IN BREACH OF CONTRACT CASE SUIT OF PACIFIC RIM AGAINST IPI

‘IPI should not delay payment’

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Pacific Rim Land Development LLC is asking the federal court for an expedited hearing on its previous request for the release over $5 million that an investor of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC had placed with the court, saying that Pacific Rim is entitled to that money.

In a motion filed yesterday to shorten time to hear the motion for release of funds from the investment portfolio, Pacific Rim counsel Colin Thompson requested the U.S. District Court for the NMI to grant an expedited hearing because IPI should not be able to continue to delay payment of the over $5-million judgement.

“There can be no dispute that Pacific Rim is entitled to satisfaction of the judgment entered on May 28, 2020. IPI should not be able to continue to delay payment. Pacific Rim should finally be compensated for the work it performed in 2018. Time is of the essence. Pacific Rim respectfully requests an expedited hearing at the court’s earliest convenience,” Thompson said.

The over $5 million that Pacific Rim wants released consists of short-term U.S. government bonds that is with brokerage firm Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

That money—amounting to $5,525,363.98—was provided by IPI investor Pacific International Property Management LLC for the purpose of securing a stay in a previous court order while IPI appeals the ruling or to pay on the judgment in the event Pacific Rim prevails in the appeal.

Last Nov. 16, Pacific Rim’s Thompson filed a memorandum stating that the district court should make its determination regarding the release of monies to Pacific Rim, which prevailed on the appeal and therefore is entitled to the release of the funds.

“Pacific Rim moves this court to release $5,525,363.98 immediately to Pacific Rim and for the remaining amount to be released to Thompson Law LLC client trust account until further order from the court,” he said.

The request stems from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s recent order that affirmed the decision of the District Court for the NMI that denied the request of IPI to postpone the summary judgment in favor of Pacific Rim.

IPI sought to postpone the summary judgment, saying it had not been able to conduct discovery on its affirmative defense of fraud in the inducement.

However, the District Court denied IPI’s request, saying the casino investor failed to satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.

IPI then appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s ruling last month.

Meanwhile, in her order establishing security pending appeal dated 2020, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona stated that Pacific International Property Management LLC or PIPM had resolved to place $5,525,363.98 within the absolute discretion of the court for the purpose of securing a stay and paying on the judgment in the event that Pacific Rim prevail in the appeal.

According to court documents, Pacific Rim sued IPI for breach of contract for refusing to pay for services in the amount of $5.65 million after Pacific Rim substantially completed or completed agreed-upon construction work for IPI’s casino-resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

On April 27, 2020, Manglona entered a judgment in favor of Pacific Rim for breach of contract and breach of promissory note.

On May 2, 2020, the federal court entered an amended civil judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $6.8 million, including the principal amount and attorney’s fees and costs.

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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