The District Court yesterday ordered former Japanese professional baseball player Kouichi Taniguchi to either pay $2,215 in court reporter costs to the owner of Marianas Resort and Spa or face arrest for contempt of court.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Senior Judge Alex R. Munson gave Taniguchi no later than Nov. 14, 2012, to pay the costs to Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd. or create a payment plan with the company.
Taniguchi was ordered to submit to the court within 10 business days proof of payment or the payment plan.
If Taniguchi complies, the judge said, the court will set aside its contempt order of March 20, 2009.
“If [Taniguchi] does not comply, a warrant for plaintiff's arrest shall be issued on Nov. 15, 2012,” Munson said.
Attorney Douglas F. Cushnie appeared for Taniguchi at the hearing. Attorney Richard W. Pierce appeared for Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd.
The court issued an order on March 20, 2009 finding Taniguchi in contempt of court after he and his counsel failed to appear at a show-cause hearing.
Munson found that the clerk of court has no record of any payments having been made and that Taniguchi did not subsequently appear in court.
Taniguchi used to play in Japan for the Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants and in the U.S. for the New York Mets.
He sued Kan Pacific in 2008 for alleged negligence when the hotel's wooden deck where he was standing collapsed.
Munson granted Kan Pacific's cross-motion for summary judgment on Dec. 22, 2008. The judge ordered that Taniguchi shall take nothing from his lawsuit.
Kan Pacific then submitted a bill of costs, which requested the taxation of $5,517.20 for “compensation of interpreters.”
Taniguchi appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in March 2011 affirmed Munson's decision. The Ninth Circuit ruled that Taniguchi did not provide enough evidence to dispute Kan Pacific's lack of negligence.