Taisacan tells Inos he will sue govt if matter not resolved in 30 days
An estate administrator who was temporarily restrained by the court from blocking Airport Road on Rota has threatened to sue the CNMI government if his claim for compensation over the alleged taking of their land is not resolved within 30 days.
In his letter to Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho on Wednesday, Simeon E. Taisacan disclosed that he already wrote Gov. Eloy S. Inos about his intent to file a lawsuit in federal court against the CNMI government.
Taisacan said he has been trying to resolve this matter outside of court for years with no positive resolution coming from the CNMI government.
“If the CNMI government fails to work with me to resolve this matter, I will proceed with filing a federal lawsuit,” said Taisacan, who administers the Selvino A. Taisacan estate.
Taisacan also informed Camacho that he no longer intends to close a portion of Route 10, also known as Airport Road, that crosses his private property.
He said it was never his intention to cause the community “irreparable injury,” that he simply wanted to exercise his right to protest the CNMI’s taking of his land and not compensating him.
Taisacan cited that under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the government must compensate property owners if they take land for public use.
“I was never compensated for the road that the CNMI government built over my family land,” he said.
Although he considers the portion of Route 10 that crosses his property as private ground, Taisacan said he wants the court to acknowledge that the government will be responsible for the safety of the general public using the road and that he will not be held liable for any accidents that may occur on the portion of that road.
“The TRO is no longer necessary as I have decided to keep the road open, as a gesture of good faith, until the issue of compensation is resolved,” he added.
Camacho issued the TRO last Feb. 26 after the CNMI government, through assistant attorney general Christopher M. Timmons, requested a TRO and filed a motion for preliminary injunction and a complaint against Taisacan.
In granting the TRO, Camacho commanded Taisacan and all other persons in concert or cooperation with him to refrain from blockading or interfering with the public’s use of Airport Road on Rota and all other roads in the Commonwealth.
“The threatened injury to the people of Rota is immediate and irreparable. It is irreparable because it will be impossible to determine the precise amount of damage to the safety and wellbeing of the public and in terms of the inconvenience caused to the public,” the judge said.
Camacho set the TRO hearing for today, Friday, at 10:30am at the Rota Courthouse.
Timmons stated that Taisacan sent a letter to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. last Feb. 17, threatening the closure of Airport Road in Rota on March 1 at 8am.
Timmons said on Sept. 24, 2014, Taisacan also wrote a letter declaring the CNMI government in default and informed the government, private businesses, and the public that the road will not be closed but that there will be charges for those who wish to access the property.
Timmons said Taisacan has long asserted that the government took two parcels of their land to build Airport Road.
Timmons asked the court to permanently enjoin the defendant from blockading or interfering with the public’s use of Airport Road.
Timmons moved the court to issue an order declaring that neither Taisacan nor the estate of Selvino A. Taisacan have any right or interest in or to Route 10 adjacent to two lots.
According to the government lawyer, the estate of Selvino A. Taisacan owns two lots that are part of Route 10. He said the two lots were subject to a dispute between the heirs of Selvino A. Taisacan and one Juan A. Hattori, an adjoining landowner.
Timmons said that on Nov. 15, 1985, Hattori, through a representative, and the Marianas Public Land Commission entered into a deed of exchange, by which Hattori transferred two lots to MPLC in exchange for another lot on Saipan.
Timmons said that to the government’s knowledge, this deed, which was recorded on Nov. 15, 1985, is valid and that one subject lot is owned by the Department of Public Lands as MPLC’s successor.
The lawyer said Airport Road is a major public thoroughfare that connects the Airport and Dugi and Sinapalo villages to Songsong village.