Former IPI chair Cui is cured of contempt

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Cui Li Jie

Former Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC chair Cui Li Jie has cured herself of contempt after Apple Inc. gave her access to her Apple iCloud account, as per a previous U.S. District Court for the NMI order directing her to preserve data on her cell phone.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said last week that Cui has purged her contempt to the extent of issuing the subpoena to the maker of iPhones and giving access to her Apple iCloud account.

Manglona ordered Cui to file a sworn statement identifying and explaining the existence of any and all electronically stored information or ESI backup accounts, whether it be iTunes or iCloud, including her QQ account, no later than Dec. 8.

Cui was also directed to address in the sworn statement the March 21, 2021, initialization of her phone and explain why Fely Forbes from IT&E saw her use a QQ email address.

Manglona said the plaintiffs can file a response no later than Dec. 15.

As to plaintiffs’ motion for order to show cause, and third motion for attorney’s fees, attorney Joey San Nicolas, who represents Cui, told the court that he will file an opposition to the order to show cause and motion for attorney’s fees.

Manglona scheduled a status conference for Dec. 22, at 8:30am to further address Cui’s compliance regarding the ESI backup.

According to Saipan Tribune archive, Manglona found Cui in contempt anew last month for failing to provide backups of her ESI and the correct login information for her iCloud account. San Nicolas then issued a subpoena for Apple Inc. in an attempt to purge the former IPI chair of the contempt order in regards to her iCloud password. According to the subpoena, Apple was ordered to produce documents, information, or objects in the civil action no later than Nov. 30.

The plaintiffs, through attorney Aaron Halegua, have accused Cui of violating the contempt order previously issued by the court in the lawsuit of seven workers alleging labor abuses and human trafficking.

The plaintiffs in this case are Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan. They are represented by Halegua and Bruce Berline.

Cui is a third-party witness in the lawsuit of the seven construction workers against IPI and its former contractor and subcontractor, MCC International and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, both of which have already settled with the plaintiffs.

Manglona have already entered a $5.4-million default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs against IPI but the judgment remains unsatisfied, and this is the reason why all ESI data held by the former IPI chair remain relevant to the proceedings.

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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