The U.S. District Court for the NMI has found Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. chair Cui Li Jie in contempt of court again, this time in the case filed by seven former construction workers.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. is the mother company of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.
According to U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona, based on the motion filed by Aaron Halegua in support of the finding of contempt of Cui, there was adequate basis to find her in contempt because she failed to comply with the subpoena served by Bruce Berline, one of the lawyers who represent the seven workers.
Cui, who was present for the hearing yesterday, was ordered to pay, from her personal accounts, attorney fees for time and costs associated with preparing for the depositions and for conducting the Feb. 5 deposition.
The court also awarded plaintiffs fees and costs for preparing the motion for the court to issue the order to show cause, as well as preparing responses and for preparing for yesterday’s proceeding, and the fees and costs for the plaintiffs’ attempt to serve Cui the order to show cause.
Cui must pay the court-awarded fees by March 5 and she was given until this Friday to respond to the court’s ruling.
The plaintiffs were given until Friday to file their timesheets with the court to determine exactly how much Cui must pay to purge herself of contempt.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, Berline 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 tried to intimidate the process server via text messages 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 her personal lawyer, Juan Lizama, appeared.
Currently, Cui is still facing contempt charges in the case filed by the U.S. Department of Labor as IPI has yet to satisfy the remainder of the consent judgement against it.