CCC, IPI closes in on settlement agreement


File photo shows the Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s casino in Garapan.

The Commonwealth Casino Commission and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC have informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI that they are currently closing in on their settlement agreement.

During a status conference last Friday before Chief Judge Ramona Manglona, IPI lawyer Kevin Abikoff said a draft of the stipulated agreement is now being circulated among the parties. Attorney Alison Nelson, who represents the CCC, confirmed the report before the court.

The CCC-IPI settlement agreement has now been in the works for the past month.
Manglona set a status conference for Tuesday, July 12, at 8:30am.
The court ordered the two lawyers to report to the court no later than July 11 on the status of the settlement agreement.

IPI previously filed a complaint against the CCC and took out a temporary restraining order against the commission to prohibit it from moving forward with a hearing to revoke IPI’s exclusive casino commission.

According to court documents, IPI filed their complaint and emergency motion for TRO last May 23.

The court issued the TRO on May 23, ordering the CCC to cease and desist from proceeding with enforcement action 2021-001-005, including convening the enforcement hearing scheduled for May 24-25.

The parties appeared before the court for a status conference on May 25, where the defendants asked for more time to respond to IPI’s emergency motion.
Following the status conference, the court issued an order extending CCC’s deadline to file its opposition to IPI to May 31, with plaintiff’s reply due June 2.

Based on a stipulation by the parties filed on May 31, the court entered an order extending the TRO and granting the joint stipulated motion to stay briefing on IPI’s motion due to the parties’ significant progress toward a settlement.

According to the order, the court extended the TRO through July 8, and stayed the briefing on the plaintiffs’ complaint and emergency motion for TRO for a period of 30 days.

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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