Mudge sues CEO Almen

Vote tabulation at the ICC in Majuro following the November 16 national election. Photo: Hilary Hosia.
Vote tabulation at the ICC in Majuro following the November 16 national election. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

Former Mayor Mudge Samuel filed two civil lawsuits in the High Court in mid-December attempting to halt certification of the official election results and to get a recount of Majuro votes.

Both of Samuel’s motions for a temporary restraining order against Chief Electoral Officer Robson Almen were denied by High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram because Samuel’s attorney Roy Chikamoto did not complete one of the two actions required for a TRO motion to be considered by the courts.

Ingram also set a status conference for last week and again Monday this week to set a time for a hearing on the next step, which is consideration of a preliminary injunction against the election results. But Chikamoto and attorneys at the Attorney General’s office, which represents Almen, have so far been unable to find a date that both are available for a hearing on the election dispute. Chief Justice Ingram said he is waiting on the attorneys to give him a proposed date in order for a hearing to be scheduled.

The two requirements for court consideration of a motion for a temporary restraining order are: A demonstration of immediate and irreparable injury or damage from an action, and certification in writing by the moving party’s attorney explaining efforts made to notify the opposing party and reasons why this should not be required. According to Ingram, Chikamoto did not provide the court with written certification, which is why Ingram denied the TRO motion. Chikamoto later amended the complaint to include the certification.

Earlier in December, Almen rejected Samuel’s request for a recount.

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