H.K. Pangelinan & Associates LLC is opposing American Sinopan LLC’s motion to dismiss its breach of contract lawsuit against the property developer.
In papers it filed last Monday in the U.S. District Court for the NMI, HKPA lawyer Colin M. Thompson stated that his client opposes the motion to dismiss because “none of defendant’s arguments withstand scrutiny.”
American Sinopan lawyer Jordan C. Sundell earlier filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that HKPA didn’t attach or refer to relevant contracts in their complaint and didn’t provide ample proof that HKPA held up its end of the contracts. American Sinopan is a property developer and the real estate subsidiary of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.
In the filing last May 17, Thompson cited precedent that parties in a breach of contract lawsuit—like HKPA—do not need to attach the contract to their initial complaint filing nor does it need to include the contract’s terms verbatim into the initial complaint. Thompson said what HKPA is required to do in their complaint filing is plead to the contract’s “legal effects” or rather “the substance of its terms.” Additionally, he cite legal precedent that establishes that “the court must be able generally to discern at least what material obligation of the contract the defendant allegedly breached.”
Thompson maintains that HKPA has met these requirements, since HKPA has “properly alleged the salient terms of the contract” and has “sufficiently alleged the existence of the contracts.” In its complaint, HKPA specified the work American Sinopan hired HKPA to perform and provided project descriptions and locations.
Thompson also cited legal precedents established under CNMI law to assert that HKPA is not required to plead with specificity that it completed its obligations. Under CNMI law, to prevail in a breach of contract claim, a party like HKPA must demonstrate “(1) the existence of a valid contract, (2) the breach of an obligation imposed under the contract, and (3) damage to a party like HKPA resulting from the breach.”
HKPA has sufficiently alleged the existence of the two valid contracts in the lawsuit, has alleged that American Sinopan breached the two contracts by failing to pay for the services rendered, and has alleged damages as a result of American Sinopan’s failure to pay, Thompson said.
HKPA’s opposition to American Sinopan’s motion to dismiss awaits further review.