IN CASE OF SEVEN WORKERS
The U.S. District Court for the NMI has issued a show-cause order against Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. chair Cui Li Jie for her alleged failure to comply with a subpoena, among other things, in the labor case filed by seven ex-IPI construction workers.
U.S District Court for NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona has ordered Cui to show cause, in writing, why the court should not find her in civil contempt. Cui must also show cause as to why the court should not impose a daily fine of $10,000 until she complies with the subpoena and why the court should not impose more severe sanctions like incarceration for continued noncompliance.
Manglona gave Cui no later than noon of Feb 17 to comply with the show cause order and set a hearing for the matter on Feb. 23 at 9am.
In a statement from Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, it said that Cui did comply with the subpoena but the court was not informed. “Cui appeared in the deposition on Feb. 5 accompanied by her lawyer, Juan Lizama,” IPI stated.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, Bruce Berline, one of the lawyers for the seven construction workers that are suing IPI, asked the court for the order to show cause and the threat of penalty against Cui.
Berline said he properly served Cui with a subpoena to produce documents and appear for a deposition on Jan. 26 at his office.
However, after serving Cui with the subpoena, an IPI executive allegedly immediately sent text messages to intimidate the process server that he would face “legal trouble” if he did not take back the subpoena. The next day, an IPI employee returned the subpoena to Berline’s office.
On the morning of Jan 26, a notary public, the Chinese interpreter, and counsel for IPI arrived at Berline’s office by 9am but neither Cui nor Lizama appeared.