In response to the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s show-cause order, Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC has asked the court to give it more time to comply with previous orders in the lawsuit filed by seven construction workers.
Tiberius Mocanu, who represents Gold Mantis, said that Gold Mantis does not oppose a daily sanction. Rather, the imposition of a $2,000 daily fine has further motivated Gold Mantis to comply with the court’s order and it will do so if it is granted an extension.
In addition, Mocanu asked the court not to issue a default ruling against them and to instead give the company an opportunity to produce the necessary information by Nov. 25.
Mocanu explained that production of discovery has been difficult as Gold Mantis does not have any personnel physically present in the CNMI and that Gold Mantis has vacated its offices in the CNMI because the company has no further dealings or business in the Commonwealth.
He added that Gold Mantis has been working diligently to produce the documents and information it was ordered to produce.
Mocanu assured the court that Gold Mantis has paid what it owed its accounting firm and it has produced 300-plus financial documents.
The company has also interviewed Ding Jianming, Pang Hao, and Yuan Wei, who are former employees, in order to comprehensively provide affidavits regarding the preservation of evidence, the efforts made to locate Electronically Stored Information, documents, and hardware that might contain responsive information.
On top of that, Gold Mantis, through its representative Huang Ji, has also authorized Mocanu to seek additional documents from Bank of Hawaii where it maintained an account, and also to seek tax filings from the CNMI Department of Finance.
Last week, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona ordered Gold Mantis to answer by Nov. 15 why a default judgment should not be entered against it for noncompliance.
Manglona also asked for an explanation why the court should not treat Gold Mantis’ noncompliance as contempt of court and why the court should not impose a civil contempt sanction requiring it to pay a $2,000 daily fine from the time all discovery and affidavits were to be produced.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, back in Oct. 19, Manglona ordered Gold Mantis to produce all bank records, produce all records held by Gold Mantis’ accountant, produce all documents related to a People’s Republic of China government inquiry into Gold Mantis’ operations on Saipan, produce all responsive electronically-stored information or ESI, provide detailed affidavits describing Gold Mantis’ efforts to preserve and search for ESI, provide updated responses to the plaintiffs’ request for proposals and interrogatories, and submit a certification of compliance with the order. Gold Mantis was ordered to provide these by Oct. 29.
Aside from Wang, the other plaintiffs in the case are Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu and Duxin Yan.
The plaintiffs worked for MCC International and Gold Mantis, former contractor and subcontractor of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.
The plaintiffs are suing the defendants for forced labor, negligence, and liability for employees of subcontractors. The plaintiffs are also alleging human trafficking violations.