Widow, daughter sue vexatious litigant


A widow and her daughter have accused John Sablan Pangelinan of abusing the legal system to extort money from them.

Segundina Untalan Pangelinan and her daughter, Selina Marie Pangelinan, are suing John Sablan Pangelinan for abuse of process and interference with contract.

Segundina and Selina Pangelinan, through Janet H. King, asked the Superior Court to hold John Pangelinan liable to pay them damages, interest, and court costs. They demanded a jury trial.

According to the complaint, Segundina Pangelinan’s husband, Norberto, passed away in August 2015. Norberto owned three parcels of land in Tanapag, but before he died, he entered into an agreement to lease the property to Peak Development LLC for 55 years for a total rent of $3.2 million.

Norberto also entered into an agreement to sell his reversionary interest in the Tanapag property to Pedro Kileleman. But before the transactions could close, Norberto passed away, King said.

Segundina Pangelinan then initiated a probate for the estate of Norberto so that the lease and sale transactions could be properly completed.

During the probate, King said, John Pangelinan challenged Norberto’s title to the Tanapag property without any evidentiary or legal support. The Superior Court rejected those challenges.

John Pangelinan then filed multiple motions to reconsider, which the court also rejected. John Pangelinan then appealed to the CNMI Supreme Court.

All actions taken by John Pangelinan were filed pro se (or without a lawyer).

King said that John Pangelinan perverted the legal process to delay the transactions and interfere with a land deal.

John Pangelinan asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the court lacks jurisdiction and that plaintiffs fail to state a claim in their lawsuit.

In June 2008, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood declared John Pangelinan a vexatious litigant.

Tydingco-Gatewood also sanctioned him by ordering him to pay attorneys’ fees and court costs to attorney Robert T. Torres. His lawsuit was found frivolous.

In June 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disclosed that John Pangelinan initiated 18 litigations since 2000. The Ninth Circuit said the respondent’s practice of burdening the court with meritless litigation justifies careful oversight of his future litigation in this court.

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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