge said she would address the issue of finding the lawyer in civil contempt separately when Quichocho is already present before the court.

Manglona said if and when Quichocho does make some sort of transmission of funds, the money would be held in a trust until the hearing on the civil contempt issue.

In his motion to quash on Friday, Quichocho said he tendered the $1,200 bail money to the clerk’s office on Thursday.

Quichocho said he is off-island and will be out of the CNMI for about three months and will therefore be unable to appear in person on the hearing date, if set for anytime within the three months.

He said he has been off-island since June 10, 2014, for personal and medical reasons. He said he will be available via teleconference for the hearing on the order to show cause.

Last June 30, Manglona ordered Quichocho to show cause why he should not be held in civil contempt for refusing to pay sanctions for $1,200 in attorney’s fees.

The order to show cause hearing was set for July 7 at 10am.

Quichocho failed to appear at the hearing.

Attorney Mark Scoggins appeared at the July 7 hearing as counsel for Ming Yang Corp., which owns Ming Yang Market.

Scoggins stated that since the filing of Quichocho’s motion for reconsideration, the latter had claimed to be traveling.

Scoggins disclosed that he had received one email from Quichocho a week ago that he was still off-island and had not heard from him since.

Manglona issued the $1,200 sanction order against Quichocho on June 16 for his late submission of his opposition to Ming Yang Corp.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit. Part of the sanction included paying Ming Yang Corp.’s legal fees in preparing for a motion. Manglona ordered Quichocho to pay the fees no later than June 25, 2014.

Last June 24, however, Quichocho filed a motion to reconsider Manglona’s order. He claimed that his opposition was due June 12, but that he left Saipan for personal and medical reasons on June 10, so he could not file an opposition.

Manglona denied the motion and gave Quichocho until June 27, to pay the sanctions.

As Quichocho failed to pay the sanctions on June 27, Scoggins, filed a petition for an order to show cause. Manglona granted the petition.

Quichocho served as counsel for William A. Tracy, who sued several businesses, including Ming Yang, for allegedly having facilities that are not accessible to persons with disabilities. Tracy was reportedly found dead last Feb.7. The case has since been dismissed.

Last May 28, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho issued an order suspending Quichocho’s license to practice law for three years for professional misconduct when he used a legal tool to harass a former client to coerce payment.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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