25 Oct 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
A FORMER Commonwealth Health Center physician who sued CNMI and public health officials over the termination of his medical privilege said he was unaware of the Sept. 27, 2017 court order directing him to file an amended complaint.
Dr. Gary Ramsey filed a declaration in response to the District Court for the NMI’s show-cause order asking him to explain why his lawsuit should not be dismissed.
Ramsey, who represents himself, said he received an email notification of the Sept. 27, 2017 order. “I thought it was simply confirmation of the stay motion to stay proceedings that I had filed.”
Ramsey said he also did not get any copies of the actual documents.
He said he forwarded pertinent documents about the case to his former lawyer, Stephen Woodruff, to explain to him the relevant procedure in accordance with the lawyer’s duty to assist in transition to a new counsel.
Ramsey said the court never explained to him that the he needed to access the document link in the email notification from the electronic filing system, and that he needed a log-in password, until it was explained to him by his former counsel.
In regards to the stay motion that he filed, he reiterated the prejudice to which he would be exposed if compelled to file an amended complaint without the benefit of counsel.
He said the defendants are “disingenuously seeking to paint” his stay motion as being based principally on the existence of his petition for writ of certiorari currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ramsey said he had suffered negative publicity because of the show cause order.
The defendants are exploiting his disadvantage of not having counsel to represent him, he added.
“It has been barely over six months since the Ninth Circuit mandate was issued, in contrast with the 21-month delay the defendants crammed down my throat, without court order or any valid justification, at the time when I was able to proceed with competent counsel while the defendants’ appeal was pending in the Ninth Circuit,” Ramsey said.
“I had the right to prosecute my claims in every respect not affected by the interlocutory appeal but was deprived of that right for 21 months,” he added.
Further, “I am now effectively being deprived of that right by deprivation of counsel and threat of dismissal of my case.”
Ramsey asked the district court to discharge the order to show-cause and grant his motion for stay proceedings.
On Sept. 27, 2017, District Court for the NMI Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ordered Ramsey to file an amended complaint by Oct. 11, 2017 or the case would be dismissed.
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood said Oct. 11 had passed and a review of the docket showed that no amended complaint or motion to extend time had been filed.
She then ordered Ramsey to explain why his lawsuit, which was filed in Sept. 2014, should not be dismissed.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99555-dr-ramsey-says-he-was-unaware-of-court-order