A former social worker in the Child Protection Unit of the Division of Youth Service who sued her then-supervisor for alleged sexual harassment has been told to explain in court why her lawsuit should not be junked.
The complainant failed to appear at a scheduled hearing in federal court last Tuesday, prompting U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona to direct the complainant to appear on Jan. 22 at 8:30am (Chamorro standard time) to explain why her lawsuit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
The complainant, who is reportedly currently in the U.S. mainland, was allowed to appear at the hearing via telephone.
If she fails to appear again, her case will be dismissed, said Manglona.
Last Nov. 15, the plaintiff appeared telephonically at a status conference. The court then ordered her to submit a report summarizing her efforts to hire an attorney. Another status conference was then set for last Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 8:30am.
Manglona said the court never received a written report from the plaintiff and that almost a year has passed since she filed her complaint, and she has still not served the defendant with the complaint.
Manglona said the plaintiff did not call in at Tuesday’s status conference, despite efforts by court staff to remind her of it.
The judge noted that this is the second time in this case that plaintiff has failed to appear for a status conference.
The court issued the first show-cause order last July.
The complainant was left with no counsel after her first lawyer, Joseph E. Horey, moved to withdraw as counsel last March.
Horey then agreed with Manglona that the complaint was not served yet on defendant Julian R. Camacho and co-defendants.
Aside from plaintiff’s then-supervisor Camacho, the complainant named as co-defendants the CNMI government, and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs DYS.
The plaintiff is suing Camacho for violation of her civil rights, and the CNMI government and DCCA DYS for unlawful employment practices and violation of her civil rights.
She is demanding damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees in an unspecified amount.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was employed by the Commonwealth as a social worker in the Child Protection Unit of DYS from December 2012 to May 2014.