[11 FSM Intrm. 619]
* * * *
* * * *
DENNIS YAMASE, Associate Justice:
This comes before the court on the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Points and Authorities, filed May 8, 2003 and the Plaintiffs’ Response in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, filed May 16, 2003.
The grounds for dismissal are that all parties are Chuukese citizens so there is no diversity jurisdiction, that the state court can exercise jurisdiction over the case, that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because the plaintiffs’ work contracts had not been approved or signed by the state so the state had no obligation toward them.
The motion also asked that the FSM court abstain from hearing this case in favor of allowing it to be heard in state court.
[FSM Intrm. 621]
The motion to dismiss is denied. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleges claims that arise under national law and the national constitution. The FSM Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction over such cases. FSM Const. art. XI, § 6(b). While state courts may also exercise jurisdiction over such cases, plaintiffs have a constitutional right to bring such cases in the FSM Supreme Court if they so desire. Carlos Etscheit Soap Co. v. Gilmete, 11 FSM Intrm. 94, 100 (Pon. 2002) (party to a dispute within the scope of article XI, section 6(b) has a constitutional right to invoke the jurisdiction of the FSM Supreme Court). The plaintiffs have exercised that right.
The defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim also must be denied. It is more in the nature of an affirmative defense that requires that certain facts be proven and certain rulings of law made before it can be effective. A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim must be based solely on the plaintiffs’ allegations in their complaint. Latte Motors, Inc. v. Hainrick, 7 FSM Intrm. 190, 192 (Pon. 1995) (a court evaluates a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss only on whether a plaintiff’s claim has been adequately stated in the complaint, and does not resolve the facts or merits of the case; the review is limited to the complaint’s contents and the court must assume the facts alleged therein are true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; dismissal can only be granted if it appears to a certainty that no relief could be granted under any facts which could be proven in support of the complaint).
The defendants’ motion to abstain is also denied. First, the plaintiffs, if they choose to do so, have a constitutional right to pursue their claims in the FSM Supreme Court as the claims arise under the Constitution and national laws, and they have chosen to do so. Second, the nature of the state law rulings a court might have to make in this case is not apparent at this stage of the case. This does not appear to be an appropriate case in which to abstain. First, when issues of national law are involved there is a particularly strong presumption against full abstention from the case, Conrad v. Kolonia Town, 7 FSM Intrm. 97, 100 (Pon. 1995), which is what would be involved here. While certain circumstances may give rise to an inclination in favor of abstention, such as a state request for abstention where there are identifiable, particularly strong state interests such as monetary claims against the state or questions concerning ownership of land, national courts still have the obligation to carry out their own jurisdictional responsibilities, Nanpei v. Kihara, 7 FSM Intrm. 319, 322 (App. 1995), but the FSM Supreme Court may not abstain in cases involving interpretation of the FSM Constitution, Island Dev. Co. v. Yap, 9 FSM Intrm. 18, 20 (Yap 1999). This case does not involve land and although it involves monetary claims against the state, it appears that interpretation of the Constitution may also be necessary.
Also before the court is the defendants’ Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiffs’ First Set of Production of Documents and Interrogatories, filed and served June 6, 2003. It asks for an additional ten days to respond to the plaintiffs’ discovery requests. No response has been filed. Failure to oppose a motion is generally deemed a consent to the motion. Actouka v. Etpison, 1 FSM Intrm. 275, 276 (Pon. 1983); FSM Civ. R. 6(d). The motion to extend time is therefore granted.
* * * *