The Commonwealth Health Center has asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to certify questions of the CNMI Supreme Court regarding NMI Retirement Fund issues.
Assistant attorney general Michael Stanker, counsel for CHC, on Friday requested the federal court to certify legal questions to the CNMI high court if the court elects to not dismiss the Fund's lawsuit against the CHC.
Stanker said the federal court should submit certified questions seeking guidance from the CNMI Supreme Court on whether the Fund possess the standing and capacity to sue the CNMI government.
Stanker said the other issues that need guidance are the following:
* The CNMI government owes contract rights as protected by the U.S. Constitution and the CNMI Constitution.
n The Fund possesses rights against the CNMI government under the CNMI Constitution.
* The nature of the indemnification/contribution that the CNMI government owes to the Fund.
* The Fund can seek to appoint a receiver over the CNMI government.
“These important issues, which solely implicate Commonwealth law, have not been ruled on by the CNMI Supreme Court, and the Commonwealth courts should be given the opportunity to pass judgments on these important questions of local law and policy,” Stanker said.
Stanker said the Fund's lawsuit against CHC should also be dismissed on the basis that the federal court lacks jurisdiction.
Last month, the Fund filed an amended complaint against CHC, Northern Marianas College, and the Public School System for allegedly failing to remit employer contributions to the pension agency.