2 of 5 judges recuse in suit vs Senate

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Two of the CNMI’s five Superior Court judges have officially filed orders of recusal in the lawsuit filed by Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) and two CNMI residents against the Senate over alleged violations in the impeachment proceedings of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

Just hours after Manglona and CNMI residents Carmen Patricia Deleon Guerrero and Bruce Lee Jorgensen filed their pro se lawsuit against members of the Senate, Superior Court associate judges Kenneth Govendo and Teresa Kim-Tenorio filed their recusal orders in this case.

Govendo

According to Govendo’s order, there would be a conflict of interest if the case is assigned to him as he is friends with Manglona.

“The undersigned is friends with plaintiff Manglona. In addition, Manglona’s daughter was the undersigned judge’s law clerk for two year” Govendo said.

Kim-Tenorio did not specify her conflict if assigned the case. She returned the case back to Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja for reassignment.

Manglona and his co-plaintiffs have filed five causes of actions in support of their lawsuit against members of the Senate on the grounds of violations of the Open Government Act, violations of the CNMI Constitution, breach of constitutional duty, and alleged deprivation of due process and civil rights.

Kim-Tenorio

Named as defendants in this new lawsuit are Senate President Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian), and Sens. Karl King-Nabors (R-Tinian), Victor Hocog (R-Rota), Francisco Cruz (R-Rota), Vinnie Sablan (R-Saipan), and Justo Quitugua (R-Saipan).

In addition, the pro se plaintiffs have filed a motion to shorten time for accelerated hearing as mandated by §9916(b)(1) of the Open Government act.

The plaintiffs are essentially asking the Superior Court to schedule an accelerated date and time for a hearing on their complaint alleging multiple, significant, recurring, and continuing Open Government Act violations in this civil action.

“The requested hearing date and time be accelerated and shortened so as to ensure and order that the hearing shall be convened, commenced, and concluded, or before 9am on Friday, May 13, 2022,” the motion stated.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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