Superior Court associate judge David A. Wiseman scheduled yesterday a hearing to reconsider the preliminary injunction the court issued on the controversial $190.8-million power purchase agreement between the government and Saipan Development LLC.
The judge set this hearing for Jan. 17, 1:30pm in Courtroom 223A to give the parties an opportunity to present evidence and argue the following merits of injunctive relief: irreparable harm, likelihood of success on the merits, balance of hardships, and any public interest factors.
According to Wiseman, the court granted the preliminary injunction in September principally relying on the non-opposition of the government.
SDLLC filed on Oct. 5 a motion to vacate the preliminary injunction, claiming that the injunction order was improperly issued because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it, and that the injunction is unnecessary because the plaintiffs have an adequate remedy at law. The court also failed to consider appropriate factors in issuing the preliminary injunction, SDLLC said.
A preliminary injunction is a court order made in the early stages of a lawsuit or petition which prohibits the parties from doing an act that is in dispute, thereby maintaining the status quo until there is a final judgment after trial.
According to court documents, SDLLC argues that the injunction should be vacated because it was not served prior to the issuance of the preliminary injunction, and as a result, the court lacked jurisdiction over it. SDLLC later waived objection to personal jurisdiction after it failed to advance any argument concerning personal jurisdiction, lack of process or defective service of process.
SDLLC also asked the court to vacate the preliminary injunction because it contends that the court erroneously assumed that all defendants consented to be enjoined. The court, SDLLC added, also failed to address the injunctive relief factors laid out in Villanueva v Tinian Shipping & Transp. Inc.
Wiseman, in his order yesterday, said the court did not have the benefit of SDLLC's arguments before rendering its injunction decision.
“In consideration of equitable and due process principles the court finds that SDLLC demonstrated a basis for reconsideration,” stated Wiseman's order.