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    Monday, December 9, 2019-12:48:17P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Murphy’s first amended complaint dismissed but may be re-filed

THE federal court has dismissed plaintiff Paul Murphy’s first amended complaint without prejudice and granted the CNMI government’s motion to dismiss.

In her April 6 order, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona stated that Murphy was granted leave to file amended complaint no later than April 20.

Kagman resident and former U.S. Army ranger with 3rd Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, Paul Murphy is invoking the protection of his rights under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as he seeks which were made applicable to the CNMI through the signing of the Covenant between the CNMI and the U.S. government.

In his latest complaint which Murphy filed on his own, stated that he continues to be deprived, violated, hurt, oppressed, defenseless, injured and attacked, citing that his grievances began with the confiscation of guns and ammunition when he first arrived on Saipan on July 30, 2007.

The Kagman resident who was formerly with the U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 24, 2014 challenging the prohibition against carrying these firearms for self-defense. He is seeking redress from the infringement of his rights through the administration of these prohibitions through licensing and fees.

When the CNMI government filed a motion to dismiss it, plaintiff Murphy was given by the court time to file his opposition.

Instead of filing one, he amended his complaint on March 4.

The court said this amended rendered the defendant’s motion to dismiss moot.

In asking to dismiss the lawsuit, defendant Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero, through Assistant Attorney General James M. Zarones, filed a second motion to dismiss on March 26.

Defendant noted that the plaintiff violated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which govern all civil proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the CNMI.

Deleon Guerrero noted that Murphy failed to sign his complaint, which rendered the complaint invalid.

The motion to dismiss also pointed out that the plaintiff wasn’t sure who he was suing whether it was the CNMI government or Deleon Guerrero in his professional and official capacity.

Murphy also failed to serve the summons on Guerrero.

In her order, Judge Manglona said the errors complained by Deleon Guerrero were obvious and “waiting for full briefing would needlessly waste the parties’ and the court’s time.”

So, the court dismissed the first amended complaint without prejudice and granted the plaintiff leave to amend consistent with the court’s order, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the court’s local rules.

For the court, filing a lawsuit in federal court is a straightforward process under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; however, the court noted that it can conceal pitfalls for the uninitiated.

Murphy filed his complaint pro se.

The court noted that there are no technical requirements for the pleadings of a complaint which can be a short and plain statement.

But plaintiff or his legal counsel must sign the complaint.

“Murphy failed to sign the [first amended complaint], although he signed the original complaint,” the court said.

He also failed to name Deleon Guerrero as defendant in the caption.

But the court said these are minor inconsistencies that can be remedied.

For the court, what is more important is for plaintiff to notify the defendants that they are being sued after he files the complaint with the court.

Plaintiff must obtain summons from the clerk and have summons and complaint served on the defendants.

The court noted that neither the Commonwealth nor Deleon Guerrero was properly served.

As well, plaintiff is precluded from serving his own process, the court said.

But the court said that when Murphy files his second amended complaint, he should make sure that the defendants are properly served.

For his part, Murphy filed his second amended complaint on April 7 naming Deleon Guerrero and Finance Secretary Larissa Larson as defendants.

Murphy invoked his Second Amendment rights and reiterated in his second amended complaint that he continues to be deprived, violated, hurt, oppressed, defenseless, injured and attacked, citing that his grievances began with the confiscation of guns and ammunition when he first arrived on Saipan on July 30, 2007.

Murphy is suing Deleon Guerrero and Larson for three counts of deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983.

Plaintiff is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against Deleon Guerrero from enforcing prohibitions on virtually all CNMI residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes, prohibition on obtaining a firearm for self-defense purposes, and the good cause requirement for getting them.

He asked for a declaratory judgment that prohibitions from obtaining firearms, handguns and ammunition not listed in 6 CMC § 2222(e) for self-defense purposes; prohibition on obtaining a firearm for self-defense purposes; and the good cause for obtaining a firearm are null and void because they infringe on the right to keep and bear arms — a violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

He is asking for award of attorney’s fees and costs.

He also asked the court to issue a preemption on laws that infringe on people’s rights and make it difficult to obtain firearms, ammunition and similar items.

He also asked for other relief that the court will find just and proper.