In light of the U.S. District for the NMI’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Friday denied “at this time” accommodation to a Russian national’s request to appear personally in the courthouse in connection with his lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Manglona vacated the telephonic status conference set for yesterday, Monday, in Milan Fargo’s lawsuit and reset it to an unspecified date when the court reopens.
Last Feb. 26, Fargo furnished the court with a copy of his email correspondence with assistant attorney general Jessica Wessling, who is assigned to the case. The court then filed those documents as a notice and status report. The court also scheduled a telephonic status conference to discuss the current status of FEMA’s renewed processing of Fargo’s debt and status of any waiver application, if filed. Subsequently, Fargo informed the court that he is unable to appear telephonically.
Manglona ordered FEMA to inform Fargo and the court via email of any deadline for the waiver application with FEMA.
In July 2019, Manglona dismissed all claims except one in Fargo’s lawsuit against FEMA for allegedly finding him ineligible for some or all of the FEMA funds provided after Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan in 2015.
Manglona found that Fargo has stated a claim on which relief may be granted, but only as to FEMA’s determination that he was ineligible for disaster assistance after Typhoon Soudelor.
Manglona said Fargo has alleged a plausible excuse for failing to lodge an administrative appeal within the agency’s time frame.
Fargo, in a pro se complaint (filed without a lawyer), said the action of FEMA is illegal when in its letter dated Nov. 13, 2017, told him that his debt is now final. The letter says FEMA provided Fargo funds as a result of his application for disaster assistance. FEMA said it conducts audits of disaster assistance payments.