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Court rules on Sadog Dogas land dispute

THE Superior Court has ruled that the owner of a Sadog Dogas property is the Mariana Kani-Teigita Estate.

Since the property in question has not reached final distribution, the property remains a part of her estate,  Judge Joseph N. Camacho said in his ruling in the litigation determining ownership of Lot No. 663 (T.D. 764).

Judge Camacho said without more information or evidence, the court cannot determine the effect of the Feb. 2, 1987 and April 19, 1987 deeds of gift on the property.

Joseph Norita Camacho

“Whether some or all of Mariana Kani-Teigita’s heirs inherited the property, or whether their interests in the property have been transferred and relinquished, cannot yet be determined by the court without additional information or evidence.”

According to the court, on Nov. 5, 1953, Mariana Kani-Teigita was determined to be the owner of the Sadog Dogas property in fee simple absolute.

In 1969, Mariana Kani-Teigita passed away without a will.

Mariana Kani-Teigita’s estate was never probated for final distribution. Several alleged heirs of Mariana Kani-Teigita purportedly assigned their interests to the property to Pedro I. Kani through the Feb. 2, 1987 and April 19, 1987 deeds of gift, the court stated.

But the Sadog Dogas property is still part of Mariana Kani-Teigita’s estate, the judge said, adding that although her alleged heirs have purportedly transferred their interests in the property, these alleged heirs had not yet inherited the property and thus had no authority to transfer it.

Joseph Ruak, administrator for the Kani Estate, was the claimant in the litigation and was represented by attorney Brien Sers Nicholas.

The Teigita Estate was administered by Eloy Teigita Dela Cruz and was represented by attorney Rosemond B. Santos.

Ruak, administrator for the Kani Estate, said it is the proper owner of the Sadog Dogas property.

But Dela Cruz, administrator for the Teigita Estate, said any conveyances of Sadog Dogas Property were improper and that the property belongs to the Teigita Estate.

According to the court, Vicente Kani was the father of Jose Kani, Maria Kani and Mariana Kani-Teigita who was born Mariana Kani.

Vicente Kani, Jose Kani, and Maria Kani all passed away prior to Nov. 5, 1953.

Mariana Kani-Teigita, who passed away in 1969, had two children: Ignacia Kani Teigita Cangco and Joaquin Kani Teigita.

Joaquin Kani Teigita has six children.

On Nov. 5, 1953, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands determined that Lot No. 663 in Saipan was the property of Mariana Kani.

The title officer of the Saipan District for the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, John A. Wood, signed the determination of ownership on Nov. 5, 1953, which was filed with the clerk of court for the Saipan District on Nov. 9, 1953.

The grantors in the Feb. 2, 1987 deed of gift were all described as “the legal heirs of Mariana Kani (Deceased).”  The Feb. 2, 1987 deed of gift was signed by Ignacia Kani Teigita Cangco, Mariana Kani-Teigita’s daughter, while the remaining grantors are children of Mariana’s son, Joaquin.

On April 19, 1987, a second deed of gift was signed by Patriciana Tomol Teigita, the legal heir of Mariana Kani, to Pedro I. Kani.

Judge Camacho noted that although the counsel for the Kani Estate alleged that Vicente Kani owned both the Sadog Dogas property as well as a property in As Mahetog, no evidence was presented at the Oct. 19, 2017 evidentiary hearing to support this contention.

Likewise, the Kani Estate counsel also alleged that Vicente Kani intended the Sadog Dogas property to be split between two of his children, Mariana and Jose, but no evidence was presented at the evidentiary hearing to support this contention, the judge said.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/104175-court-rules-on-sadog-dogas-land-dispute

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