Pacific Rim Land Development LLC applied with the federal court yesterday a writ of execution to seize $5.65 million that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC may have in several banks in the CNMI.
Pacific Rim, through lawyer Colin M. Thompson, requested the U.S. District Court for the NMI to issue the writ of execution that would direct the U.S. Marshal to seize money owned or controlled by IPI from the Bank of Saipan, City Trust Bank, Bank of Guam, and First Hawaiian Bank, to be held in the court’s registry or account.
Last April 27, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona entered a judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $5.65 million against IPI.
Thompson said IPI has not obtained an order staying or suspending execution on the judgment, that the automatic stay expired yesterday, May 27. He said the judgment remains unsatisfied in its entirety as IPI has not paid any sum against the judgment. The lawyer asked the court that the writs of execution take effect and be served by the U.S. Marshal today, Thursday.
Last Tuesday, Manglona denied without prejudice IPI’s request to shorten time to hear IPI’s motion to stay or suspend execution of the court’s $6.8 million judgment in favor of IPI’s former contractor, Pacific Rim, pending resolution of IPI’s appeal of that ruling. Denial without prejudice means the court does not prohibit IPI from raising the same issue in the future. Shortening time refers to a court’s order in response to a motion of a party to a lawsuit that allows setting a legal matter at a time shorter than provided by law or court rules.
IPI, through counsel Michael W. Dotts, filed last Friday a notice of motion to shorten time. In denying the motion, Manglona said IPI’s request is not a stipulation and contains no statement certifying IPI’s efforts to resolve the dispute without court action.
IPI wants the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reverse Manglona’s order last April 23 for IPI to pay Pacific Rim $6.8 million, including the principal amount of $5,650,000, for breach of contract.
Pacific Rim is suing IPI and five unnamed alleged co-conspirators for breach of contract (construction and promissory note), and unjust enrichment, saying it has already completed its work on the casino project last Sept. 30, 2018.
Dotts said denying the stay pending appeal will force IPI to permanently shut down and will leave 1,066 people on Saipan without jobs.
According to court records, Pacific Rim agreed to build a hotel-casino complex for IPI in Garapan but eventually stopped work because it claims that IPI did not pay it the amounts owed under the contract.
IPI has also filed suit against Pacific Rim for promissory fraud, fraud in the inducement as to the promissory note, violation of Consumer Protection Act, and breach of contract.
Last March 17, IPI closed its casino to comply with Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres’ directive due to the COVID-19 pandemic.