GCO 1981-1
(As amended by 1985-8)

COURT PROCEDURES
July 11, 1981


     The Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia will begin judicial operations on Monday, July 13, 1981.  From that date on, the Court will accept cases for filing and will proceed in all respects to carry out its responsibilities and mandate under the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, the National Judiciary Act, Public Law No. 1-31, and all other applicable laws and directives. This Order is issued for purposes of establishing procedures to be followed by trial counselors, attorneys and court personnel for matters in the Court's Trial and Appellate Divisions.

Applicable Court Rules

     1.  The Court has previously distributed proposed Rules of Civil Procedure, proposed Rules of Criminal Procedure and proposed Rules of Evidence.  Those proposed rules are hereby adopted and will be employed by the Court on an interim basis, pending issuance of finalized rules after comments concerning the proposed rules have been received and analyzed.

     2.  Admission to the bar of this Court shall be governed by the provisions of the Rules of Admission to Practice before the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia, copies of which are being distributed concurrently with this order.

Filing of Papers

     3.  Locations - Papers may be filed with the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia in those offices and with the clerks at the various locations in the States of the Federated States of Micronesia where documents have previously been filed for litigation in the Trust Territory High Court and District Courts.  Until further notice, the clerical staff at those locations will serve the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia, Appellate Division and Trial Division, as well as the Trust Territory High Court and the Trust Territory District Courts.  Until further notice, no filing fees will be assessed by the Court.

     4.  Form and Size - Pleadings and other documents shall be filed with the Court in duplicate.  All pleadings and documents should be filed on letter-size paper, not larger than 8 x 11 inches, double spaced, each page beginning not less than 1 inches from the top, with side margins of not less than 1 inches.

Clerks

     5.  Office hours - The clerk of this Court in each State of the Federated States of Micronesia shall keep the clerk's office open for the acceptance of filed pleadings and other documents, and for the transaction of this Court's business, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. daily, except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

     6.  Custody and handling of papers - The clerk in each state shall establish a separate file for each separate case filed or pending with this Court.  All such cases shall be maintained at a location within the clerical area separate from the case files maintained for the Trust Territory High Court and the District Courts, and in files specially marked and color coded in such a manner as to permit files of the Federated States of Micronesia Supreme Court to be readily distinguishable upon sight from those of the other courts served by the Clerk.

     7.  Receipt of documents - Immediately upon receipt of any paper properly tendered for filing, the clerk shall stamp the original and duplicate copies to record the date of filing, and if a new case, assign a case number and mark that number clearly on the original and duplicate copies of the document.  The original copy should then be inserted immediately in the case file.

     8.  Duplicate copies forwarded to Justices - Each duplicate copy of a paper filed with the office of the Clerk shall immediately be forwarded by the Clerk to the Justice of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia to whom that case has been assigned.  In absence of specific notice to the contrary, these copies should be delivered or forwarded to the Chief Justice in the case of papers filed with the clerks of court in Ponape and Kosrae, and duplicate copies of papers filed in Truk and Yap should immediately be forwarded or delivered to Justice Benson.

     9.  Keeper of seal - The Clerk in each state shall be the keeper of the Court seal, and shall apply the same upon all process issued from the Court.  In authentication of all records of the proceedings of the Court and the transcripts thereof, and certificates proper to be issued by him, the seal shall be applied by the Clerk as the means of proper authentication.  Clerks, Deputy Clerks and assistants to the clerk, shall be authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, take acknowledgements and certify documents as officers of the Court.
 
     10.  Shall attend sessions - The Clerk or a deputy or assistant shall attend in person the daily sessions of this Court and shall serve as interpreters and shall provide for electronic recording of Court sessions, as directed by the Court.

Writ and Process

     11.  Writs and process of the Court shall be under the seal of the Court and signed by the Clerk.

Subscription to Court Opinions and Orders

     12.  Any persons or organizations desiring to receive copies of the opinions filed by this Court and general court orders and rules of the Court upon issuance, may do so by paying to the Court a designated subscription fee and specifying a mailing address.  The subscription fee for the first year of this Court's existence, covering the period from July 13, 1981 through July 12, 1983, shall be $25.00, payable to the Court at Post Office Box J, Ponape, 96941.