US probation officer sues to clear title of Sadog Tasi land


U.S. probation officer Margarita DLG. Wonenberg has filed a lawsuit against three persons to clear the title of a piece of land containing 2,831 square meters located in Sadog Tasi, which she claims her sister transferred to her last December.

Wonenberg is suing Seung Bae Hong, Soon Hyung Lee, and Ki Ha Lee, and all of their unknown assignees, heirs, devises, grantees, creditors, and spouses.

Wonenberg said Hong and Soon Lee and Ki Lee, are all Korean citizens, who were at one time residents of Saipan.

Hong is allegedly the current or former lessee to a long-term lease of Wonenberg’s land (premises) by an assignment dated Dec. 31, 1996.

Soon Lee is allegedly a current or former lessee, in part, to a long-term lease of the premises by a partial assignment in June 1997.

Ki Lee is allegedly the current or former lessee to a long-term lease of the premises by an assignment, possibly executor, dated Nov. 27, 1997.

Wonenberg, through counsel Mark B. Hanson, asked the Superior Court to enter a judgment declaring that she effectively terminated the lease pursuant to its terms for the material breach of the lease by the defaulting defendants Hong, Soon Lee, and Ki Lee, due to unsecured nonpayment of rent after proper notice.

She asked the court that the title of the land be quieted in her name free and clear of all liens or encumbrances.

Wonenberg sought the court’s order that any and all parties claiming any rights of possession other than complaint be ejected from the land.

She asked for payment of court costs and attorney’s fees pursuant to the lease.

According to Hanson in the complaint, Wonenberg, a widow, is the current fee simple title-holder to the unimproved parcel of land in Sadog Tasi, Saipan.

Hanson said Maria Dolores Deleon Guerrero Synder, the sister of Wonenberg, was the fee simple owner of the premises until she transferred all of her right title and interest to Wonenberg by quitclaim deed executed by Synder last Dec. 8.

In 1992, Synder allegedly entered into a ground lease with Kim Mi Sook and Lim Myeong San for the long-term lease of the premises.

Hanson said Wonenberg is the successor of Synder’s interest as lessor to the lease.

Hanson said the lease provides for monthly payments in escalating amounts beginning May 6, 1992 and continuing monthly through the stated expiration of the lease on May 5, 2047.

Through a series of assignments, the lawyer said, the last recorded assignment that was in November 1997, the lessee’s interest in the lease was assigned to one or more of the defaulting defendants who may still have an interest in the lease.

Hanson said the lessees made rent payments under the lease through December 1992.

Hanson said from December 1992 through the date of this complaint, lessees have failed and refused to pay the rent due pursuant to the lease.

Last Feb. 7, Wonenberg posted a notice of default on the land visible to the public from the public right of way adjoining the premises.

Two days later, Wonenberg sent copies of the notice of default by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of each of the defaulting defendants for failure to pay rent.

As of the date of the filing of this complaint, Hanson said, in an amount of time exceeding the 30-day notice provision of the lease, none of the defaulting defendants, has responded to the notice of default.

Wonenberg then executed a notice of termination of ground lease last April 2.

Hanson said Wonenberg as the sole fee simple title-holder is entitled to have the court quiet title in the premises in her name against all those who have may advance a claim of an interest in the premises.

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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