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DUE TO NON-PAYMENT OF $6.9M COURT JUDGMENT

Court also OKs seizure of IPI’s money from 2 title companies

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U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted on Wednesday the request of a contractor to also issue writs of execution to seize Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s money from two title companies to collect a $6.9-million court judgment.

Manglona found Pacific Rim Land Development LLC’s second application for writs of execution to have met the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and a Commonwealth statute. She directed the clerk to issue the writs of execution on Security Title Inc. and Pacific American Title Inc.

In its second application for writs of execution, Pacific Rim, through counsel Colin M. Thompson, informed the court that, aside from banks, IPI also maintains cash accounts in the CNMI in title companies, including Security Title Inc. and Pacific American Title Inc.

Thompson requested the court to issue the second writ of execution to transfer money owned or controlled by IPI from Security Title Inc. and Pacific American Title Inc.

Thompson asked the court to hold IPI’s money in the court’s registry or account until after hearing on exemptions, if any.

The lawyer requested the court to set a hearing on the return of the writ and to provide IPI with the opportunity to advance any applicable exemptions.

Thompson said IPI has not posted a bond and has not obtained an order staying or suspending execution on the $6.9-million judgment. The lawyer said the judgment remains unsatisfied in its entirety as IPI has not paid any sum.

Last Monday, Manglona granted Pacific Rim’s first application for writs of execution on IPI’s bank accounts.

Following Manglona’s order, District Court clerk Heather Kennedy issued Monday the writ of execution directing the U.S. Marshal Service to seize up to $6.9 million of IPI’s money from the First Hawaiian Bank, City Trust Bank, Bank of Saipan, and Bank of Guam. Kennedy ordered the U.S. Marshal to deposit the seized money into the court’s registry or account where it will remain until IPI has had an opportunity for an exemptions hearing.

Last April 27, Manglona entered a judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $5.65 million against IPI for breach of promissory note. She later amended the judgment to incorporate pre-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. The clerk then entered an amended judgment in the amount of $6.9 million plus post-judgment interest.

IPI has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reverse the judgment.

Pacific Rim is suing IPI and five unnamed alleged co-conspirators, saying it remains unpaid for the work it did for IPI on the casino-resort in Garapan.

IPI counsel Michael Dotts said denying stay pending appeal will not just force IPI to close its doors but it will also leave 1,066 people on Saipan jobless.

According to court records, Pacific Rim and IPI entered into a construction contract on Feb. 13, 2018, for Pacific Rim to build a hotel-casino complex in Garapan. Pacific Rim eventually stopped work because IPI did not pay it the amounts owed under the contract.

IPI recently filed counterclaims against Pacific Rim.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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