Slider
Slider

|

Slider

Federal court dismisses lawsuit over reburial of ancestral remains

Local
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

CHIEF Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court of the NMI has dismissed without prejudice the lawsuit of Liana Hofschneider and her husband Richard Hofschneider who are seeking to stop the reburial of 700 ancestral remains found at the Imperial Pacific International casino construction project.

The reinterment ceremony was held last week.

Judge Villagomez also denied the Hofschneiders’ application to proceed with the lawsuit without paying fees.

In her order dated Aug. 20, 2020, the judge denied the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

She said the Hofschneiders have not sufficiently pleaded facts to establish jurisdiction of the court, and the complaint does not have diversity jurisdiction.

The complaint did not have a claim arising under the federal question jurisdiction, the judge added.

“The only federal law mentioned in the draft complaint to assert a claim is the National Historic Preservation Act of 1996,” the judge said.

This Act, however, does not create a private right of action, she added.

In a 44-page draft complaint, the Hofschneiders asked the federal court to order the CNMI government and Imperial Pacific International to immediately stop the reburial of the estimated 700 ancestral Chamorro human remains scheduled for Aug. 20, 2020.

They also wanted the federal court to issue an order directing the CNMI government, IPI and Scientific Consultant Services Inc.  to pay $25 million “for the desecration of our over 1,000 years old ancient Chamorro village and burial ground in the heart of Garapan business district to make way for the exclusive casino operation in Saipan.”

According to the Hofschneiders, “We are claiming this amount because we cannot put a price tag on the irreplaceable, invaluable and sacred heritage that were left behind from our ancestors of thousands [of] years past that is now lost for the future generation; and a heritage that could not be shared with our children and as our national heritage.”

The lawsuit named as defendants Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Attorney General Edward Manibusan, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs acting Secretary Robert Hunter, State Historic Preservation Officer Rita C. Chong-Dela Cruz and Cui Li Jie of IPI.

 

 

 

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider