KOSRAE STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION

Cite as Alanso v. Pridgen, 14 FSM Intrm. 479 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2006)

[14 Intrm. 479]

JOSEPH ALANSO et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

MINNIE PRIDGEN et al.,

Defendants.

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

Aliksa B. Aliksa

Chief Justice

Decided: October 26, 2006

APPEARANCES:

For the Plaintiffs:         Snyder H. Simon, Esq.

                                    P.O. Box 1017

                                    Tofol, Kosrae   FM   96944

 

For the Defendants:    Sasaki L. George, Esq.

                                     Micronesian Legal Services Corporation

                                     P.O. Box 38

                                     Tofol, Kosrae   FM   96944

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HEADNOTES

Civil Procedure ) Dismissal

    A court may, on its own motion, dismiss an action for lack of jurisdiction since the lack of subject matter jurisdiction is an issue that can be raised at any time and can appear by suggestion of the parties or otherwise. Alanso v. Pridgen, 14 FSM Intrm. 479, 480 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2006).

Civil Procedure ) Dismissal; Courts; Jurisdiction

    Because the Kosrae State Court only has the authority to hear appeals from Land Court and it cannot act until the Land Court has adjudicated the matter and an appeal has been filed, a case concerning a claim of title to land filed in the Kosrae State Court will be dismissed without prejudice to allow the plaintiffs to file their claim in the Land Court, whose jurisdiction includes all matters concerning the title of land and any interests therein. Alanso v. Pridgen, 14 FSM Intrm. 479, 480 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2006).

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[14 FSM Intrm. 480]

COURT’S OPINION

ALIKSA B. ALIKSA, Chief Justice:

    When reviewing its file to prepare for trial, the Court became aware that the above matter concerned title to land. Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on October 14, 2005 requesting Certificates of Title be issued to them for land that currently under a Certificate of Title issued to Minnie Pridgen. Plaintiffs have never filed their claims in Land Court. In their Answer and Counter-claim, Defendants did not question the jurisdiction of this Court to hear and decide a land claim.

    A court may dismiss an action for lack of jurisdiction on its own motion. See, for example, Sally v. Andon, 9 FSM Intrm. 55, 56 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1999) where the Court dismissed a case when parties failed to appear for a hearing after being given notice. Also, see Island Dev. Co. v. Yap, 9 FSM Intrm. 220, 222 (Yap 1999) where the Court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court recognized that this issue can be raised at any time and can "appear by suggestion of the parties or otherwise" under Civil Procedure Rule 12(h)(3).

    In dismissing this action, the Court relies on the plain language of Kos. S.C. § 11.604. This statute describes the jurisdiction of the Land Court and states: "The jurisdiction of the Land Court shall extend throughout the State of Kosrae and include all matters concerning the title of land and any interests therein." This is a matter concerning a claim of title to land. This Court has the authority to hear appeals from Land Court under Kos. S.C. § 11.614; but it cannot act until the Land Court has adjudicated the matter and an appeal has been filed.

    Therefore, this Court is dismissing the action without prejudice to allow Plaintiffs to file their claim in Land Court pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 6 of the Kosrae State Code.

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