Petitioner, Ellender Ngirameketii, filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus on April 3, 2020, regarding underlying rulings by Associate Justice Lourdes F. Materne on the seizure of Ellender Ngirameketii’s funds in Criminal Case No. 19-097.  A writ of mandamus is an order from a superior court to a lower court directing the lower court to perform a legal duty that was not performed at the lower court level.  The Palau Supreme Court, Appellate Division, opened a Special Proceeding in the matter, Special Proceeding 20-002.

Several pleadings by both parties followed including:

  • April 13, 2020, OSP filed a Preliminary Opposition to the Petition for Writ of Mandamus setting forth OSP’s position that Ellender Ngirameketii was not legally permitted to file the Writ. • April 14, 2020, Petitioner filed a Motion to Strike (OSP’s Preliminary Opposition) and request for Sanctions (against the Special Prosecutor) . • April 14, 2020, OSP filed a response to Petitioner’s Motion to Strike and for Sanctions on the same day. • April 17, 2020, Petitioner filed a Reply to OSP’s above response.

On April 21, 2020, the Appellate Court entered an Order of Appointment appointing Associate Justices Gregory Dolin, Daniel R. Foley, and Kevin Bennardo to serve on the panel to consider Petitioner’s Writ of Mandamus.

On April 24, 2020, the Appellate Court entered an order denying Petitioner Ngirameketii’s Petition for Writ of Mandamus.  In the denial order, it said in order for the higher court to order lower court to do something, the petitioner must meet three criteria.  Failure to meet anyone of those would deny the petitioner’s request.  The order said based on a similar request filed earlier by Ngirameketii that has not yet been acted on by the court that would address the same concern, the court denied his petition.

On April 28, 2020, Petitioner filed a Petition for Rehearing on the Court’s denial of Petitioner’s Writ of Mandamus, to reconsider his first request.

On April 29, 2020, the Appellate Court denied that request as well saying that his petition presented did not meet the ROP R. App. P. 40 because the arguments presented were “not new” or had merit.

The Appellate Division’s Special Proceeding on the Petition for Writ of Mandamus is now ended.  The underlying case, ROP v. Ellender Ngirameketii, Criminal Case No. 19-097, remains set for Pre-Trial Conference on May 11, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. and Trial on May 18, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.