Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho has set an evidentiary hearing on the petition of the non-Northern Marianas descent wife of the late associate justice Pedro M. Atalig to inherit land.
Nelida B. Atalig, the widow the late associate justice, filed a spouse’s renewed petition for partial distribution last March 11 in the Superior Court for the NMI.
In Camacho’s order, he said that due to the age and duration of the case, the previous distributions of estate assets, the issue of Article 12 and a non-NMD surviving spouse inheriting real property when there are NMD children who can inherit, the court has broad discretion to hold an evidentiary hearing, especially when an issue of law relies on factual determination.
Camacho issued an order granting a motion/evidentiary hearing on April 22, 2021, at 10am. All parties should present a testimony and evidence to the court and submit a basic family tree with full names (including middle names, maiden names, and/or married names), birth dates and death dates.
Joseph E. Horey, representing Nelida Atalig, said that, as a decedent’s surviving spouse, she is entitled to one-half of all properties owned by the late associate justice.
“The properties listed in Appendix 1A contain a total of 300,509.3 square meters of land, meaning that Nelida is statutorily entitled to one half that amount, or 150,254.65 square meters; or, in the alternative, to an undivided one-half interest in the entire 300,509.3 square meters,” said Horey.
Horey added that Nelida Atalig is only seeking interest in only 97,389 square meters and waives any claim to the rest.
“Nelida does not believe that she is actually under any legal obligation to provide any extra consideration to the estate in order to take the interest which she is legally entitled to inherit,” said Horey, adding that Nelida Atalig will give up one-third of her total claim to be divided among other heirs.