Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has ordered two lawyers representing former governor Pedro P. Tenorio and his wife Sophia Tenorio in a lawsuit against the owner of the defunct Hotel Riviera Saipan to appear in court and explain why they should not be sanctioned over the filing of separate documents within a 24-hour period.
In an order issued Friday, Camacho directed attorneys Daniel Stafford and Tiberius Mocanu to appear in court tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9am, to show cause why the court should not impose sanctions.
The judge warned that failure to appear may result in a bench warrant being issued and other sanctions.
“This court is very concerned whether these two attorneys for the plaintiffs know what they are doing or are simply playing games,” Camacho said.
According to court documents, on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 11:24am, Stafford, counsel for the Tenorio couple, filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief and requested for an expedited hearing.
Stafford asked the court issue an order prohibiting Chang Shin Resort Saipan Corp., owner of Hotel Riviera Saipan, from leaving the hotel premises unsecured, and directing the corporation not to take any action that would damage the property.
In the alternative, Stafford asked the court to allow the Tenorio couple access to the property and allow their agents to secure and maintain the property.
Later that day, at 4:07pm, Stafford filed a notice to withdraw the motion.
The following day, Feb. 15, at 10:59am, attorney Tiberius Mocano filed a notice to substitute Stafford as counsel for the Tenorios, saying Stafford will be relocating off-island this month. Mocanu said the plaintiffs have consented to this substitution.
Later that day, at 3:03pm, Mocanu filed the same plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunctive relief that Stafford asked a day before to be withdrawn.
In his order to show cause on Friday, Camacho noted that all of the filings happened within a 24-hour period.