FSM SUPREME COURT APPELLATE DIVISION
Cite as Fritz v. National Election Dir.
11 FSM Intrm. 442 (App. 2003)
 
[11 FSM Intrm. 442]
 
JACK FRITZ,
Appellant,
 
vs.
 
NATIONAL ELECTION DIRECTOR,
Respondent,
 
and REDLEY KILLION,
Real Party in Interest.
 
APPEAL CASE NO. C1-2003
 
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
 
Decided: March 25, 2003
 
BEFORE:
 
Hon. Andon L. Amaraich, Chief Justice, FSM Supreme Court
Hon. Martin G. Yinug, Associate Justice, FSM Supreme Court
Hon. Dennis K. Yamase, Associate Justice, FSM Supreme Court
 
[11 FSM Intrm. 443]
 
APPEARANCES:
 
For the Appellant:                            Johnny Meippen, Esq.
                                                          P.O. Box 705
                                                          Weno, Chuuk FM 96942
 
For the Respondent:                       R. Anthony Welch, Esq.
                                                          Assistant Attorney General
                                                          FSM Department of Justice
                                                          P.O. Box PS-105
                                                          Palikir, Pohnpei FM 96941
 
For the Real Party in Interest:         Andrea S. Hillyer, Esq.
                                                          P.O. Drawer D
                                                          Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941

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HEADNOTES

Constitutional Law ) Case or Dispute ) Mootness; Elections
     When the sole issue before the appellate court was whether the Directors rejection of an election petition as untimely was in compliance with the applicable statute and when the only relief the court could have granted would have been to vacate the Directors denial, remand the matter to the Director, and order the Director to consider the petition on the merits and when the Director himself has resolved this one issue in petitioners favor and considered and ruled on the petitions merits, there is no further relief that the court could grant that the Director has not already granted. The appeal is moot. Fritz v. National Election Dir., 11 FSM Intrm. 442, 444 (App. 2003).
 
Appellate Review ) Decisions Reviewable; Constitutional Law ) Case or Dispute ) Mootness
     If an appellate court finds that any relief it could grant would be ineffectual, it must treat the case as moot. Fritz v. National Election Dir., 11 FSM Intrm. 442, 444 (App. 2003).
 
Constitutional Law ) Case or Dispute ) Mootness
     Article XI, section 6 of the Constitution restricts the FSM Supreme Courts jurisdiction to actual cases and disputes. The court is thereby precluded from making pronouncements on the basis of hypothetical, abstract, or academic issues or when the matter is moot. Fritz v. National Election Dir., 11 FSM Intrm. 442, 444 (App. 2003).
 
Appellate Review ) Decisions Reviewable; Constitutional Law ) Case or Dispute ) Mootness
     An appellate court does not sit to render decisions on abstract legal propositions or to render advisory opinions. Fritz v. National Election Dir., 11 FSM Intrm. 442, 444 (App. 2003).

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COURTS OPINION

PER CURIAM:

     On March 13, 2003, the appellant, Jack Fritz, filed his Notice of Appeal from the National Election Directors March 11, 2003 rejection of his petition to set aside the election results for failing

[11 FSM Intrm. 444]

to meet the statutory filing deadline set out in 9 F.S.M.C. 902. On March 20, 2003, the court ordered that the appellant, Jack Fritz, and the respondent, National Election Director, to each file briefs on whether the petition was timely filed with the National Election Director. They were also invited to express their views on what jurisdiction the court has, and what issues it may decide, and what procedure it might use if the petition was not timely. The real party in interest, Redley Killion, was invited, but not required, to file his brief on the same topics.

     On March 20, 2003, the National Election Director filed his Motion to Dismiss the Appeal as Moot or to Remand, with supporting attachments and affidavit, and on March 21, 2003, he filed his brief in response to the courts order. Also on March 21, 2003, the real party in interest, Redley Killion, filed his own motion to dismiss. Jack Fritz filed his brief on the timeliness issue on March 24, 2003. Also on March 24, 2003, Killion filed his brief in response to the courts order.

     On March 20, 2003, the Director issued his Amended Decision on Petition to Set Aside Election Results (attached as Exhibit D to the March 20th motion). In that amended decision the Director determined that Fritzs allegations were reviewable under 9 F.S.M.C. 906 and that under section 906 Fritzs petition was timely. The amended decision addressed and ruled on all of Fritzs allegations.

     This appeal is from the Directors March 10th decision rejecting Fritzs petition as untimely. This appeal is not from the Directors March 20th amended decision. Thus the sole issue before us was whether the Directors March 11th rejection of Fritzs petition as untimely was in compliance with the applicable statute. The only relief we could have granted in this appeal would have been to vacate the Directors March 10th denial, remand the matter to the Director, and order the Director to consider Fritzs petition on the merits. The Director himself has resolved this one issue in Fritzs favor and considered and ruled on the petitions merits.

     There is thus no further relief that we could grant in this appeal that the Director has not already granted. If an appellate court finds that any relief it could grant would be ineffectual, it must treat the case as moot. FSM v. Louis, 9 FSM Intrm. 474, 482 (App. 2000); see also Berman v. FSM Supreme Court (II), 7 FSM Intrm. 11, 16 (App. 1995). Article XI, section 6 of the Constitution restricts our jurisdiction to actual cases and disputes. Louis, 9 FSM Intrm. at 481. We are thereby precluded from making pronouncements on the basis of hypothetical, abstract, or academic issues or when the matter is moot. Id. at 481-82. Any opinion we would render would be merely an advisory opinion. An appellate court does not sit to render decisions on abstract legal propositions or advisory opinions. Accordingly, we are without jurisdiction to decide this issue and this appeal is hereby dismissed as moot.

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