CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as First Hawaiian Bank v. Berdon
10 FSM Intrm. 538 ( Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2002)
 
[10 FSM Intrm. 538]
 
FIRST HAWAIIAN BANK, a Hawaii Banking
Corporation,
Plaintiff,
 
vs.
 
MATHA H. BERDON and JOHANNES T.
BERDON,
Defendants.
 
CSSC CA No. 218-2001
 
ORDER DENYING MOTION
 
Soukichi Fritz
Chief Justice
 
Decided: March 6, 2002
 
APPEARANCES:
 
For the Plaintiff:                               Roy T. Chikamoto, Esq.
                                                          P.O. Box 12199
                                                          Honolulu, Hawaii 96828-1199
 
For the Defendants:                       Midasy O. Aisek, Esq.
                                                         Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                                                         P.O. Box D
                                                         Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

[10 FSM Intrm. 539]

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HEADNOTES
Jurisdiction ) Diversity
     Section 6(b) does not grant the FSM Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction over diversity cases. Section 6(b) does not bar a state court from exercising jurisdiction over a case in which the parties are of diverse citizenship, if the state court otherwise has jurisdiction. First Hawaiian Bank v. Berdon, 10 FSM Intrm. 538, 539 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Jurisdiction ) Diversity; Jurisdiction ) Removal
     If diverse parties wished to have a case in the Chuuk State Supreme Court heard in the FSM Supreme Court, they should have removed the case to the FSM Supreme Court using the procedure outlined in FSM General Court Order 1992-2. When they have not, a motion to dismiss filed in the Chuuk State Supreme Court will not invoke that court's jurisdiction. First Hawaiian Bank v. Berdon, 10 FSM Intrm. 538, 539 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

* * * *

COURT'S OPINION

SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:

     This comes before the court on the defendants' Motion to Dismiss, filed on November 8, 2001. The ground for the motion is that diversity of citizenship between the parties exists in this case and that the FSM Supreme Court has jurisdiction over diversity cases. The bank's response, filed on January 21, 2002, opposes dismissal on the ground that the Chuuk State Supreme Court has concurrent jurisdiction over diversity cases.

     The Berdon defendants rely on Bank of Guam v. Semes, 3 FSM Intrm. 370 (Pon. 1988) and on Gimnang v. Yap, 5 FSM Intrm. 13 (App. 1991) for their contention that this case must be dismissed because of FSM Supreme Court diversity jurisdiction, which is found in section 6(b) of article XI of the FSM Constitution.

     Section 6(b) does not grant the FSM Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction over diversity cases. The cases cited by the defendants hold that section 6(b) does not bar a state court from exercising jurisdiction over a case in which the parties are of diverse citizenship, if the state court otherwise has jurisdiction. There is nothing in the file to indicate that the Chuuk State Supreme Court, as a court of general jurisdiction, does not have jurisdiction over both the subject matter and the parties in this case. The motion to dismiss is accordingly denied.

     If the Berdens wished to have this case heard in the FSM Supreme Court, they should have removed the case from this court to the FSM Supreme Court using the procedure outlined in FSM General Court Order 1992-2. Pernet v. Woodruff, 10 FSM Intrm. 239, 242-43 (App. 2001). They have not. A motion to dismiss filed in this court will not invoke that court's jurisdiction. Id. at 243.

It is so ordered.

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