Attorney General successful in the US Supreme Court

The CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan announced today that the Office of the Attorney General was successful defending its victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Ramsey v. Muna et al. The Ninth Circuit in Ramsey ruled that the Commonwealth is entitled to sovereign immunity in federal courts from claims arising under the Commonwealth’s own laws.

Attorney General Manibusan said “Sovereign immunity is the concept that a sovereign government can only be sued with its consent. The United States Supreme Court’s denial of Ramsey’s petition is an important victory as it upholds the Ninth Circuit’s decision placing the Commonwealth on par with all other states and territories of the union who cannot be hailed into federal court to answer for claims based upon their own laws without their consent.”

Gary Ramsey, a physician, sued the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation seeking damages and injunctive relief after being denied admitting privileges. After his loss in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Ramsey hoped to have the Ninth Circuit overturned and submitted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Office of the Attorney General in turn submitted Brief in Opposition with the Supreme Court. On October 30, 2017 the OAG’s Brief in Opposition was favorably taken and Mr. Ramsey’s petition was formally denied making the Commonwealth’s sovereign immunity certain in federal cases arising out of Commonwealth law.

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