District court releases over $5M to former IPI contractor

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has granted the request of former Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC contractor Pacific Rim Land Development LLC to release over $5 million that an IPI investor had deposited with the court.

In her order last Friday, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted Pacific Rim’s request to release the $5.59 million that was being held in an investment portfolio consisting of short-term U.S. government bonds with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

However, as of the date of the order, the court only released $5.525 million to Pacific Rim.

The remaining funds remain in the account until further order from the court.

“As for the remaining amounts in the Merrill Lynch account, those amounts shall be released to Thompson Law LLC Trust account and shall remain in such account until further order of the court regarding the costs, fees, interest, and/or damages because of the delay on payment of the judgment,” she said.

Manglona ordered Pacific Rim, through its lawyer, Colin Thompson, to file a petition no later than Friday, Nov. 26, detailing its entitlement to any amounts for post-judgment costs, fees, and/or interest.

The District Court judge ordered the parties to return to court for a hearing on the matter on Dec. 10 at 11am.

The money that is being disputed in this case was provided by IPI investor Pacific International Property Management LLC for the purpose of securing a stay in a previous court order while IPI appealed the ruling or to pay on the judgment in the event Pacific Rim prevails in the appeal.

According to a previous article on Saipan Tribune, Thompson filed the memorandum asking the district court to make its determination regarding the release of monies to Pacific Rim Last Nov. 16, because they had prevailed in a previous appeal filed by IPI.

IPI had filed an appeal on a previous court decision, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision.

IPI filed the appeal seeking to postpone the summary judgment, saying it had not been able to conduct discovery on its affirmative defense of fraud in the inducement.

However, the District Court denied IPI’s request, saying the casino investor failed to satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.

IPI then appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s ruling last month.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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