DOJ seeks $143K in default judgment vs Rota Coconut Hotel

The U.S. government has requested the federal court to issue a default judgment of $143,202.45 against Rota Coconut Village Hotel for allegedly failing to pay federal taxes.

Jeremy N. Hendon, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to enter the judgment against Rota Coconut Village Hotel for failing to answer or defend the U.S. government’s lawsuit that was filed on Sept. 1, 2011.

Hendon said the hotel now owes $98,203.48 in outstanding federal employment taxes and $44,998.97 in outstanding civil penalties, for a total of $143,202.45, plus interest and other statutory additions, which continue to accrue from June 26, 2012.

Hendon said that soon after the filing of the lawsuit, the hotel’s then counsel, Gregory Koebel, asked for a 60-day extension to negotiate a settlement instead of responding to the complaint. Hendon said they agreed to extend the deadline several times in an attempt to settle the matter.

On March 22, 2012, Koebel withdrew as counsel for the hotel citing his client’s failure to communicate with him about settling the case, Hendon said.

The court then granted the hotel another extension to file an answer by April 15, 2012. Hendon said the hotel failed to answer by then.

Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the court’s clerk to enter a party’s default for failure to plead or otherwise defend a claim.

By Ferdie de la Torre

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.