IPI: Lien claim is time-barred


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC is asserting that its former contractor bid to place a mechanic’s lien on IPI’s hotel-casino project in Garapan and on the land that it sits on is time-barred and should be dismissed.

IPI, through counsel Phillip J. Tydingco, said that Pacific Rim Land Development LLC’s response memorandum effectively concedes that Pacific Rim’s complaint does not contain allegations sufficient to support the issuance of a mechanic’s lien under Commonwealth law.

A mechanic’s lien refers to a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property.

Indeed, Tydingco said, Pacific Rim in its opposition to IPI’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, states that its application and notice to attach lien shall be filed with the U.S. District Court for the NMI in due time and in compliance with the statutory requirements.

Most notably, Commonwealth law has a 60-day limitation for filing a mechanic’s lien, said Tydingco in IPI’s reply filed Tuesday to Pacific Rim’s opposition to IPI’s motion.

Pacific Rim, through counsel Colin Thompson, filed the notice of lien that same day, Tuesday.

Tydingco said Pacific Rim does not dispute or deny this 60-day limitation in its response memorandum.

However, the lawyer said, Pacific Rim does not respond to the 60-day limitations issue or otherwise contend that any claim it may have for a mechanic’s lien is not barred by the 60-day limitations period.

“IPI submits that the complaint, on its face, demonstrates the 60-day limitation period has lapsed, thereby meaning any amendment would be futile,” he said, adding that the mechanic’s claim or request should be dismissed with prejudice.

Dismissal with prejudice means Pacific Rim can no longer re-file the claim.

In Pacific Rim’s notice of lien, Thompson said the unpaid amount that is owed Pacific Rim is $5.65 million but it wants to collect from IPI approximately $10 million in damages that would be proven at trial.

Pacific Rim is suing IPI and five unnamed alleged co-conspirators for breach of contract (construction and promissory note), and unjust enrichment.

Pacific Rim claimed to have substantially completed or completed the agreed upon construction work on Sept. 30, 2018.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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