SAIPAN — Chief Judge Ramona Manglona of the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands has granted the request of Pacific Rim Land Development LLC to release $5.59 million held in an investment portfolio consisting of short-term U.S. government bonds with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.
On Friday, Judge Manglona ordered the immediate release of $5.525 million to Pacific Rim, which won its breach of contract lawsuit against Saipan's casino investor, Imperial Pacific International, in the district court.
IPI had filed an appeal, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the district court's decision.
As for the remaining amounts in the Merrill Lynch account, Judge Manglona said those "shall be released to Thompson Law LLC Trust Account and shall remain in such account until further order of the court regarding the costs, fees, interest, and/or damages because of the delay on payment of the judgment."
The judge also ordered the plaintiff, Pacific Rim, to file a petition no later than Friday, Nov. 26, detailing its entitlement to any amounts for post-judgment costs, fees, and/or interest.
She scheduled a hearing on the matter for 11 a.m. Dec. 10.
Pacific Rim is represented by attorney Colin Thompson.
On April 27, 2020, Judge Manglona entered judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in its lawsuit against IPI for breach of contract and breach of promissory note.
On May 2, 2020, the federal court entered an amended civil judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $6.8 million including the principal amount and attorney's fees and costs.
Last year, the judge allowed an investor, Pacific International Property Management LLC, or PIPM, "to place ($5.59 million) within the absolute discretion of the court for the purpose of securing a stay and paying on the judgment in the event that Pacific Rim prevailed in the appeal."
According to the stipulation filed by Pacific Rim and IPI in court, PIPM is not owned by IPI and PIPM does not own IPI. PIPM is a separate and independent business entity from IPI. But PIPM agreed to pledge its own funds as security and an alternative to a bond.
The funds "shall be available in full to satisfy the judgment, including fees, costs, interest and damages for delay that may be awarded, if (IPI's) appeal should be dismissed or the judgment affirmed."