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Gold Mantis found in contempt, fined

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The U.S District Court for the NMI has found Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC in contempt for violating a court order and imposed a $2,000 daily sanction on the company.

In an email to Saipan Tribune, Aaron Halegua said that U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona found Gold Mantis to be in contempt of court for violating her discovery order, and imposed a fine of $2,000 per day until Gold Mantis complies.

Manglona also told Gold Mantis that this was the final warning and she would enter a default judgment if they do not comply by Dec. 28.

In addition, Manglona stated that she expects to schedule a hearing next week on the plaintiffs’ motion requesting that IPI chief executive officer Donald Browne be jailed if IPI does not comply with the order to pay attorneys’ fees.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, the federal court ordered Gold Mantis to answer in writing no later than Nov. 15, at 5pm why the court should not treat its noncompliance as contempt of court and why the court should not impose a sanction requiring it to pay a $2,000 daily fine from the time all discovery and affidavits were to be produced.

The judge also wants Gold Mantis to explain why a default judgment should not be entered against it.

In a response from Gold Mantis attorney Tiberius Mocanu, he asked the court to give the company an opportunity to produce the necessary information by Nov. 25, and to not order a default judgement.

Mocanu explained that production of discovery has been difficult as Gold Mantis does not have any personnel physically present in the CNMI.

The plaintiffs—Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu and Duxin Yan—sued Gold Mantis and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC over labor and other alleged violations.

Halegua and his co-counsel, Bruce Berline, asked the court to issue an order awarding the plaintiffs $3.86 million in compensatory damages and $7.72 million in punitive damages.

Gold Mantis is a former subcontractor of IPI.

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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