Pacific Rim wants court to authorize sale of IPI gaming machines, vehicles

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PACIFIC Rim Land Development LLC is requesting the federal court to issue an order authorizing the sale of Imperial Pacific International LLC’s gaming machines and vehicles with a total estimated value of $3 million.

Pacific Rim moved the court for an order for turnover, assignment, and judicial sale of gaming machines and heavy equipment and vehicles owned by IPI for the purpose of reducing the previous judgment amount entered against the casino investor.

Pacific Rim attorney Colin Thompson stated that under the CNMI statute, IPI’s gaming machines, heavy equipment and vehicles identified in a discovery may now be sold an auction with the sale proceeds applied in satisfaction of the judgement.

On April 27, 2020, the District Court for the NMI entered a 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.

On June 22, 2020, Pacific Rim filed a motion for order in aid of judgement. The court then issued an order granting in part and denying in part the motion for order authorizing the release of funds to the plaintiff and directing the clerk of court to release the funds received from Bank of Saipan to Pacific Rim in the amount of $1,383,869.45.

On July 23, 2020, the court issued an order authorizing release of funds to the plaintiff in the amount of $100.

According to Pacific Rim, the balance due on the judgment is not less than $5,525,363.98. 

In his motion, Thompson said IPI Chief Executive Officer Donald Browne, in a deposition on Aug. 8, 2020, asserted that IPI owns 404 gaming machines evaluated by Clear Management Group to be worth $2,250,000.

As for IPI’s heavy equipment and vehicles, Thompson said he served the CNMI Department of Public Safety commissioner with an Open Government Act request for inspection and/or copies of all certificates of title, certificates of registration, and/or all ownership documents issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which is under DPS.

Thompson said a total of 45 vehicles, including heavy equipment, were identified and the ownership documents confirmed that none were encumbered by any lien.

In Thompson’s declaration to support the motion, he listed the 45 vehicles and blue book valuation of each heavy equipment and vehicles.

The total estimated fair value of the vehicles as listed was $898,664.

“In order to maximize proceeds from auctions, the selling officer will conduct two auctions (Nov. 23 and Dec. 7),” Thompson said.

He said the notice and sale procedure requires a minimum of five days’ published notice in the local newspapers.

However, the lawyer said, the selling officer may wish to advertise off-island. “The costs for such publication are anticipated to be in excess of $2,500 (which costs are added to the Judgment under § 4204[c] of the CNMI statute), and any such additional notice is not only expensive, but is far more than other statutory provisions require.”

Thompson added, “Similarly, there is no provision in the CNMI statute requiring that the court enter a confirmation order following the sale. However, since judicial sales procedures and case law in other jurisdictions require an order confirming and approving of a judicial sale following the sale, Pacific Rim requests that the court set a status hearing…to approve of the selling officer’s sale report and to confirm that the procedures set forth in the proposed order were properly implemented in connection with the auction.”

Pacific Rim sued IPI for breach of contract for refusing to pay for services in the amount of $5.65 million for substantially completed or completed agreed-upon construction work for IPI’s casino- resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

Recently, the federal court dismissed the IPI counter-claims against Pacific Rim, and  also denied subsequent motion of the casino investor to amend its counter-claims. 

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