Pacific Rim Land Development LLC, a former contractor of the Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, has confirmed that the U.S. Marshal Service has indeed seized IPI’s money from Bank of Saipan and two title companies.
In its motion filed Thursday, Pacific Rim, through counsel Colin M. Thompson, disclosed that, based on his information, the money seized from Bank of Saipan, Pacific American Title Inc. and Security Title Inc. is currently in the registry of the U.S. District Court for the NMI. The funds were seized on the authority of the writs of execution the court gave Pacific Rim. He did not indicate the amount of seized funds but Thompson now wants the District Court to authorize the release of that money to Pacific Rim to pay off part of the court’s $6.9-million judgment against IPI.
IPI general counsel Michael Dotts stated in court papers filed recently in court that IPI has already satisfied about $3.1 million of the judgment following the court’s first and second writs of execution, but the $6.9-million judgment granted to Pacific Rim has not been satisfied in full.
Last April 27, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona entered a judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $5.65 million against IPI. She later amended the judgment to incorporate pre-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees, boosting the amount to $6.9 million plus post-judgment interest.
In Pacific Rim’s motion on Thursday, Thompson pointed out that Manglona had granted Pacific Rim’s application for two writs of execution on IPI money being held in several banks in the CNMI and by Pacific American Title Inc. and Security Title Inc. Yet IPI did not object or challenge the applications for writs of execution, nor did it file a motion to reconsider the court’s approvals of those applications and resulting writs of execution, and did not request a hearing to determine whether an exemption applies to the money seized.
Thompson said IPI would have filed a challenge to the writs if it believed it had any valid reason to file a challenge. He said this is demonstrated by IPI filing in response to the third application for a writ of execution, this one asking the court to authorize the seizure of IPI property at its Imperial Pacific Resort & Casino in Garapan. IPI objected to this, arguing that Pacific Rim should have filed an order in aid of judgment. Thompson said this demonstrates that IPI is capable of objecting to writ applications. Nevertheless, he said, IPI did not file any objections or motions regarding the first two applications or the resulting writs of execution.
The lawyer said the Superior Court has held that the exemptions found in the CNMI statute do not apply to business entities such as IPI. Therefore, he said, Pacific Rim wants the money seized by the U.S. Marshal to be transferred to Pacific Rim to satisfy the judgment against IPI.
Last Thursday, Manglona denied Pacific Rim’s two other requests to seize IPI’s money from Bank of Saipan and personal property.
Manglona set the motion for an order in aid of judgment for a hearing on July 23, 2020 to determine IPI’s ability to pay and the fastest manner in which it can reasonably pay the balance of the $6.9-million judgment.
The judge said Pacific Rim may reapply, but it must demonstrate good cause why the court should issue a writ.
Hundreds of IPI workers recently held protests in front of the District Court after they failed to get their two paychecks, allegedly because of the court’s writ of execution that resulted in the seizure and closure of IPI’s payroll account with the Bank of Saipan.
Pacific Rim is suing IPI and five unnamed alleged co-conspirators in order to be paid for the work it did on the casino project. IPI has countersued.