Manglona issues show-cause order vs IPI


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has ordered Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC to explain why the court should not enter a default judgment against it for its failure to comply with court discovery orders in connection with a lawsuit filed by seven former workers against IPI.

Manglona set a hearing on the show-cause matter tomorrow, Friday, at 9am.

Manglona said IPI’s history of failing to adequately respond to the seven former workers’ discovery requests—which was first made in September 2019—is fully set forth in her May 5, 2020, order granting plaintiffs $29,459 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The judge said the first sanction was imposed at a December 2019 hearing with IPI’s first former counsel. Despite this sanction, Manglona said the saga to force IPI to produce the discovery continued. Last April 16, she granted the plaintiffs’ second motion for sanctions against IPI with its second former counsel. Manglona then set deadlines for IPI to comply with the discovery requests, with a warning to IPI that she would impose a sanction of $2,000 per day if IPI fails to comply with the sanctions order. At a status conference last May 28, the judge found that IPI failed to meet the deadlines, this time with Michael W. Dotts as IPI’s current counsel.

For these violations, Manglona ordered IPI to pay the $2,000 daily sanction starting from May 16.

The judge specifically ordered IPI to transfer its electronically stored information data to plaintiffs within seven days. The next day, IPI informed the court that, after consulting with its ESI vendor, it would be impossible to comply with that deadline.

After IPI agreed to place them in direct contact, plaintiffs and the vendor negotiated an agreement to transfer the data as ordered by the court.

On June 5, 2020, the court ordered IPI again to transfer its ESI data to plaintiffs, this time by June 12, 2020. Manglona further ordered IPI to submit certification that it had tendered the necessary payments to its vendor for the timely transfer of the ESI data.

Last Tuesday, IPI informed the court that it has not made the necessary payments to the ESI vendor and it is not willing to pay the costs associated with this case, including plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs as ordered by the court.

IPI informed the court that the company could still not pay the $122,449 in total sanctions and costs that are due in connection with a pending lawsuit filed by seven former workers.

IPI, through Dotts, submitted before the court a certification about its failure to pay certain sanctions and costs.

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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