Quichocho, uncle don’t oppose sale of Ladder Beach properties


Disbarred lawyer Ramon K. Quichocho and his uncle, Joaquin Q. Atalig, do not object to the judicial sale of their Ladder Beach properties to pay a court judgment in the amount of $192,328.04 in favor of an investor.

At a hearing in federal court yesterday, attorney Michael Dotts, counsel for Quichocho and Atalig, stated that the remedy in this case is a judicial sale of the defendants’ properties and that they have no objection to that.

Dotts and attorney Stephen Nutting, counsel for investor Sin Ho Nam, said they will prepare a protocol so the judicial auction of the properties will be done quickly.

Attorney Colin Thompson, another counsel for Nam, also appeared at the hearing.

With no objection from the parties, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered the unsealing of her Aug. 4, 2014, order relating to the writ of execution that Nam requested.

Writ of execution refers to a court’s order to the sheriff or other similar official that allows the sheriff to collect money or take possession of property owned by a judgment debtor.

In that Aug. 4 order, Manglona stated that writs of execution are governed by state procedures.

Under Commonwealth law, Manglona said, “the court, at the request of the party recovering any civil judgment in that court for the payment of money, shall issue a writ of execution against the personal property of the party against whom the judgment has been rendered, except as provided in” Commonwealth statute.

The judge said one such exception governs “all interests in land.”

Manglona said these interests may be ordered sold or transferred only if the court “deems that justice so requires and finds as a fact that after the sale or transfer, the debtor will have sufficient land remaining in support himself or herself and those persons directly dependent on the debtor according to recognized local custom and the law of the Commonwealth.”

“Accordingly this court orders this matter set for hearing to make this determination,” said Manglona in the Aug. 4 order that also set the hearing for yesterday.

At yesterday’s hearing, Dotts stated that his clients have no objection to Nam’s application for writ of execution and that there are no issues regarding the Ladder Beach properties, as both Quichocho and Atalig have other properties.

Nam had asked the court to take possession of real properties owned by Quichocho and Atalig, and sell them to satisfy the $192,328 court judgment.

Nam asked the court to issue a writ of execution and an order for the sale of real properties as Quichocho and Atalig failed to make a single payment as per their settlement agreement.

Nam sued Quichocho and Atalig in 2010 for breaching a land lease agreement when they terminated a 55-year lease on a property located at Ladder Beach after less than two years, despite having already paid them $218,000.

The federal court awarded summary judgment on Nam’s claim, but the lawsuit was later dismissed after the parties entered into a settlement.

In August 2012, Nam filed a new lawsuit against Quichocho and Atalig for allegedly deceiving him in settling his previous lawsuit by promising to pay him $228,000 within 160 days. Nam said the two paid him only $16,800. The parties then reached a second settlement agreement and the matter was dismissed.

In Nam’s application for writ of execution, Nutting said the second settlement deal provided that the court would retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. Nutting said the defendants failed to make a single payment.

Nutting asked the court to order the sale of three real properties (Ladder Beach) that the defendants mortgaged to secure the payment of the sums due under the settlement.

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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