The Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice has seized properties of a Chinese sand mining company, LICHI Inc, after it failed to honor its US$76K including a 6% statutory interest ruling of 2015.
LICHI and Hua Lee International were both held liable and subsequently demanded to pay over US$100K to some of their local employees for refusing to abide by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into between the companies and some of their local employees.
The MOU was an arrangement under which the employees agreed to supply the two companies with river sand at the rate of US$22 per truck load for 4,586 loads totaling the amount of US$100,892 supplied on credit.
It was due to the defendants’ refusal that in May 2015, the employees’ legal team, Jones and Associates, filed an Action of Debt by Attachment before the Commercial Court.
However, Hua Lee admitted being indebted to the employees in the amount of US$24,000 which it has paid.
LICHI denied being indebted to the employees in the amount of US$76,892, which it vowed not to pay, despite the court’s decision.
Right now, an earth moving machine (bulldozer) is in the possession of the court, with another two bulldozers and equipment being sought by the court.
Associate Judge Richard S. Klah’s action came after upholding a request for default judgment asked for by Atty. Jonathan Massaquio, who represents the employees.
Besides, Judge Klah decided the matter by ex-parte following the company’s lawyers’ absence from the case, despite repeated summons.
An ex-parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.
The case started in 2012, when Atty. Massaquio filed an Action of Debt by Attachment against Hua Lee and LICHI contending that both companies were indebted to their employees in the amount of US$100, 892.
The complainant further alleged that parties, the two Chinese companies and their respective employees, executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on October 16, 2012, at an agreed price of US$22 per load of river sand.
Based on that agreement, the document claimed the employees supplied 4,586 loads of river sand to the defendants on credit for which the payment in the amount of US$100,892 at the rate of US$22 per load of sand under the MOU was not received.
After the companies refused to respect the MOU, the court records said, the legal team of the employees reported the matter to Ministries of Lands, Mines and Energy and Justice to compel the companies to settle their debt.
Unfortunately, the ministries were unable to convince the defendants to settle their obligations with the employees. Instead they advised the employees to take legal action to reclaim their just benefits.
It was due to that advice that Atty. Massaquio filed an application for confiscation of the company’s properties, to raise his clients’ money.