Mother and daughter want John Sablan Pangelinan to pay them $7.61 million in damages

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SECUNDINA Untalan Pangelinan and her daughter Selina Marie Pangelinan are asking the Superior Court to issue an order directing John Sablan Pangelinan to pay them $7.61 million in damages for interfering in a probate of a $3.2 million estate belonging to Secundina’s deceased husband.

Secundina and Selina Pangelinan, through attorney Janet King, filed a motion for damages, cost of litigation and attorney’s fees.

King requested the court to issue an order holding John Pangelinan liable to pay her clients $90,281.92 for attorney’s fees and costs; $256,446.85 for damages in the form of investment interest; $798,580.97 for emotional distress; and $2,661,936.58 for punitive damages.

Secundina and Selina Pangelinan likewise asked the court to hold John Panagelinan liable to pay them $3.8 million for tortious interference claim.

In a ruling in May, Superior Court Associate Joseph N. Camacho found that John Pangelinan committed the tort of abuse of process in the estate.

Moreover, Judge Camacho said Secundina and Selina Pangelinan have also proven that John Pangelinan committed the tort of intentional interference with another’s performance of their own contract by tortiously interfering in the contractual relations between the plaintiffs and Peak Development (CNMI) LLC.

According to the widow and her daughter’s complaint, Norberto Pangelinan, Secundina’s husband, passed away in August 2015. Norberto owned three parcels of land in Tanapag. 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.

Secundina Pangelinan initiated a probate for the estate of Norberto so that the lease and sale transaction could be properly completed, but during the probate, John Pangelinan challenged Norberto’s title to the Tanapag property without any evidentiary or legal support, the plaintiffs stated. Norberto was John Pangelinan’s cousin.

Judge Camacho ordered Secundina and Selina Pangelinan to file their request for damages and/or other remedies against John Pangelinan.

Judge Camacho found that based on the testimonies and exhibits, there was nothing in John Pangelinan’s relationship with the plaintiffs that justified his interference.

Judge Camacho said John Pangelinan “intentionally” and “improperly” interfered with the performance of the contracts between the plaintiffs and Norberto’s estate in their dealings with Peak Development, which caused the plaintiffs’ performance of the contracts to be more expensive and burdensome.

The judge found John Pangelinan liable to pay the plaintiffs for the pecuniary loss that the mother and daughter experienced as a result of John Pangelinan’s interference.

John Pangelinan also showed his primary desire to cause the plaintiffs to expand legal fees with almost five hundred pages of frivolous filing, “all of which the court denied,” the judge said.

Most importantly, he added, “John knows that his claim in the probate was meritless and that he had no legitimate claim to the Tanapag properties.”

According to King, the plaintiffs have so far spent a combined total of $90,281 in both the probate action and in their lawsuit.

“Had it not been for John Pangelinan’s frivolous filing, the proceeds from the lease and sale transaction in the total amount of $2,405,489 would have already been with the plaintiffs and would have been placed in a viable investment with a reputable investment trust firm,” King said.

Also based on a calculation prepared by ASC Trust LLC, King said, had the fund been invested on Dec. 31, 2018, it would have already earned $256,446 today.

Secundina and Selina Pangelinan sued John Pangelinan, who has been declared a “vexatious litigant” by the federal court, saying that he has abused the legal system to extort money from them by interfering in a probate matter despite not being a creditor.

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