IPI wants to file amended counterclaims vs contractor


Saying he underwent mandatory COVID-19 quarantine upon arriving in Vermont for a family vacation, George Hasselback, the lawyer of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, has asked the federal court to allow him to amend IPI’s previous counterclaims against a former contractor.

In his declaration filed before the U.S. District Court for the NMI Friday, Hasselback said that when Pacific Rim Land Development LLC filed its notice of motion and motion to dismiss IPI’s counterclaims last June 23, he was on vacation with his family in Woodbury, Vermont.

The lawyer said he previously filed an “off-island” notice with members of the CNMI Bar. At the time, Hasselback said, he was confined to his home as part of the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all persons coming into Vermont from overseas. While there, Hasselback said, his ability to communicate and work was limited, in that his home does not have cellular phone reception, and internet access at his home was limited and intermittent at that time.

The lawyer said that since his appearance in this case had not been entered, he was not aware that Pacific Rim filed the motion until July 3, 2020, when he was able to access the internet at his home and received an email from IPI’s general counsel, Michael Dotts.

Hasselback said his intent in asking permission to amend the counterclaims is to ensure that all claims related to the contract at dispute in the case are resolved together in the most efficient and timely manner.

Pacific Rim is suing IPI and five unnamed alleged co-conspirators, saying it already substantially completed or completed the agreed-upon work on the project last Sept. 30, 2018, but has yet to be paid. IPI countersued Pacific Rim. In an amended lawsuit against Pacific Rim, Hasselback alleged, among other things, that due to the delays associated with the unworkmanlike performance of Pacific Rim, IPI lost approximately $89,342,352 in operations revenue at the site of IPI’s casino/resort project in Garapan.

Last July 23, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona directed the court’s clerk to strike or remove from the docket the amended counterclaims. Manglona said more than 21 days have passed since IPI served its answer and counterclaims against Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim served its motion to dismiss the counterclaims. Therefore, the judge said, IPI cannot amend its pleading as a matter of course. She said IPI may do so with opposing party’s written consent or the court’s permission.

“However, IPI did not provide written consent from Pacific Rim nor has it obtained permission to amend from the court,” Manglona said.

Pacific Rim recently asked the court to dismiss IPI’s counterclaims.

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

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