Three executives of Swift Air LLC have asked the federal court to permanently stop Saipan Air from pursuing its $50-million racketeering lawsuit against them.
In a motion for permanent injunction filed Wednesday, Donald A. Stukes, Jeffrey Conry, and Boris Van Lier, through counsel Michael White, asserted that Saipan Air’s continued pursuit of its claims in the lawsuit “runs afoul” of Swift Air’s reorganization plan and should be stopped.
White noted that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona had already approved on Oct. 1, 2013, Swift Air’s plan of reorganization.
That plan, White said, includes a supplemental injunction that bars Swift Air’s creditors from “commencing or continuing in any manner any action or other proceeding of any kind” against a released party that is “based upon, attributable to, arising out of or relating to” any claimed right to payment from Swift, the debtor.”
White said the bankruptcy court has determined that the reorganization plan complies with all requirements of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
White pointed out that Saipan Air actively participated in the bankruptcy proceedings that resulted in the reorganization plan. Saipan Air chaired the creditors’ committee and, through Adam Ferguson, voted to accept the confirmed plan, he said.
“Through this lawsuit, Saipan Air is attempting to circumvent the bankruptcy proceedings in the District of Arizona,” the lawyer added.
With the filing of the motion for permanent injunction, the defendants also requested the federal court to postpone the settlement conference set for Monday, Nov. 4, on Saipan, and the depositions of Conry and Van Lier, currently scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5 and 6, also on Saipan.
If the court grants their motion for permanent injunction, Saipan Air’s lawsuit would be permanently stopped and effectively dismissed, which would make all scheduled proceedings moot, White said.
Conry and Van Lier recently asked the court to postpone the scheduled depositions, citing their ongoing efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. The federal court subsequently moved the depositions of Conry and Van Lier to Nov. 5 and 6.
Saipan Air is suing Stukes, Conry, Van Lier, Hank Robert and 10 unnamed co-defendants for allegedly conspiring to fraudulently obtain money and other property from Saipan Air.
Last February, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ruled that the federal court has personal jurisdiction over each of the three defendants because they purposely availed of the privilege of conducting activities in the CNMI and Saipan Air’s fraud claim arises from those activities. (Ferdie de la Torre)