Court grants injunction against CCC


The District Court for the NMI has granted Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Commonwealth Casino Commission to prohibit the commission from revoking IPI’s exclusive casino license. 

During a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction and order to compel arbitration last Wednesday, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona granted IPI’s request for injunction against the Commission to allow IPI to pursue its right to arbitration.

An injunction is similar to a temporary restraining order in terms of prohibiting a party, in this case the CCC, from carrying out an action. However, an injunction is a more longterm solution as it prohibits CCC from revoking IPI’s license pending arbitration. 

Arbitration is essentially a procedure wherein two parties agree on one or more arbitrators to make a decision in their dispute in order to resolve a disagreement outside of court proceedings.

In addition, the court ordered the CCC to participate in the arbitration and further apprised all parties present that a written decision would follow.

Last week, the parties in this case informed the court that the American Arbitration Association has accepted the case of Best Sunshine International and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC against the Commonwealth Casino Commission to serve as a non-binding arbitrator. 

According to court documents, BSI and IPI filed their notice of AAA case acceptance last Aug. 17 to notify the court that the AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution will proceed to administer this arbitration as a non-binding arbitration under the ICDR’s International Arbitration Rules.

An administrative conference was set for yesterday, Aug. 25, at 8am.

According to court documents, IPI filed their complaint and emergency motion for TRO and preliminary injunction 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 the 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.

The TRO was extended a total of three times before the court decided to grant the request for injunction. 

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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