The court issued an order on May 8, in the case of the Ngarametal Association versus James Kennedy, to be unsealed and the funds of $2.4 million deposited under James Kennedy be transferred to the Clerk of Court account.
The order concerns Koror’s Ngarametal Association, headed by Alexander Mereb and Mlib Tmetuchl, who sued former attorney of the Ngarametal Association, James Kennedy, for the $2.4 million awarded to Ngarametal Association under Civil Action 16-053, the Ngarametal Association vs. Island Paradise Resort. The case was litigated when the Ngarametal Association was under former heads of the Association, Johnny Gibbons and Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons. The proceeds from Civil Action 16-053 were deposited into the legal counsel’s account.
Under the current Civil Case 23-018, the heads of the Ngarametal Association brought the case against the former attorney, seeking to have the funds turnover to the Ngarametal Association.
Former Ngarametal Association attorney James Kennedy asked the court to seal the case, citing possible civil unrest as a result of the contest over the rightful heads of the Association. The court ordered the case sealed.
Further, Kennedy filed saying that the case filed by the Ngarametal Association did not have the rightful names of the owners and, therefore, should be dismissed.
On May 8, the court granted the defendant Kennedy’s motion to dismiss, stating that the dispute “among the senior members of the Ngarametal Association complicates the Court’s ability to award judgment.” The court directs members of Ngarametal to determine the proper representatives without dispute before the court awards judgment. Awarding by the court at this time will only bring further lawsuits.
The court then ordered defendant James Kennedy to transfer the $2.4 million to the Clerk of Courts escrow account until the dispute is resolved.
Defendant Kennedy filed on the same day requesting the court to reconsider its order regarding the transfer of funds to the Clerk of Court account, stating that transferring the funds will cause him hardship as it would require him to surrender a small portion of the fund he is entitled to and will cause him hardship of having to sue unknown parties to recover his fees.