Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a defendant in a recently dismissed federalization lawsuit, opposed Friday the request of the plaintiffs to modify or vacate the court decision, citing a lack of support for the motion.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Justice Ramona V. Manglona had dismissed with prejudice last November the complaint that challenged the implementation of the federalization law, or the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008. It was dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to file an opposition on the motion to dismiss the case filed by Napolitano.
Through her counsels Stuart F. Delery, David J. Kline, and Theodore W. Atkinson, Napolitano indicated that the plaintiffs' failure to file a memorandum in support of the motion puts her in the position of having to guess which part of Rule 60 supports the plaintiffs' motion to vacate or modify the court order.
Napolitano added that the failure to provide a memorandum of points and authorities provides her with no arguments to which meaningful response may be made. She asked the court to order the plaintiffs to file a memorandum of points of authorities in support of their motion and postpone a hearing on the matter until the plaintiffs have complied and defendants have an opportunity to respond.
Last December, the plaintiffs asked for the voluntary dismissal of the case and requested the U.S. District Court to modify or vacate its earlier order to reflect their action.
The plaintiffs are composed of 30 some individuals, mostly leaders of nonresident groups in the CNMI.
According to the plaintiffs' counsel, Stephen Woodruff, they have concluded that there is no point in attempting to proceed further with this lawsuit as they do not believe it is the best vehicle at this time to seek remedies for the serious deficiencies in DHS' implementation of federal immigration in the CNMI.
For the plaintiffs, “dismissal with prejudice of the unarticulated claims is a logical impossibility” and runs contrary to the preference of American courts for adjudication on the merits.
The federalization case was filed in 2011 by plaintiffs because of the alleged mess created by DHS by putting CW regulations into effect.