U. S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood expressed hope yesterday that the CNMI government and the parties in Betty Johnson’s class action will agree on a single trustee who will run the settlement fund that will be created under the settlement agreement.
In the event the parties fail to agree on a single candidate, Tydingco-Gatewood said each shall submit a list of nominees no later than Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at noon.
Objections or comments about the nominations shall be filed no later than Sept. 5, 2013, at noon, although Tydingco-Gatewood said she would prefer that they be filed earlier.
“The court anticipates it will immediately schedule a preliminary round of interviews with the nominees, and will take the parties’ objections and/or comments into consideration before announcing the final three settlement candidates,” she said.
Tydingco-Gatewood has decided to advance the deadline for the submission of nominees for settlement trustee, given the court’s current trial schedule.
The judge’s original order set Sept. 10, 2013, as deadline for submission of nominees and Sept. 16, 2013, as deadline for objections or comments about the nominees.
Because she does not want the interviews to interfere with trial time, she will schedule the interviews during the weekends, beginning with the Labor Day weekend on Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
Tydingco-Gatewood reiterated her previous order that nominees should meet the criteria: adequate credentials, available to interview with the court, and ready to accept an appointment immediately if selected.
Early this month, Tydingco-Gatewood tentatively approved the settlement agreement in Johnson’s class action against the Fund and the CNMI government. The hearing on the final approval of the settlement deal is on Sept. 30, 2013.