Judge: Amend complaint vs Senate


Sen. Paul Manglona (D-Saipan) and his co-plaintiffs were ordered to amend their initial complaint against the Republican members of the Senate, now that the impeachment trial is over and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has been acquitted.

During a status conference and initial appearance before Superior Court judge pro tem Alberto Tolentino, Manglona and co-plaintiffs, Carmen Deleon Guerrero and Bruce Lee Jorgensen, informed the court of their intent to submit an amended complaint against the Senate.

Tolentino, for his part, ordered the plaintiffs to submit their first amended complaint no later than June 7.

The judge also allowed the defendants to file their response pleading by June 17, before scheduling a status conference on June 24.

“All parties are ordered to appear at the scheduled hearing where the court may set the matter for trial,” Tolentino stated.

In a brief interview with the plaintiffs outside the courthouse, Manglona and Deleon Guerrero stated that it is very important for their case to push through because of the alleged Open Government Act violations that reportedly took place throughout the impeachment proceedings.

“We want to resolve that. We’re also doing this because of fair and equal representation of our people. It’s all about the people,” said Deleon Guerrero.

Meanwhile, Jorgensen gave the media a glimpse of what the focus of the amendments would be.

“The amendments will focus on remedial avenues that are now available to us such as returning to the status quo and having the Senate address once again the Senate rules that were passed in violation of the Open Government Act and procedures involved. We will also modify the relief we are requesting so we can tailor them to our current circumstance,” he said.

Manglona and his co-plaintiffs initially filed five causes of actions to sue Republican members of the Senate on the grounds of violations of the Open Government Act, violations of the CNMI Constitution, breach of constitutional duty, and alleged deprivation of due process and civil rights.

Their complaint names Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian), and Sens. Karl King-Nabors (R-Tinian), Victor Hocog (R-Rota), Francisco Cruz (R-Rota), Vinnie Sablan (R-Saipan), and Justo Quitugua (R-Saipan) as defendants.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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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