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Bank intervenes in landowner’s lawsuit against CUC, NMI government

THE bench trial that started Monday in the lawsuit filed by a landowner against the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the CNMI government  was continued to Wednesday after a bank intervened and asserted an interest in the property in dispute.

 Conrad M. Sablan sued CUC and the CNMI government for trespass and taking of property without just compensation for building a water tank and fences on his property in Rapugao, Saipan.

Superior Court Judge Kenneth L. Govendo continued the trial after City Trust Bank, through attorney Mark Scoggins, filed a notice of intervention.

The notice is based on the execution of a revolving promissory note and a mortgage by Conrad Sablan, Mary Ann F. Sablan, and C & M Holding Co. dated May 11, 2016.

Scoggins said Conrad Sablan pledged the parcels of property as security to secure payment of the loan made by City Trust Bank or CTB under the revolving promissory note.

The lawyer said CTB has the right to intervene because it has an interest in tract nos. 22654-1 and 22654-R2 which are the subject of litigation in the matter.

 CTB’s ability to protect its security interest in the property will be impaired or impeded unless it can represent such interest by intervening in this litigation, Scoggins said.

 “A balance is still owed on the loan to CTB,” he added.

 On May 11, 2016, Conrad Sablan executed a promissory note and a mortgage which transferred to CTB a security interest in these two parcels of  real property to secure payment of a loan made to the plaintiff, his wife, and a company owned by them, Scoggins said.

He noted that the pleadings in this lawsuit do not reflect that CTB has been identified by Conrad Sablan as having an interest in the property.

Should the plaintiff prevail in his claim that the government took the property under a theory of eminent domain, and compensation is awarded to Conrad Sablan for such taking, title to the property would then pass to the CNMI government or to CUC, Scoggins said.

 If that happens, he said CTB would lose the security it has to secure payment of the loan provided to Conrad Sablan under the promissory note.

Scoggins said under the terms of the mortgage, Conrad Sablan has assigned all rights he may have in such compensation to CTB.

Also, under the terms of the mortgage, CTB is entitled to appear in its own name in any action proceeding to protect its interest in the properties and to recover any monies which may be paid as a result of such government taking, Scoggins said.

CTB stated that it learned about Conrad Sablan’s lawsuit after reading Variety’s news story about it on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/104252-bank-intervenes-in-landowner-s-lawsuit-against-cuc-nmi-government

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