Former IPI chairwoman ordered to pay plaintiffs’ legal fees

Cui Lijie has been ordered to pay legal fees and costs by June 21.
Cui Lijie has been ordered to pay legal fees and costs by June 21.

Cui Lijie has been ordered to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees in civil contempt sanctions as a result of noncompliance with court orders.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has ordered former IPI chairwoman Cui Lijie to pay $182,637.53 in attorneys’ fees and costs by June 21. Cui Li Jie has been repeatedly found to have violated court orders regarding electronically stored information.

Cui is a witness in the lawsuit brought against IPI and its former contractors and subcontractors MCC International and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration by seven construction workers. The plaintiffs allege labour rights violations and human trafficking.

Judge Manglona stated: “As a result of Ms Cui’s consistent noncompliance with the court’s numerous orders, the court awarded plaintiffs attorneys’ fees and costs as part of civil contempt sanctions and permitted plaintiffs to submit fee petitions establishing their entitlement to the amount.”

The judge added: “It is unfortunate that the process to obtain a clear explanation from Cui about her ESI data from her various devices and accounts spanned nearly a year and exhausted countless resources from plaintiffs, Cui, and the court.”

In April, Cui Lijie was also ordered to pay court fines totalling $42,200. According to Cui, the fees owed total $36,200 but the court’s calculations come out at $42,200.

CNMI Court postpones CCC hearing on IPI casino licence for second time

Chief Judge Manglona has issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) from holding a hearing scheduled for May 24.

In her report, Manglona explained that the damage IPI could suffer from the cancellation of the licence far outweighs the possible damage to the CCC. In addition, she ordered the regulator to appear at a hearing on June 2 to explain why a preliminary injunction should not be issued.

According to the judge, any breach of the temporary restraining order by the defendant “could be considered contempt of court and prosecuted”. The judge also required IPI to submit and post a security deposit in the amount of $100,000 prior to May 26.

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