Ricky Carl notifies Legislature and State of intent to sue for damages of $250,000

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press


March 13, 2020

Pohnpei—On March 13, 2020, the attorney for Ricky Carl notified Speaker Ausen T. Lambert of his intent to file claims for violation of civil and due process rights by the Credentials Committee and the Tenth Pohnpei Legislature.  It says that Pohnpei State will also be considered an additional defendant.

Under Pohnpei State Law, government entities must be given notice of 50 days of any intent to file a claim against them.

The notice says that the claims arose from the Legislature’s refusal to seat him as a member of the 10th Legislature despite a Pohnpei State Supreme court ruling stating that Carl was eligible to run for office, an election that he won.

The notice of claim says that the Credential Committee report misstated facts, failed to mention the civil action that allowed Carl to run and be elected, and contained flawed legal reasoning.  It theorizes that the report would put out without any input or review from legislative counsel, “which may explain the serious constitutional deficiencies in the report.”

“Even though the Legislature is the sole judge of its members, it cannot base decisions on false and inaccurate statements and irresponsible legal analysis,” the letter said.  “To do so is a violation of due process and civil rights.”

“Further, my client asked you directly about these issues. Initially you informed Mr. Carl he would be seated on February 5, 2020. He was not, and you apparently took no steps to assure that he was seated. You additionally ignored letters sent by my client requesting the status of his seating and his request for reconsideration of the Credentials Committee finding,” it says.

The letter says that the matter could still be corrected at this time but that Carl has already incurred substantial damages.  It itemized the damages as:

Loss of wages as a Senator of $25,000 per year.

Campaign expenditures for participating in the special election of $30,000.

Damages for humiliation, slander and libel of $100,000

Damages for violations of civil rights of $50,000

Legal fees for the future civil action and for contesting the original action of $20,000

The letter provides 50 days for response.

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