Northern Mariana Islands

quick facts

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands enjoys sovereign immunity from lawsuits arising under its own laws unless it consents to be sued. 1 The Commonwealth has a statute that waives its immunity with respect to a set of negligence claims arising under Commonwealth law. 2 This limited waiver specifically excludes claims arising from five enumerated circumstances, including claims for intentional torts and “claim[s] based on the detention of any goods or merchandise by any law enforcement, excise or customs officer.” 3 The statute contains strict limits on the damages that plaintiffs can collect against the Commonwealth. 4 These limits apply also to claims against government employees acting within the scope of employment. 5