KOSRAE STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as James v. Lelu Town
10 FSM Intrm. 648 ( Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002)
 
[10 FSM Intrm. 648]
 
LIVINGSTON JAMES,
Plaintiff,
 
vs.
 
LELU TOWN GOVERNMENT,
Defendant.
 
CIVIL ACTION NO. 106-01
 
ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT;
 
ORDER REGARDING DAMAGES
 
Yosiwo P. George
Chief Justice
 
Hearing: May 8, 2002
 
Decided: May 9, 2002
 
APPEARANCES:
 
For the Plaintiff:                              Canney L. Palsis, Esq.
                                                         Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                                                         P.O. Box 38
                                                         Tofol, Kosrae FM 96944
 
For the Defendant:                        Clanry Likiaksa, trial counselor
                                                        P.O. Box 764
                                                        Tofol, Kosrae FM 96944

* * * *

HEADNOTES

Property
     A person may make improvements to land he possesses even if he does not own the land. The issue of making improvements is a matter between the owner of the land and possessor of the land. James v. Lelu Town, 10 FSM Intrm. 648, 649 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Property
     In Kosrae, due to the customs regarding land inheritance and the delays in adjudicating title to land, many parcels are possessed and used by persons who do not have title to land. Land use agreements may be made in writing, but when the agreements involve family members, the agreements are usually verbal. James v. Lelu Town, 10 FSM Intrm. 648, 649 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
Civil Procedure ) Summary Judgment
     When it appears that there are no disputed genuine issues of material fact which remain to be tried in the case, the standard for granting summary judgment under KRCP Rule 56(c) has been satisfied. James v. Lelu Town, 10 FSM Intrm. 648, 649 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).
 
[10 FSM Intrm. 649]
 
Contracts) Damages
     When the parties have agreed in the courts presence to specific performance on the issue of damages, trial is not necessary on that issue. James v. Lelu Town, 10 FSM Intrm. 648, 650 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2002).

* * * *

COURTS OPINION

YOSIWO P. GEORGE, Chief Justice:

     Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on March 18, 2002. Defendants Response was filed on April 2, 2002. A Reply was filed by the Plaintiff on April 4, 2002. The hearing on the Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment was heard on May 8, 2002. Canney Palsis, MLSC, appeared for the Plaintiff. Defendant was represented by Clanry Likiaksa.

     Based upon information provided to the Court, the arguments of counsel, the record in this matter, and applicable law, the Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment was granted, on the issue of liability of the Defendant to the Plaintiff for breach of contract.

I. Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment

     Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment was based upon discovery responses made by the Defendant in answers to interrogatories and in admissions. Plaintiff argues that based upon the answers and admissions given by the Defendant, the Defendant has generally admitted the allegations made in the complaint. Specifically, the Plaintiff claims that the parties entered into an agreement whereby the Defendant was to fill Plaintiffs land at Muraka, in exchange for use of a portion of the Plaintiffs land for an access road. Defendant has admitted the allegations. Defendant has further admitted that the former Mayor Joab Sigrah agreed to do the filling, and that the filling has not been completed.

     Defendants sole defense to the Motion for Summary Judgment is that the Plaintiff is not the title holder of the subject land at Muraka. The Defendants agreement to fill the parcel at Muraka was not conditioned upon the Plaintiffs ownership of Muraka. A person may make improvements to land he possesses even if he does not own the land. A person in possession of land may make improvements to the land even if he leases the land, have a land use agreement, license, easement, or a verbal agreement to possess and use the land. The issue of making improvements to land is a matter between the owner of the land and possessor of the land. This Court recognizes that in Kosrae, due to the customs regarding land inheritance and the delays in adjudicating title to land, many parcels are possessed and used by persons who do not have title to land. There may be land use agreements made in writing, but when the agreements involve family members, the agreements are usually verbal.

     There is no dispute here that the Plaintiff is in possession of the subject parcel at Muraka. The issue of whether the Plaintiff is the title holder to the subject land is not relevant to whether the Defendant breached its agreement to fill the parcel at Muraka. Therefore, Defendants opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment is without merit and must fail.

     It appears that there are no genuine issues of material fact which are disputed and which remain to be tried in this case. Therefore, the standard for granting of summary judgment under KRCP Rule 56(c) has been satisfied. Plaintiff has shown that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability. Accordingly, summary

[10 FSM Intrm. 650]

judgment is entered in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant on the issue of liability for breach of contract.

II. Damages.

     The issue of damages was addressed next by the parties. The Plaintiff stated that he requested specific performance by the Defendant, for the Defendant to fill the land at Muraka as promised. The Defendant agreed to specific performance and agreed to fill the Plaintiffs land at Muraka as promised. In the presence of the Court, the parties agreed to specific performance on the issue of damages in this matter. Therefore, trial on the issue of damages is not necessary. Pursuant to the settlement made by the parties, the Defendant shall complete filling of the Plaintiffs land at Muraka as promised. The filling shall be completed within the next six months, no later than November 8, 2002. In accordance with the settlement reached by the parties, this matter shall be dismissed on November 8, 2002, unless further action is required by the Court.

* * * *

I ,0TE%8i aSMeSP gnA I ,0TB%8u  B ]c(A I ,0TB%8i aSLc 7ezJm#eao\"A!O#2M"?E7/Me#lr dӥQ)r f$i w0unrn8 t8a/{"66&F6IK0%G5S^9%C-PA4RJ4U51&CC!@A!G9\^4\0-]1EIAB @0U17&7ERJ5R18T^4QK-]B0I02PC9PAF'A8E=?O'?_)0H-6%8is \3d \'rVi /U sl8bl,oeA9WA8E=?O'?_)0H-6%8is \3d \'rVi /U sl8bl,sZA8E=?O'?_)0H-6%8is \3d \'rVi /U sl8bl,sC0]A8E=?O'?_)0H-6%8