29 Mar 2018
- By Bryan Manabat [email protected] Variety News Staff
SUPERIOR Court Pro Tempore Judge David A. Wiseman on Monday declined to admit into evidence the report of a handwriting expert who had testified in the lawsuit filed by a senator against his siblings.
Reed Hayes has testified that the signature on the deed of gift of land to Sen. Paul A. Manglona did not match his mother’s other signatures.
In his ruling, Judge Wiseman stated that Hayes’s report is similar to the slide presentation that the court received.
The judge said he will make a determination on the signatures based on the testimony of the handwriting expert but not his report which, the judge added, is merely a demonstrative aid.
Senator Manglona sued his siblings over a 4,181-square meter property on Capital Hill.
Manglona, in his private capacity, has asked the court to declare him the fee simple owner of the property by virtue of a deed of gift on July 11, 1985 signed by his mother, Bernadita A. Manglona.
His siblings Priscilla M. Torres and Thomas Manglona are co-administrators of the estate of their late mother, Bernadita A. Manglona. Charles Manglona, Associate Justice John A. Manglona are the senator’s other siblings who were also named in the lawsuit.
The defendants contend that their mother’s signature had been forged.
According to Judge Wiseman, “it is undisputed that the discussion of the handwriting exemplars and resulting conclusions contained within the Hayes report are hearsay.”
But while the Hayes report cannot be admitted into evidence, it can still be used by the court as a demonstrative exhibit, the judge added.
The judge likewise denied the defendants’ motion to admit into evidence the declaration of their late father, former Rota Mayor Prudencio T. Manglona, dated April 10, 2014.
The judge said “it is evident that Prudencio T. Manglona’s declaration is hearsay that falls outside any recognized hearsay exception.”
Prudencio T. Manglona’s declaration stated that it was his and Bernadita A. Manglona’s intention to leave the Capital Hill property to all their children in equal share.
Also on Monday, Judge Wiseman denied Senator Manglona’s motion to admit into evidence Prudencio T. Manglona’s affidavit dated Dec. 10, 2013 that purports to detail the former mayor’s understanding as to who owns the Capital Hill property.
The affidavit claims that Senator Manglona has owned the property since 1985 when his mother, Bernardita Manglona, executed a deed of gift in his favor.
Judge Wiseman said the affidavit is hearsay that does not fall within one of the recognized exceptions.
At the trial, Mark Scoggins, counsel for Senator Manglona, rested their case after the senator completed his testimony.
This prompted attorney Samuel Mok, counsel for Torres and Thomas A. Manglona, to make a motion for judgment for partial findings.
Judge Wiseman placed the motion under advisement and ordered the parties to submit briefs before May 4, 2018 to support their positions.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103261-handwriting-expert-s-report-not-admitted-into-evidence