DRAFT CSC, Title 5. The Judiciary
Municipal Courts

1071.  Municipal Courts.

      1071.  Municipal Courts.

     (1)  The Municipal Court for each municipality shall consist of one full-time judge; provided that a municipality may have more than one judge, and in such a case the municipality shall be responsible for the costs of such additional judges.  Appointment of a municipal court judge shall be made by the municipal mayor with the advice and consent of the council of the municipality.  A person appointed to serve as a municipal court judge shall have the following qualifications:

     (a)  Be a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia for 25 years and a Chuukese by birth;

     (b)  Be a resident of the municipality for which appointed, for a period of not less than five 5 years; and

     (c)  Be 30 years of age and be learned in the law, by formal training or by at least two years experience associated with the practice of law.

     (2)  Municipal court judges shall serve for six years, subject to reappointment, and may be removed for cause after hearing by the Trial Division of the Chuuk State Supreme Court.  Appeal from removal shall be with the Appellate Division of the Chuuk State Supreme Court.

     (3)  The jurisdiction of the municipal court shall extend to the whole of the municipality, in civil cases in which the parties are natural persons and when the cause of action arose in the municipality, or when  the defendant resided in the municipality, or in any case where the parties voluntarily appear.  The municipal court may not adjudicate a case in which the amount in controversy exceeds one thousand dollars, or a criminal case where the maximum punishment which may be imposed exceeds a fine of one thousand dollars, or imprisonment for more than one year or both.

     (4)  The procedures and conduct of business of municipal courts may, by rule, be consistent with traditional and customary means of resolving disputes.  All processes and reports of service of process of a municipal court may be in writing.  The Chief Justice shall promulgate uniform rules of the municipal courts.  The rules may permit proceedings without simultaneous recording, but as promptly as possible after the final decision of a case in a municipal court, the presiding judge shall make, or cause to be made, a record of the case.

     (5)  A case or dispute in a municipal court may be appealed to the Trial Division of the State Supreme Court, when requiring interpretation of a municipal constitution, as of right in a criminal case or by certiorari in a civil case.

Source:  CSL 190-08, 34.

Cross-reference:  The constitutional provisions on the  Judicial branch of the Chuuk State Government are found in Art. VII of the Chuuk State Constitution.