BECAUSE one of the defendant’s attorneys is his nephew, Chief Justice Ramona V. Manglona of the NMI District Court recused himself from hearing the complaint filed by Jahid Hossen against his former employer, Island Protective Service, and its principal, MD Nurul Islam Bhuiyan. The plaintiff alleges violations of the Fair and Labor Standards Act.
In her self-challenge order, Justice Manglona said:
“Pursuant to 28 USC § 636 (c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, a United States magistrate of that court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action, including motions to dismiss, motions in summary judgment, a jury or a trial without a jury, and the entry of a final judgment.
“The judgment can then be appealed directly to the United States Court of Appeal like any other judgment of that court. A magistrate can only exercise decision-making power if all the parties consent to it voluntarily. The parties may, without substantial negative consequences, withhold their consent, but this will prevent the decision-making jurisdiction of the court from being exercised by a magistrate and the case will be referred to a district court judge in another district.
Judge Manglona ordered the parties to file a non-consent or consent stipulation no later than August 25, 2021.
In his lawsuit, Hossen charged Island Protective Service, or IPS, with breach of contract and failing to pay him minimum wage, regular wage and overtime in violation of the Fair and Labor Standards Act.
He is represented by lawyer Cong Nie who applied to the Federal Court for an order awarding damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
In addition, the plaintiff seeks compensation for legal costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees, if any) and other equitable remedies that the court considers fair and appropriate.
IPS, for its part, is represented by lawyers Robert Torres and Oliver Manglona, the judge’s nephew.