2 Jan 2015

Supreme Court says CNMI utility can sue govt

1:05 pm on 2 January 2015

The CNMI Supreme Court has ruled that the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation can file a lawsuit against the Northern Marianas government for unpaid utility bills.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho said the court denies the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss for lack of capacity.

In the past, the government has argued that the CUC is a government entity and lacks capacity to sue the government.

But Judge Camacho said the court found that the Commonwealth Legislature explicitly granted the CUC the power to bring lawsuits, and specifically mandated that the CUC bill government consumers for utility services.

CNMI Legislature

CNMI Legislature Photo: Supplied

The Superior Court has set a status conference for next Wednesday to set a trial date.

The Public School System and the CNMI government are indebted to the CUC, for utility services in the principal sum of $US5, 936,931 and $US1,241,137 respectively together with pre-judgment interest.