Judge distributes estate’s properties to heirs


Receiving no objection, the Superior Court has granted a petition of an estate’s administrator to distribute to the heirs several properties, including a land in San Vicente containing an area of 24,766 square meters, that is the subject of a lawsuit filed by CNMI Zoning Board vice chair Joe E. Ayuyu Jr.


Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho recognized the heirs of Luis Manibusan Cepeda to be his spouse, Guadalupe Matagolai Cepeda, and sons Edward Matagolai Cepeda, Benjamin Matagolai Cepeda, Patrick Matagolai Cepeda, Kelvin Matagolai Cepeda, and Luis Matagolai Cepeda Jr.

Camacho distributed the 24,766 square meters of land in San Vicente and four other properties equally to Guadalupe and sons Edward, Benjamin, Kelvin, Patrick, and Luis Jr.

Ayuyu, through counsel Michael W. Dotts, is suing for quiet title to clear ownership against Edward M. Cepeda, a police sergeant who has claimed an interest in the property.

The four other distributed properties consist of an undivided interest of 4,000 square meters of a lot containing an area of 52,938 square meters, a lot containing an area of 968 square meters, a 3,000 square meters of lot containing an area of 10,000 square meters, and 2/6th undivided interest in a tract containing an area of 19,580 square meters.

Camacho also distributed to Guadalupe, Benjamin, Kelvin, and Patrick equal and undivided interest in a lot in Kanat Eddod in Garapan containing an area of 25,903 square meters, and a lot in Garapan containing an area of 4,317 square meters.

The judge distributed to Edward a tract containing an area of 947 square meters, and to Luis Jr. a tract containing an area of 929 square meters.

Camacho said rental payments from the lease agreement made by and between the estate and Saipan International Shooting Range Inc. be distributed equally to Guadalupe, Benjamin, Kelvin, and Patrick.

Camacho said upon the expiration of such lease agreement, the reversionary interest shall revert back to Guadalupe, Benjamin, Kelvin, and Patrick in equal and undivided interests.

The judge said there are no claims and creditors made against the estate.

With the distribution of the assets, Camacho released Edward from his duties and responsibilities of the estate administrator.

Camacho heard Edward’s petition for a decree of final distribution of their father’s assets last July 9. Edward appeared with counsel, Rosemond B. Santos.

Camacho said a notice of hearing on petition for letters of administration, a notice to creditors, and a notice of hearing on petition for decree of final distribution were previously published in a newspaper of general circulation in the CNMI.

Camacho said no objection was raised or filed. The

Dotts’ law firm was served with a petition for decree of final distribution last June 30, but it did not file any objection in the probate case.

In his lawsuit, Ayuyu, through Dotts, asked the Superior Court to issue a judgment declaring him as the owner in fee simple absolute of the property.

According to Dotts in the complaint, the Marianas Public Land Corp. deeded the property to Luis and Guadalupe Cepeda on Oct. 18, 1983. Luis Cepeda passed away in 2000 and at the time of his passing, Guadalupe was his lawful wedded wife, Dotts said. On Nov. 4, 2001, Guadalupe Cepeda conveyed the property to her son, Benjamin Cepeda, by deed of gift.

On Feb. 9, 2006, Benjamin Cepeda conveyed the property to Jose C. Ayuyu by warranty deed, Dotts said that, then Jose C. Ayuyu and Marcia E. Ayuyu conveyed the property to their son, Jose E. Ayuyu Jr., by deed of gift on Dec. 6, 2008.

Dotts said that on multiple occasions Edward Cepeda, the son of Luis and Guadalupe, has come into the property and asserted it as his. Dotts said Edward Cepeda and any other heir of Luis M. Cepeda have no right, title, or interests in the property.

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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