Former DJ’s suit vs CHCC, Muña, others dismissed


The federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former disc jockey against the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., its chief executive officer, Esther Muña, and three others after he was allegedly chemically restrained in the hospital without his consent and over his objection.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed the case on Thursday after the parties reached a settlement. Aziz Peter Mettao can no longer re-file his lawsuit.

The parties agreed to the dismissal of the case after reaching a settlement. Court documents did not indicate whether the settlement agreement is sealed or not.

Mettao had served prison term for setting fire to a car in 2012. He was arrested again last April for terroristic threatening.

Mettao had also named as defendants in the lawsuit Dr. Martin Philip Rohringer, Dr. Ashebir T. Chekol, and registered nurse Joshua Tanghal.

Mettao, through Jeanne H. Rayphand of the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc., also suied 10 unnamed CHCC employees.

The plaintiff was suing the defendants for violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for deprivation of liberty without due process of law, violation of the CNMI Constitution for unreasonable seizure, violation of Involuntary Commitment Act, and violation of Patient’s Rights Act.

Mettao asked the District Court to hold the defendants liable to pay him $100,000 in compensatory damages.

He requested the court to issue an order directing Muna to provide ongoing education and training for all Commonwealth Health Center, physicians, nurses, security personnel and staff who have direct patient contact.

Rayphand said the training should be provided within 30 days for all current CHCC employees, within 30 days of initial employment for new employees, and at least once per year thereafter for all employees.

According to Rayphand in the complaint, on Nov. 10, 2019 at 1:30pm, CNMI police officers brought Mettao to CHC’s emergency room on Saipan. She said the officers did not file an application for a 72-hour emergency detention.

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.