Guam – Guam Supreme Court Justices will decide whether or not Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo blundered in making comments on a case after he had already ruled he had no jurisdiction to preside over the DFS-Lotte-Airport case.
Judge Bordallo had dismissed a temporary restraining order last July that DFS had filed against the Airport and Lotte, after Lotte won the bid for the airport concession contract.
The appeal stems from a temporary restraining order DFS sought against the Guam International Airport Authority and Lotte Duty Free. DFS sought the TRO after they lost the bid for the lucrative airport concession contract to Lotte. DFS fought the airport’s decision, accusing them of being in collusion with Lotte.
The temporary restraining order would have prevented Lotte from moving into the airport retail space that DFS had occupied for years. Judge Michael Bordallo dismissed the case, noting the court doesn’t have jurisdiction to preside over it, but then he proceeded to make comments about the case that were unfavorable to Lotte.
“Lotte takes issue with certain language that’s contained in the TRO orders that were rendered by Judge Michael Bordallo dated July 17 and October 10 of last year,” stated Lotte Counsel Atty. Cesar Cabot.
Essentially, Judge Bordallo agreed that there may be some merit to the arguments.
“We are only asking that the extraneous and improper statements that were made by the court be stricken from the record,” added Cabot. “It was false, and it was clear error and an abuse of discretion by the Superior Court.”
But DFS Attorney Maurice Suh, disagrees. In fact, he points out that Lotte doesn’t have the right to appeal this decision, especially since they are the winning party.
“A winning party cannot appeal from victory. There’s been a lot of talk from the appellants about the harm of the victim, the issues surrounding the victim, but frankly the rule is clear, you don’t have a right to appeal,” Suh said.
The issue surrounds some discussion that took place in court proceedings before Judge Bordallo. Although the judge dismissed the TRO, the parties did present arguments in court on why the TRO should or should not be granted and the timeliness of the protests filed.
Chief Justice Philip Carbullido took the matter under advisement, but also noted during the hearing that his concern is not whether Judge Bordallo erred in making statements after the fact, but whether or not he had the authority to make them.