The operator did not comply with a court-mandated payment even though it had received money from its parent company.
Northern Mariana Islands.- One of the many legal battles Imperial Pacific International (IPI) is fighting has led to the company and its chief executive officer Donald Browne to be found in contempt for not paying court-ordered fees.
District Court Chief Judge Ramona Manglona declared both in contempt after several months of failure to make a payment of US$93,000.
IPI was sued by seven Chinese construction workers who accused the firm of human trafficking and forced labour.
IPI was ordered in August to pay the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees by September 24 but later received a one-month extension.
On October 27, the plaintiffs filed a notice of noncompliance and on December 2 the court ordered IPI to show cause as to why it should not find IPI and Browne in contempt.
A hearing was scheduled for December 10 but IPI said it had paid the sanction on December 4, Mariana’s Variety reported.
However, the plaintiffs demanded the firm and its CEO to be held in contempt and be obliged to pay attorney fees.
The court ruled there was no need to impose personal financial sanctions or jail time but held IPI and Browne in contempt since the firm had received money from its parent company in November but did not make the court-mandated payment until December 4.