The CNMI government has already paid $101,638 to U.S. Navy veteran David J. Radich and his wife, Li-Rong, to pay for their two lawyers’ fees and expenses for prevailing in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the CNMI gun control law.
Daniel Guidotti, one of the two lawyers for the Radich couple, filed on Friday before the U.S. District Court for the NMI a notice of the CNMI government’s payment.
Guidotti said their law office, Marianas Pacific Law, received from the CNMI government a check in the amount of $101,638.
Guidotti said this payment is the entire amount due pursuant to the court’s fee order.
Last Sept. 20, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted the request of the Radich couple for payment to their two lawyers of attorney’s fees and expenses.
Manglona awarded the Radich couple a total of $101,638.62 in attorney’s fees and court costs, instead of the requested $103,913.83.
Manglona awarded the couple attorney’s fees in the amount of $78,375 for attorney David G. Sigale’s work and $15,120 for Daniel T. Guidotti’s work, for a total of $93,495. The judge also awarded costs in the amount of $8,143.62.
The Radiches’ request is for $80,325 in attorney’s fees for Sigale and $15,347.50 for Guidotti, and $8,241.33 in costs.
Manglona said Police Commissioner Robert Guerrero and Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson shall pay the fees and costs awarded in this case within 30 days.
Manglona said it is undisputed that the Radiches are the prevailing party in this case.
To encourage private citizens to bring actions for injunctive relief that advance the public interest in vindicating civil rights, “the prevailing plaintiff should ordinarily recover an attorney’s fee unless special circumstances would render such an award unjust.”
Manglona ruled that the handgun and handgun ammunition and their import ban contained in the provisions of the CNMI Weapons Control Act are unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Radich couple sued then-DPS commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero and Larson. The couple challenged the constitutionality of the CNMI Weapons Control Act that prohibits residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.