A win for the people of Guam! Judge rules in CLTC federal case

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L-R: Government of Guam Special Assistant Attorneys General Mike Phillips and Kenneth D. Orcutt answer media questions at US District Court in Hagatna, Guam on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Guam – It was a victory for the Chamorro Land Trust on the national level. United States federal judge Susan Oki Mollway has ruled on both the federal government and CLTC’s motions. Judge Mollway has ruled the U.S. Attorney’s Office has failed show why it deserves judgement at this point.

Developed to mirror the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, The Chamorro Land Trust Act was enacted in 1995. But unlike the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act the CLTC is shrouded in controversy over its eligibility requirements for land leases.

The federal government believes the CLTC is violating the Fair Housing Act by engaging in racial discrimination. But, according to deputized Assistant General for the Commission Mike Phillips, the difference between the Chamorro and Hawaiian Acts is in who created them. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was created through an act of congress while the Chamorro Land Trust Act was through the Guam Legislature.

The case will move forward in the judicial process as federal Judge Mollway has ruled to partially deny the federal government’s motion for partial judgment on the pleading and deny in part the CLTC’s motion for judgment.

According to the ruling the federal government, “has failed to meet its burden of showing entitlement to judgement as a matter of law based on the allegations in its complaint.”

This news is welcomed by Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Barret-Anderson.

“I’m elated! I knew we had a good argument and Deputy Attorney General Ken Orcutt wrote a superlative brief. Having it confirmed by the court is overwhelming,I want to say congratulations to the People of Guam, this is our win,” stated Anderson.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.