TRUK STATE COURT
Cite as Flossman v. Truk State,
3 FSM Intrm. 438 (Truk S. Ct. 1988)
TRUK STATE GOVERNMENT,
MEL MORRIS & ILLMAN JONES,INC.,
CIV. NO. 85-86
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Honorable Soukichi Fritz
Truk State Court
November 10, 198
For the Plaintiff: Robert L. Keogh, Esq.
Law Office of Keogh and Butler
P.O. Box GZ
Agana, Guam 96910
For the Defendant: Jeanne H. Rayphand, Esq.
(State of Truk) Attorney General's Office
State of Truk
Moen, Truk 96942
For the Defendants: Thomas C. Sterling, Esq.
(Mel Morris & Illman Klemm, Blair, Sterling & Johnson
Jones, Inc.) Suite 1008 Pacific News Building
238 O'Hara Street
Agana, Guam 96910
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Jurisdiction - Diversity
The Truk State Court will not assert jurisdiction in a diversity case because the "the national courts, including the trial division of the Supreme Court, have concurrent original jurisdiction...in disputes between a state and a citizen of another state, between citizens of different states, and between a state or a citizen thereof, and a foreign state, or subject." FSMConst. art. XI, § 6(b). Flossman v. Truk, 3 FSM Intrm. 438, 440 (Truk S. Ct. 1988).
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SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:
This case filed in Truk State Court and captioned as civil action No. 85-86 was simultaneously filed in the FSM Supreme Court trial division and captioned in that Court as civil action No. 1986-1012.
As alleged in the complaint filed in both the State and Supreme Court, the plaintiff is a United States citizen residing in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, and the Defendants are Mel Morris, an American citizen and a California Corporation, Illman Jones, Inc., doing business in Truk State, FSM.
The Truk State Court is precluded from conferring jurisdiction due to the constitutional mandate granting national court jurisdiction in disputes of diversity cases:
The national courts, including the trial division of the Supreme Court, have concurrent original jurisdiction cases arising under this Constitution; national law or treaties; and in disputes between a state and a citizensof different states, and between a state or a citizen thereof, and a foreign state, citizen, or subject.
FSM Const. art. XI, § 6(b) (emphasis added). And, "This court's jurisdiction (national court), is prescribed by Section 6 of the Judiciary Article of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia. The court is specifically given jurisdiction over disputes between citizens of a state and foreign
[3 FSM Intrm. 440]
citizens. FSM Const. art. XI, § 6(b). This jurisdiction is based upon the citizenship of the parties, not the subject matter of their dispute." In re Nahnsen, 1 FSM Intrm. 97, 101 (Pon. 1982) (emphasis added).
The FSM Supreme Court Trial Division in Truk State has unquestionably obtained jurisdiction clearly evident by the quantity of subsequent pleadings and motions filed in that court by both parties which were not also filed in the Truk State Court.
The plaintiff has failed to establish a basis for the Truk State Court jurisdiction, therefore the case is hereby dismissed without prejudice to the right of any party.