C-Star Apartelle again back in the Courts despite numerous previous rulings
- Category: News
- Published: Wednesday, 31 March 2021 05:31
- Written by Bill Jaynes
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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
February 26, 2021
FSM—On December 11, 2020, Marianne Setik and Irene Setik filed an action at the Pohnpei Supreme Court against Feliciano Perman, the Pohnpei Court of Land Tenure, and the Pohnpei Supreme Court, again alleging that the sale of the C-Star Apartelle several years ago was illegal and fraudulent. That case has since been removed to the FSM Supreme Court as case number CA 2021-002.
Though Pohnpei Police evicted members of the Setik family from the property last week based on a Pohnpei Supreme Court ruling in September, today, Marstella Jack, representing Feliciano Perman, filed a motion on 2021-002 asking for a preliminary injunction barring members of the Setik family or their representatives from entering the property. The motion also asked for an expedited hearing.
The motion says that on February 22, 2021, Maureen Perman, daughter of Feliciano Perman, who was given her father’s power of attorney, was cleaning at C-Star when Attorney Yoslyn Sigrah appeared and harassed her. According to Maureen’s affidavit on the matter, on that evening Sigrah screamed at her though Sigrah was barred from having direct contact with her without her attorney present. “Using belligerent and…abusive language” Sigrah accused Perman of trespassing and accused Perman’s father of “stealing the land”. Sigrah told her that she had already called the police, who, despite the court already having ruled that the Setiks were trespassing, and previous requests from the Permans to enforce that ruling, told Perman to leave or she would be arrested.
On the next day, Perman’s attorney, after having consulted with the State Attorney General and the Director of Public Safety told Perman she could go back to clean. But Sigrah came back at about 5 PM and barricaded herself inside the apartment Esther Setik was occupying and refused to come out. Perman’s attorney called the Pohnpei AG and the Director of DPS and at around 9:00, police escorted Yoslyn Sigrah and her client from the compound.
That evening, Irene Setik posted threats against FSM Development Bank, it’s attorney, Nora Sigrah, and against Feliciano Perman on social media and made thinly veiled threats, asking others to fight for her family members living in Pohnpei. The motion included Facebook posts from many who threatened to beat up, or otherwise harm the Permans and others involved in the civil action.
“Setiks’ Attorney Yoslyn G Sigrah personally instigated these actions and participated in the Setiks’ continued trespassing at the CStar premises,”Perman’s motion said. “Attorney Yoslyn Sigrah refuses to accept the controlling Appellate decisions of 2018 and misrepresented the status of the cases to her client Irene Setik, as evidenced by Irene Setik’s Facebook posts.”
The motion continues with a quote from Setik’s February 23 Facebook post. “2015 FSM Development Bank auction our CStar Apartelle. Why? I never been informed or aware of this.”
“Clearly Irene Setik was not informed of the sale of CStar premises because her attorney, Yoslyn G Sigrah, failed to inform her of this,” Perman’s motion for injunction and expedited hearing said. “Sigrah’s failure to inform her client of the Appellate decisions resulted in the February 22-23, 2021 events at CStar and the filing of this (2021-002) meritless action.”
Perman’s motion continued with quotes from Setik’s FB post:
“They think they own CStar…They stole it.” . . . “They stole it in a unspeakable way.”
“Someone pls beat her ass and put her ass in jail”. . . “I hope that bitch lady someone beat her up after these videos cus I know Someone will.”
The motion also submitted as “Exhibit D”, screen shots of various threats made by many members of the 7000 member Facebook page, “FSM Forum”, owned by Kalio Edwin and administered by several others.
Though CA 2021-002 is a new case, it is related to civil filings that have stretched back nearly a decade regarding a mortgage collection action pursued by the FSM Development Bank for payment of the loan it provided in order to build the C-Star Apartelle. No FSM Supreme Court Justices were available to hear the initial case, either through conflict of interest or due to other reasons, and as is it is sometimes required to do, the Supreme Court recruited a judge from another jurisdiction to hear the mortgage default matter. Lourdes Materne, a judge from Palau heard the case up to the point where the mortgaged property was put out for sealed bid.
When the bids were opened, Perman’s bid, one of Materne’s relatives was amongst the submitted bid. Materne immediately identified her relationship with Perman and refused to announce the winning bidder because of that relationship, though all she had to do was announce that her relative had won. The FSM Supreme Court issued a writ ordering Materne to take the last step of announcing the winner so that the case could close. Yoslyn Sigrah, Setik’s long standing attorney asked for reconsideration of the writ, but the Court denied it.
On November 24, 2015, the land and building were sold to Feliciano Perman for his bid amount and the Court ruled that it was properly executed and on April 11, 2016, the Pohnpei Court of Land Tenure issued a certificate of title to Perman for the property. Sigrah filed three appeals to the FSM Supreme Court, all of which were heard and all of which were denied in 2018. Through their attorney, the Setiks continue to argue that the land sale was illegal and fraudulent and have not recognized any of the courts’ decisions.
One of the most recent court decisions regarding the matter was an eviction notice issued by the Pohnpei Supreme Court on September 20 which gave the Setiks and family members 60 days to vacate the premises. Though the ruling was a “default judgment” based partially on the fact that the defendants did not respond to the legal action filed by Feliciano Perman, the ruling said that “it is not a matter of right to grant a motion for entry of default judgment…however, in deciding whether to grant a motion, a Court may consider various factors including the merits of plaintiff’s substantive claim,” which the Court said it did. It ultimately ruled for the eviction based both on the defendants’ failure to respond in any manner over the course of the case which was initially filed in July of 2020 and due to presented evidence.
It wasn’t until December 2, 2020 that Sigrah filed an answer to Perman’s complaint that had been decided nearly four months previous. The answer came in the form of a motion to set aside the default judgment and allow additional time to respond to the complaint.
Nine days later she filed what became 2021-002, again alleging facts that have all been previously ruled on in various courts.
At press time, the FSM Supreme Court had not yet made any ruling nor had it yet granted an expedited hearing.