Contractor satisfied mechanic lien requirements, says judge

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USA Fanter Corporation has satisfied the mechanic’s lien requirements, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said during a telephonic and video conference hearing held on Friday.

USA Fanter has filed a breach of contract lawsuit and mechanic’s lien application against Imperial Pacific International.

After hearing the testimonies from witnesses and the arguments of the lawyers, Judge Manglona said USA Fanter satisfied the burden of probable cause to attach a lien on the property.

USA Fanter said it was hired by IPI to construct landscaping improvements for the casino operator’s hotel-casino development project in Garapan.

USA Fanter said it stopped work on the project because IPI refused to pay the amount owed to the plaintiff for work completed under the construction contract.

Represented by attorney Colin Thompson, USA Fanter wants the court to issue an order awarding it $2,089,345.28 in damages and a mechanic’s lien in the same amount.

USA Fanter also wants the court to order the sale of the real property interests to which the mechanic’s lien is attached in accordance with the law.

The proceeds of the sale should then be applied to the payment of the balance due upon the judgment, USA Fanter stated.

In response to the lawsuit, IPI stated that USA Fanter failed to mediate the claims, adding that its lawsuit should be dismissed.

At the hearing on Friday, IPI was represented by attorney Joseph Horey who called Tsai Tunglun, an engineer, to testify through an interpreter, Dennis Tse.

A general consultant for USA Fanter, Antonio Muna, also appeared via teleconference.

After the hearing, Judge Manglona said bench trial will start on June 24, 2020 at 9 a.m.

In a separate lawsuit, USA Fanter accused IPI of making libelous statements in a press release it transmitted to the local newspapers.

USA Fanter is asking the court to find IPI liable and award the plaintiff damages.

The federal court has yet to issue a ruling on that lawsuit.

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