Judge consolidates contractor’s suit, lien application vs IPI


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona consolidated Monday the lawsuit filed against Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC by its former contractor and its application for a mechanic’s lien.

Manglona gave the order to consolidate the two after deeming it to be in the interest of judicial economy and after determining that the two cases arise from the same facts and raise the same legal arguments.

Last Sept. 20, Pacific Rim Land Development sued IPI for breach of contract. Pacific Rim subsequently filed an application for a mechanic’s lien on IPI’s hotel-casino project and on the land it sits on.

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.

Last Dec. 3, Manglona dismissed the lawsuit after finding that Pacific Rim had not established jurisdiction; however, she allowed the contractor to amend its complaint.

Manglona also denied Pacific Rim’s application for a mechanic’s lien, but allowed the contractor to amend it.

Last Dec. 4, Pacific Rim filed its amended complaint and an amended application for a mechanic’s lien. That same day, the company also filed an application for a mechanic’s lien against IPI in a new proceeding.

In her order consolidating the two, Manglona said that, while both cases are not identical, the applications for the lien involves the same construction project, the same property, and the same parties.

Citing Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Manglona said a district court has broad discretion to consolidate actions involving “common issues of law or fact.”

Manglona was set to hear yesterday afternoon Pacific Rim’s application for a mechanic’s lien.

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 for IPI’s casino-resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

IPI allegedly owe Pacific Rim $5.65 million.

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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