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ASG court battles with Marisco, BoH put to rest

The parties in American Samoa Government’s two separate appeals in its legal battle with the Bank of Hawai’i have reached a Settlement Agreement and have stipulated to dismiss with prejudice the appeals, according to court documents, which provided no specific reasons for the latest action.


The stipulation for dismissal also covers ASG’s two separate civil action suits pending against BoH at the HIgh Court of American Samoa, said court records.


“We have reached an agreement and the terms of the agreement are confidential, but among the things that will happen, are the appeals [at federal appeal’s court] will be dismissed,” said Deputy Attorney General Salo Ale when asked yesterday for comment.


He confirmed that the stipulation filed with the Appeal’s court covers the two local court cases, which ASG will move to be dismissed.


ASG had appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Honolulu federal court’s decision to garnish more than $800,000 held at BoH to pay the debt owed to Honolulu-based Marisco Ltd, who provided services to the government. ASG also appealed the lower court’s ruling to have the garnished funds deposited with the federal court’s registry.  Both appeals were recently consolidated into one case.


According to the “Stipulation to Dismiss with Prejudice”, the parties in this matter have entered into a settlement agreement resolving all claims in the dispute with the Honolulu federal court in the Marisco vs. ASG civil case and two cases pending in High Court against BoH.


“The parties further stipulate that following dismissal of the instant appeal, the underlying matter pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, and the cases pending before the High Court of American Samoa shall also be dismissed with prejudice,” it says.


Moreover, parties have agreed that each side shall bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees on appeal. Additionally, fees and costs that may be due to the Court, if any, shall be paid by the American Samoa Government.


“There are no other parties and/or issues that remain to be resolved in this case, according to the stipulation signed by Honolulu-based attorneys representing ASG, BoH and Marisco.


In February this year, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga wrote to BoH saying that he has directed the attorney general “to cease and desist in all litigation involving” Marisco Ltd, as plaintiff, ASG as defendant and BoH as garnishee of ASG funds that were deposited with BoH.  This is both in the federal court and the High Court of American Samoa, he said.


“My administration took this step because we do not believe the actions of our predecessors reflect the way we should be doing business,” Lolo said and noted that “we deeply regret the negative impact the actions of the previous administration have had on the government’s valued relationship” with BoH.