FSMC, TITLE 11.  CRIMES

CHAPTER 5
Crimes Against Public Administration

____________________________________________________________

SUBCHAPTER I
Obstructing Government Operations

SECTIONS

501. Obstructing a public official in discharge of duties.
502. Resisting arrest or other law enforcement.
503. Hindering apprehension or prosecution.
504. Compounding.
505. Escape.
506. Implements for escape and other contraband.
507. Bail jumping; Default in required appearance.
508. Disrupting Government meetings.
509. Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony.

Editor's note: Former chapter 5 of this title on Offenses Against Public Administration was repealed in its entirety by PL 11-72 1. This new chapter 5 was enacted by PL 11-72 30 and is part of the Revised Criminal Code Act.

501. Obstructing administration of law or other governmental function.

(1) A person commits a crime if he or she wilfully interferes with, delays, or obstructs a public official in the discharge or attempted discharge of any duty of his or her office.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Source: PL 11-72 32.

Cross-reference: The statutory provisions on the President and the Executive are found in title 2 of this code. The statutory provisions on the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia are found in title 3 of this code. The statutory provisions on the FSM Supreme Court and the Judiciary are found in title 4 of this code.

The website of the FSM National Government contains announcements, press releases, news, forms, and other information on the National Government at http://fsmgov.org.

The FSM Supreme Court website contains court decisions, rules, calendar, and other information of the court, the Constitution, the code of the Federated States of Micronesia, and other legal resource information at http://www.fsmsupremecourt.org/.

The official website of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia contains the public laws enacted by the Congress, sessions, committee hearings, rules, and other Congressional information at http://www.fsmcongress.fm/.

Case annotations: A police vehicle being used to transport an arrested person from the police station to the jail is a custodial facility within the meaning of 11 F.S.M.C. 505(3), and a person who, having been informed that he is under arrest, flees from such a vehicle and the custody of a police officer authorized to detain or arrest persons on behalf of the Federated States of Micronesia, is guilty of an escape under 11 F.S.M.C. 501(1). Doone v. FSM, 2 FSM R. 103, 106 (App. 1985).

502. Resisting arrest or other law enforcement.

(1) A person commits a crime if, for the purpose of preventing a public official from effecting a lawful arrest or discharging any other duty, the person creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to the public official or anyone else, or employs means justifying or requiring substantial force to overcome the resistance.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years.

Source: PL 11-72 33.

503. Hindering apprehension or prosecution.

(1) A person commits a crime if, with purpose to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for a national crime he or she:

(a) harbors or conceals the other;

(b) provides or aids in providing a weapon, transportation, disguise, or other means of avoiding apprehension or effecting escape;

(c) conceals or destroys evidence of the crime, or tampers with a witness, informant, document, or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence;

(d) warns the other of impending discovery or apprehension, except that this paragraph does not apply to a warning given in connection with an effort to bring another into compliance with law; or

(e) volunteers false information to any law enforcement officer.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned:

(a) for not more than five years if the conduct which the defendant knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against the person aided is punishable by imprisonment for ten or more years;

(b) otherwise, for not more than one year.

Source: PL 11-72 34.

504. Compounding.

(1) A person commits a crime if he or she accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit in consideration of refraining from reporting to law enforcement authorities the commission or suspected commission of any national crime or information relating to such a crime, or from cooperating with prosecution of such a crime. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the pecuniary benefit did not exceed an amount which the defendant believed to be due as restitution or indemnification for harm caused by the offense.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Source: PL 11-72 35.

505. Escape.

(1) A person commits the crime of escape if he or she unlawfully removes himself or herself from official detention or fails to return to official detention following temporary leave granted for a specific purpose or limited period. "Official detention" means arrest and detention in any facility for custody of persons under charge or conviction of a national crime, under detention for extradition or deportation, or any other detention for law enforcement purposes. The term "official detention" shall apply only to detention by a public servant of the Federated States of Micronesia, or by any other person legally authorized or empowered to arrest or detain on behalf of the Federated States of Micronesia. "Official detention" does not include supervision of probation or parole, or constraint incidental to release on bail.

(2) A public servant involved in detention commits a crime if he or she knowingly permits an escape or attempt to escape.

(3) Any person who knowingly causes or facilitates an escape or attempt to escape commits a crime. "Facilitating" includes providing any assistance necessary for an escape or attempt to escape.

(4) Irregularity in bringing about or maintaining detention, or lack of jurisdiction of the committing or detaining authority, shall not be a defense to prosecution under this section if the escape is from a prison or other custodial facility or from detention pursuant to commitment by official proceedings. In the case of other detentions, irregularity or lack of jurisdiction shall be a defense only if:

(a) the escape involved no substantial risk of harm to the person or property of anyone other than the defendant; or

(b) the detaining authority did not act in good faith under the color of law.

(5) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned:

(a) for not less than six months and not more than ten years if the escaping inmate employs force, a deadly weapon, or other dangerous instrumentality to make the escape; or

(b) otherwise, for not more than three years.

(6) Any sentence imposed under this section shall be served consecutive to all other criminal penalties imposed on the defendant.

Source: PL 11-72 36.

Case annotations: The case annotations found throughout this title may refer to the earlier provisions of the National Criminal Code that were repealed by PL 11-72, the Revised Criminal Code. These annotations are retained for reference purposes as some of the language of the Revised Criminal Code is similar to the language of the former National Criminal Code.

A police vehicle being used to transport an arrested person from the police station to the jail is a custodial facility within the meaning of 11 F.S.M.C. 505(3), and a person who, having been informed that he is under arrest, flees from such a vehicle and the custody of a police officer authorized to detain or arrest persons on behalf of the Federated States of Micronesia, is guilty of an escape under 11 F.S.M.C. 505(1). Doone v. FSM, 2 FSM R. 103, 106 (App. 1985).

Illegality of arrest or detention is no defense to a charge that one has unlawfully escaped from a custodial facility. Doone v. FSM, 2 FSM R. 103, 106 (App. 1985).

Escape from state police officers, authorized by a Joint Law Enforcement Agreement Between the National Government and the State to detain and arrest persons on behalf of the FSM, can be the foundation for an escape conviction under 11 F.S.M.C. 505(1), without regard to whether the detention was for a major crime. Doone v. FSM, 2 FSM R. 103, 106 (App. 1985).

The national escape statute's requirements are met where an escaped defendant was being held for law enforcement purposes by state police officers authorized to detain on behalf of the FSM. 11 F.S.M.C. 505. FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 367 (Pon. 1983).

A prisoner held illegally in a custodial facility is never permitted to escape. 11 F.S.M.C. 505(3). FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 368 (Pon. 1983).

Outside of a custodial facility, one illegally detained by a law officer acting in good faith is entitled to escape only if he can do so with "no substantial risk of harm to the person or property of anyone other than the defendant." FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 368 (Pon. 1983).

The law generally requires that a prisoner test the legality of his detention in a court of law rather than attempt to enforce his own claim to freedom. FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 368 (Pon. 1983).

To minimize disruption and challenges to official police authority, the statutory exceptions to prohibitions against escape should be read restrictively. 11 F.S.M.C. 505. FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 368-69 (Pon. 1983).

A police car being used to maintain custody as well as transport a detainee from one custodial facility to another is a custodial facility within the meaning of 11 F.S.M.C. 505(3). FSM v. Doone, 1 FSM R. 365, 369 (Pon. 1983).

In the absence of any explanation in the legislative history or from the government to justify a different interpretation, the only apparent reason for the deletion of the words "alleged to be found delinquent" from the Model Penal Code definition of official detention is that Congress wished to exclude detained juveniles from the national prohibitions against escape. 11 F.S.M.C. 505(1). In re Cantero, 3 FSM R. 481, 484 (Pon. 1988).

Juveniles alleged or found to be delinquent children are not under "official detention" within the meaning of 11 F.S.M.C. 505(1). In re Cantero, 3 FSM R. 481, 484 (Pon. 1988).

506. Implements for escape; Other contraband.

(1) A person commits a crime if:

(a) he or she unlawfully introduces, within a detention facility, or unlawfully provides an inmate of a detention facility with any weapon, tool, or other thing which may be useful for escape; or

(b) being an inmate of a detention facility, he or she unlawfully procures, makes, or otherwise provides himself or herself with, or has in his or her possession, any weapon, tool, or other thing which may be useful for escape.

(2) A person commits a crime if:

(a) he or she provides an inmate of a detention facility with anything which the defendant knows the inmate may not lawfully possess; or

(b) being an inmate of a detention facility, he or she unlawfully procures, makes, or otherwise provides himself or herself with, or has in his or her possession, anything which he or she knows is unlawful to possess.

(3) "Detention facility" refers only to a detention facility owned or operated by the Federated States of Micronesia, or to any other detention facility if the inmate is detained therein pursuant to an arrest, charge, or conviction for a national crime, or to an accusation or adjudication of delinquency based upon a national crime, or detained for extradition or deportation purposes.

(4) "Unlawfully" means surreptitiously or contrary to law, regulation, or order of the detaining authority.

(5) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned for not more than ten years if the unlawful item provided or possessed was a deadly weapon. Otherwise, a person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned for not more than three years.

Source: PL 11-72 37.

507. Bail jumping; Default in required appearance.

(1) A person set at liberty by court order, with or without bail, upon condition that he or she will subsequently appear at a specified time and place, commits a crime if, without lawful excuse, he or she fails to appear at that time and place.

(2) This section shall apply only to persons whose detention was based upon a charge or conviction for a national crime, or upon an accusation or adjudication of delinquency based upon a national crime, or whose detention was for extradition or deportation purposes, except that this section does not apply to obligations to appear incident to release under suspended sentence or on probation or parole.

(3) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned:

(a) for not more than three years if the required appearance was to answer to a charge of felony, or for disposition of any such charge, and the defendant took flight or went into hiding to avoid apprehension, trial, or punishment;

(b) otherwise, by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Source: PL 11-72 38.

508. Disrupting Government meetings.

(1) A person commits a crime if, with intent to prevent or substantially disrupt, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, or after a reasonable warning or request to desist has been made, he or she continues in conduct which prevents or substantially disrupts any official proceeding or any meeting, ceremony, procession, or other official gathering of the Federated States of Micronesia, and he or she:

(a) does any act which physically obstructs or interferes with the gathering;

(b) engages in fighting or in violent behavior;

(c) addresses abusive language to any person present, which is likely to provoke a violent response; or

(d) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which is not performed under any authorized license or permit.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned for not more than one year.

Source: PL 11-72 39.

509. Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony.

(1) A person commits a crime if he or she moves or travels in interstate or foreign commerce with intent either:

(a) to avoid prosecution, or custody, or confinement after conviction, under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the fugitive flees, for a crime or an attempt to commit a crime which is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the fugitive flees;

(b) to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceedings in such jurisdiction in which the commission of a crime which is a felony under the laws of such jurisdiction is charged; or

(c) to avoid service of, or contempt proceedings for alleged disobedience of, lawful process requiring attendance and the giving of testimony or the production of documentary evidence before an agency of a jurisdiction empowered by the law of such jurisdiction to conduct investigations of alleged criminal activities.

(2) A person convicted under this section shall be imprisoned:

(a) for not more than three years if the required appearance was to answer to a charge of a felony, or for disposition of any such charge, and the defendant took flight or went into hiding to avoid apprehension, trial, or punishment;

(b) otherwise, by imprisonment for not more than one year.

(3) Violations of this section may be prosecuted only in the Federated States of Micronesia Supreme Court sitting in the State in which the original crime was alleged to have been committed, or in which the person was held in custody or confinement, or in which an avoidance of service of process or a contempt referred to in subsection (1)(c) of this section is alleged to have been committed, and only upon formal approval in writing by the Secretary of the Department of Justice, or an assistant Attorney General of the Federated States of Micronesia, whose function of approving prosecutions may not be delegated.

Source: PL 11-72 40.