District Court to assume Dandan ownership issue
Friday, 24 October 2008
by Therese Hart
Marianas Variety News Staff
US District Court Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood has ordered a stay in the Superior Court proceedings involving the ownership issuJudge Frances Tydingco
e of the Dandan property where the next landfill will be constructed. The judge said this issue will now be decided by the District Court.
During its quarterly meeting, David Manning of receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton informed the court that because of the pending litigation in the Superior Court, it would be impossible to obtain debt financing for consent decree projects.
"There is an urgent need to clarify that the government of Guam has lawfully obtained title to the Layon site," Manning said.
Under GBB's timetable, construction of the new landfill is scheduled to begin in January, 2009, with the government of Guam required to deposit $20 million with a trustee.
Since the court's adoption of the receiver's timeline, it requires that financing be in place for the consent decree projects.
GBB advised the court that the cloud over the title to the Layon site must be cleared immediately or financing will be almost impossible to obtain.
Attorney General Alicia Limtiaco informed the court that the Dandan site has pending litigation in the Superior Court and that this issue should be resolved first.
There are court cases pending in the Superior Court regarding the title and the proper legal acquisition of the Dandan property.
One case involves a challenge to the government by the private property owners who claim that the government violated the eminent domain law and the land acquisition process.
Another pending case is between property owners regarding their interests in the distribution of property that has yet to be divided.
The order states that the District Court will not make any determination of property value and should the court find that the government of Guam has acquired legal title to the Layon site, the temporary stay will be lifted so that the Superior Court of Guam may address valuation issues.
Pleadings and briefs for a declaratory judgment must be filed by Oct. 27.
Briefs concerning legal rights or interests pertaining to the Layon site must be filed by other interested parties or landowners no later than Oct. 30.
A hearing is scheduled Nov. 6 at 9 a.m., at the U.S. District Court