Alleged Peeping Tom’s suit vs local newspapers dismissed


The U.S. District Court for the NMI has dismissed the lawsuit filed by an alleged peeping tom against the CNMI government and local newspapers because it was found frivolous or had no legal merit.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued an order last Friday dismissing with prejudice the lawsuit filed by Brandon M. Rangamar. This means Rangamar can still refile the case.

Specifically, Manglona said, Rangamar’s fifth and fourteenth amendment claims were dismissed for frivolousness. However, the court found that Rangamar may have a potentially viable claim for defamation, but he must allege sufficient facts establishing diversity jurisdiction for that claim.

As a result, the court dismissed Rangamar’s complaint with leave to amend as to his defamation claim only. If Rangamar seeks to pursue this claim, he must file a first amended complaint no later than Feb. 28, 2022. The judge added that failure to file an amended complaint by this deadline will result in the court dismissing this action with prejudice and directing the Clerk of Court to close the case.

According to the order, Rangamar alleged a fifth and fourteenth amendment violation by the CNMI government, the CNMI Department of Public Safety, Saipan Tribune, and Marianas Variety News.

“The court concludes, however, that his constitutional claims are frivolous. A complaint is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Notably, his constitutional claims fail against defendants Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety News. A threshold requirement of any constitutional claim is the presence of state action, where a private party is charged for the deprivation of rights, a private party’s actions must be ‘properly attributable to the state,’” the judge said.

Manglona explained that Rangamar asserts claims against local newspapers—private actors—for publishing headlines regarding him, but fails to establish that those actions were attributed to the government. Because of this, as a threshold matter, the constitutional claims fail against those two defendants. The court must therefore determine whether his constitutional claims survive against the CNMI government and the Department of Public Safety.

In regards to Rangamar’s allegations that the Department of Public Safety embarrassed him by posting a photo and information of his alleged crime, it was pointed out that CNMI law permits such action, has nothing to do with double jeopardy, self-incrimination, taking of private property for public use, or any deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process. Therefore, his fifth amendment claim fails against the state actors and cannot be cured by filing any amended complaint.

According to a previous Saipan Tribune article, Rangamar, 48, filed a lawsuit with the U.S District Court for the NMI against the CNMI government, DPS, Saipan Tribune, and Marianas Variety following the publication of his mugshot and details of his ongoing case back in September 2021.

Rangamar was arrested back in April for allegedly looking through a bathroom window while a woman was showering.

According to the lawsuit he filed representing himself, Rangamar claims that the publication of the case against him caused him and his family stress, embarrassment, and loss of possible employment.

He takes issue with the CNMI government for allowing the publication of damaging information of crimes still pending court proceedings.

As for DPS, he is suing DPS for publicly embarrassing him by releasing his photo and details about his case.

Rangamar is suing Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety for defamation and slander, accusing both newspapers of published headlines “with careless defamation and slander.”

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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
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