Manglona, others, sue Senate


This time, Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) is suing his colleagues in the Senate.

In a last-ditch effort to temporarily halt the impeachment proceedings against Gov. Ralph DLG Torres that is set to begin this Friday, Manglona and two CNMI residents have filed a pro se complaint against the CNMI Senate in Superior Court over violations the chamber allegedly made throughout the impeachment process. Appearing before the court without a lawyer is considered pro se.

Manglona was joined by CNMI residents Carmen Patricia Deleon Guerrero and Bruce Lee Jorgensen in filing the complaint against members of the Senate yesterday, just days before the pending impeachment trial.


“We want to see a fair, just, and impartial impeachment proceeding in the Senate and because we’re not having that, we are taking the Senate to court by filing this lawsuit. We aren’t doing this for just anyone. We’re doing it for the people of the CNMI to make sure that the impeachment hearing in the Senate is fair, just, and impartial,” he said.

Named as defendants in this new lawsuit are 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).

Manglona is hoping this lawsuit will be heard before the impeachment trial this Friday.

“Open Government [Act] cases like ours are given top priority so I’m hopeful that we can have a hearing before Friday. Our previous motions were denied because we tried to intervene but now, we are looking forward to our day in court so that we can explain why we are doing this for our people,” he said.

Manglona and his co-plaintiffs have 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.

As relief, the plaintiffs want the court to grant a restraining order prohibiting the defendants from proceeding with the Senate’s impeachment trial under the existing allegedly tainted impeachment rules.

Manglona noted that he and his fellow plaintiffs will file a separate motion for a temporary restraining order before Friday.

In addition, the plaintiffs want the court to declare that the Senate violated the Open Government Act and that the Senate Rules of Impeachment are “invalid, null and void, of no force and effect, and unenforceable.”

“The Senate unconstitutionally invaded and attempted to dictate matters that lie within the exclusive province of the House of Representatives. …The defendants collectively, and/or individually, have breached their fiduciary duties and obligations owed to plaintiffs and the CNMI community as a whole,” the complaint states.

Also, in the event a senator declines or refuses to participate or vote in the Senate impeachment trial due to a conflict of interest, the plaintiffs want the court to declare that senator’s abstention be recorded as an affirmative vote for impeachment.

The plaintiffs also want the court to prohibit the Senate president from imposing “unreasonable restrictions” on the method and manner of the House presentation to the Senate of the case for impeachment, including limitations on the number and identities of House members who may participate in prosecution; as well as order an extension for the House of Representatives to submit their impeachment records.

Judge pro tempore Timothy Bellas earlier denied Manglona’s motions because the case he was trying to intervene in was about the subpoena that the House Judiciary and Governmental Operations had issued to compel Torres to testify but the motion from Manglona was not about the subpoena.

Additionally, last Thursday, the court denied Manglona and Deleon Guerrero’s request to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Torres against the JGO because it did not meet the requirements of both permissive intervention and intervention of right.

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
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