FSM SUPREME COURT TRIAL DIVISION

Cite as FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136 (Chk. 2006)

[14 FSM Intrm. 136]

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA,

Plaintiff,

vs.

ROOSEVELT D. KANSOU, SIMEON R. INNOCENTI,

JOHN PETEWON, JAMES FRITZ, MEMORINA

KANSOU, JOHN ENGICHY a/k/a AISER JOHN

ENGICHY, ROSEMARY ENGICHY a/k/a ROSEMARY

NAKAYAMA, FRANK DARRA, FRANK CHOLYMAY,

EM-R, RIBC AGGREGATES INC., MARKET

WHOLESALE, K & I ENTERPRISES, INC., and SOLID

BUILDERS AND TRADING SERVICES,

Defendants.

CRIMINAL CASE NO. 2003-1508

ORDER

Richard H. Benson

Specially Assigned Justice

Hearing: January 4, 2006

Decided: March 4, 2006

APPEARANCES:

For the Plaintiff:   Matthew L. Olmsted, Esq. (briefed)

                              Keith J. Peterson, Esq. (argued)

                              Assistant Attorneys General

                              FSM Department of Justice

                              P.O. Box PS-105

                              Palikir, Pohnpei   FM   96941

For the Defendant:   Scott Garvey, Esq.

        (R. Kansou)       P.O. Box 114

                                    Kolonia, Pohnpei   FM   96941

For the Defendant:   Joey J. Sapelalut, Esq.

               (Darra)        Office of the Public Defender

                                    P.O. Box PS-174

                                    Palikir, Pohnpei   FM   96941

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HEADNOTES

Search and Seizure

    When all warrants, monitoring orders, and subpoenas duces tecum were served or executed on either the Bank of Guam or the Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia, a defendantís motion to suppress those warrants, monitoring orders, and subpoenas duces tecum and any evidence seized pursuant to those search warrants as the fruits of illegal searches will be denied since the defendant lacks standing to challenge the searches of those bank records because he lacks an expectation of privacy therein. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

Constitutional Law ) Interpretation; Search and Seizure

    The protection in article IV, section 5 of the FSM Constitution against unreasonable search and seizure is based upon and drawn from the comparable provision in the U.S. Constitutionís fourth amendment. The addition of the phrase "invasion of privacy" to the FSM version was not intended to expand the search and seizure protections in the FSM any further. It was intended to more adequately express its meaning. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

Constitutional Law ) Declaration of Rights; Constitutional Law ) Interpretation

    When a provision of the FSM Declaration of Rights is patterned after a provision of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. authority may be consulted to understand its meaning. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

Search and Seizure

    A search warrant should be issued in the state where the property sought to be seized was alleged to be located. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

Statutes ) Construction; Transition of Authority

    Generally, when the word "district" appears in an FSM Code provision carried over from the Trust Territory Code by virtue of the Constitutionís Transition Clause, "state" will be read in its place. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138n.1 (Chk. 2006).

Search and Seizure

    A return of the items seized pursuant to a search warrant must be made even if nothing is found or seized. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

Search and Seizure

    Evidence obtained as the result of violations of Title 12 is not admissible against an accused. FSM v. Kansou, 14 FSM Intrm. 136, 138 (Chk. 2006).

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COURTíS OPINION

RICHARD H. BENSON, Specially Assigned Justice:

    On November 1, 2005, Defendant Roosevelt Kansou filed his Motion to Suppress; Defendant Roosevelt Kansouís Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of His Motion to Suppress. On December 19, 2005, Frank Darra filed his motion to join. On December 27, 2005, the government filed its response. Kansouís reply was filed January 3, 2006. The motion was heard on January 4, 2006.

    Roosevelt Kansou asks that search warrants issued March 27, 2003 and April 8, 2003;

[14 FSM Intrm. 138]

monitoring orders issued April 17, July 15, and October 15, 2003; subpoenas duces tecum issued July 15, 2003 to the Bank of the FSM and to the Bank of Guam; and a search warrant for Roosevelt Kansouís residence issued July 22, 2003 all be suppressed and that any evidence seized pursuant to those search warrants be suppressed as the fruits of illegal searches.

    All warrants, monitoring orders, and subpoenas duces tecum, other than the July 22, 2003 search warrant issued for Roosevelt Kansouís residence, were served or executed on either the Bank of Guam or the Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia. Kansouís motion as to those warrants, monitoring orders, and subpoenas duces tecum is denied. Kansou lacks standing to challenge the searches of those bank records because he lacks an expectation of privacy therein. See In re Legislative Subpoena, 7 FSM Intrm. 328, 334-35 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 1995) affíg In re Legislative Subpoena, 7 FSM Intrm. 261 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1995); United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435, 96 S. Ct. 1619, 48 L. Ed. 2d 71 (1976).

    The protection in article IV, section 5 of the FSM Constitution against unreasonable search and seizure is based upon and drawn from the comparable provision in the U.S. Constitutionís fourth amendment. FSM v. Inek, 10 FSM Intrm. 263, 265 (Chk. 2001); FSM v. Rodriquez, 3 FSM Intrm. 385, 386 (Pon. 1988); Ishizawa v. Pohnpei, 2 FSM Intrm. 67, 74 (Pon. 1985). The addition of the phrase "invasion of privacy" to the FSM version was not intended to expand the search and seizure protections in the FSM any further. It was intended to more adequately express its meaning. One commentator noted that many of the rights included in the Declaration of Rights were worded differently from the U.S. Constitution and the Trust Territory Bill of Rights chapter of the Trust Territory Code (1 TTC ßß 1-14) so that they would more aptly express the additional meanings that had accreted to those phrases (e.g. "freedom of expression" in the place of freedom of the press and freedom of speech). See Norman Meller, Constitutionalism in Micronesia 245, 257 n.30 (1985). When a provision of the FSM Declaration of Rights is patterned after a provision of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. authority may be consulted to understand its meaning. Primo v. Pohnpei Transp. Auth., 9 FSM Intrm. 407, 412 n.2 (App. 2000); FSM v. Joseph, 9 FSM Intrm. 66, 72 (Chk. 1999); Afituk v. FSM, 2 FSM Intrm. 260, 263 (Truk 1986); Tosie v. Tosie, 1 FSM Intrm. 149, 154 (Kos. 1982).

    Kansou further contends that the July 22, 2003 search warrant of his residence was improperly issued because it was not issued in the state where the evidence was alleged to be, and that any evidence seized pursuant to that warrant must be suppressed. That warrant was issued in the State of Pohnpei for Kansouís residence on Weno, Chuuk. The government did not oppose this part of the motion.

    The warrant should have been issued in the State of Chuuk because the property sought to be seized was alleged to be located there. 12 F.S.M.C. 305(1) ("Anyone desiring the issuance of a search warrant shall personally appear and make application therefor under oath, within the district [state] where the property sought is alleged to be, before an official authorized to issue a warrant.") No return of the items seized was made. One must be made, 12 F.S.M.C. 307, even if nothing is found or seized. Evidence obtained as the result of violations of Title 12 is not admissible against an accused. 12 F.S.M.C. 220 ("no evidence obtained as a result of such violation [of Title 12] shall be admissible against the accused"). Thus the July 22, 2003 search warrant and any fruits of the search conducted pursuant to that warrant is ordered suppressed.

[14 FSM Intrm. 139]

    Accordingly, defendant Roosevelt Kansouís motion to suppress is denied except for the July 22, 2003 search warrant issued for his residence, for which his motion is granted.

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Footnotes:

1.  Generally, when the word "district" appears in an FSM Code provision carried over from the Trust Territory Code by virtue of the Constitutionís Transition Clause, FSM Const. art. XV, ß 1, "state" will be read in its place. Cf. FSM v. Oliver, 3 FSM Intrm. 469, 475 (Pon. 1988) (where functions different, district administrator should not always be read as state governor).

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