GMH Maintains Federal Court Has No Jurisdiction in Tax Garnishment Case


GMH Attorney Minakshi Hemlani filed a response to Tairin Atesom who’s suing the hospital for garnishing her tax refunds to pay her outstanding medical bills.

Guam – The Guam Memorial Hospital continues to maintain that the District Court of Guam lacks subject matter jurisdiction in presiding over a compact migrant case.


Tairin Atesom, a citizen of the FSM, is suing GMH for garnishing her tax refunds to pay for outstanding medical bills. Atesom’s attorney, Bill Bischoff argues that GMH is collecting twice when garnishing the tax refunds of citizens of the Freely Associated States for unpaid bills because the hospital receives reimbursement from the federal government through Compact-Impact funds.

However, GMH Attorney Minakshi Hemlani says that the case should be dismissed because the District Court of Guam lacks subject matter jurisdiction, noting that a case does not arise under federal law.

Hemlani also acknowledges, however, that Congress did not define whether the federal government would be the remedy for actions involving the Compact of Free Association.

Hemlani says Bischoff’s argument “fails to establish that GMH’s conduct deprived her of a federally protected right under either the Compact of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment.”

You can read Hemlani’s response by clicking on the file below.