TRO against recycling center, owner is dissolved

IPI’s request to inspect recycling center’s premises is denied

Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley M. Bogdan dissolved effective immediately his temporary restraining order that prohibits a recycling company and its owner and others from concealing or destroying all copper wires and other construction materials belonging to Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC under their possession or control.

In an order on Monday, Bogdan also denied IPI’s motion for preliminary injunction that sought to maintain the prohibition until the end of IPI’s lawsuit against FSM Recycling Corp., FSMRC owner Jae Yoon Cha, FSMRC employee Eric Cruz, and a former IPI employee Ricky Reyes.

Bogdan also denied IPI’s request to be allowed to inspect FSMRC’s premises in Tanapag.

IPI, through Robert O’Connor, is suing FSMRC, Cha, Cruz, Reyes, and 15 unnamed co-defendants for allegedly conspiring to steal and sell construction materials stolen from IPI’s warehouses.

IPI asked the court to hold the defendants liable to pay punitive damages in excess of $50,000 and other damages, in an amount to be proven at trial.

FSMRC, Cha, and Cruz, through Robert T. Torres, countersued IPI for invasion of privacy/false light, and abuse of process. In addition, FSMRC, Cha, and Cruz are suing IPI for business disparagement. They also filed a crossclaim for defamation against Reyes and 15 unnamed persons.

Reyes allegedly prepared a handwritten statement early this year that he and another man cut about 10 feet of copper wire from spools owned by IPI and sold the wire to Cha and FSMRC.

Bogdan held a hearing last April 23 via telephonic conference on IPI’s motion for preliminary injunction against the defendants following his issuance of a TRO. The judge issued the TRO last April 16.

Present at the hearing were attorney Cong Nie, on behalf of the O’Connor law firm, and Torres. Reyes appeared without a counsel. Also present were witnesses prepared to testify. The parties have withdrawn subpoenas for documents that were to be produced at the hearing.

In his order Monday, Bogdan said he has reviewed the file, including the answer to the lawsuit, counterclaims and crossclaim, as well as exhibits of record. Bogdan said all witnesses under subpoena to testify for this proceeding are discharged and released.

“Further proceedings in this matter will proceed as warranted under the Commonwealth’s Rules of Civil Procedure,” the judge said.

Torres said yesterday that FSM Recycling is pleased with the court’s order, “which speaks for itself.” Torres said the complaint is without basis and FSM has responded to the complaint as to IPI’s baseless claim.

He disclosed that FSM has filed its criminal complaint with the Department of Public Safety to investigate the person who admitted stealing from IPI and, as recently as Monday, met with DPS detectives to cooperate with the investigation.

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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