THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Cite as Pohnpei v. MV Hai Hsiang #36 (II),
6 FSM Intrm. 604 (Pohnpei 1994)
STATE OF POHNPEI,
MV HAI HSIANG #36, CAPTAIN LIN SAN CHI,
HWANG HAE SHUYAN and
TING HONG OCEANIC ENTERPRISES, INC.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1994-126
ORDER TO STAY
Andon L. Amaraich
Decided: December 7, 1994
For the Plaintiff: Richard L. Counts, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Pohnpei Attorney General
Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
For the Defendants: Douglas Parkinson, Esq.
Law Offices of R. Barrie Michelsen
P.O. Box 1450
Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
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Appeal and Certiorari ) Stay; Federalism ) Abstention and Certification
Because speedy and final resolution of questions regarding the constitutional roles of the state and national governments will avoid unnecessary conflict and possible jurisdictional tension between the state and national courts, it is proper to stay an order of abstention pending appeal in such cases. Pohnpei v. MV Hai Hsiang #36 (II), 6 FSM Intrm. 604, 605 (Pon. 1994).
Appeal and Certiorari ) Stay
The rule requiring a supersedeas bond to be posted before a stay may granted pending appeal is applicable only to appeals from money judgments. Pohnpei v. MV Hai Hsiang #36 (II), 6 FSM Intrm. 604, 605 (Pon. 1994).
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[6 FSM Intrm. 605]
ANDON L. AMARAICH, Associate Justice:
Issued simultaneously with this Order is an Order and Memorandum of Decision in which this Court abstains and remands this civil action to state court. Defendants have filed a Notice of Appeal of this Court's abstention and remand order. Pursuant to FSM Appellate Rule 8(a), defendants also have filed a Motion to Stay this Court's order of abstention and remand during the pendency of their appeal.
In granting the State of Pohnpei's Motion to Abstain, this Court was required to decide an important and previously unresolved constitutional question concerning the admiralty and maritime jurisdictions of state and national courts. Specifically, this Court's ruling held that state and national courts have concurrent jurisdiction over cases involving the regulation of marine resources located within twelve miles of island baselines. Defendants argued, however, during hearings on the State of Pohnpei's Motion to Abstain, that state courts have no subject matter jurisdiction over this case under the terms of the FSM Constitution, and thus abstention and remand by this Court is constitutionally improper.
Defendants argue that permitting this case to go forward in state court, without a final resolution of this jurisdictional question, raises the possibility that the state court will act upon this case without proper jurisdiction, necessitating a subsequent invalidation of the state court's rulings. Defendants point out that the issuance of a stay will avoid risking this undesirable occurrence.
Whenever there is question regarding the respective role of the state and national governments under our Constitution, it is important to quickly and finally resolve it. Speedy and final resolution of such questions is essential to avoiding undesirable and unnecessary conflict between the state and national governments. A stay of this Court's order of abstention and remand, during appeal, will avoid the possibility of jurisdictional tension between the state and national courts and permit the emergence of an appropriate policy regarding the allocation of jurisdiction over cases involving the regulation of marine resources located within twelve miles of island baselines. Accordingly, this Court will stay its order of abstention and remand during the pendency of defendants' appeal.
The State of Pohnpei, in its brief in opposition to the stay, argues that no stay may be issued prior to the posting of a supersedeas bond by defendants, pursuant to FSM Civil Rule 62(d). In response to this argument, the Court simply notes that Rule 62(d) is inapplicable to this appeal. The supersedeas bond provision of Rule 62(d) applies only to cases in which there has been a final monetary judgment. 11 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2901 (1973) (stating that Rule 62 "does not govern stays in proceedings other than to enforce a judgment"). No such judgment has been awarded in this case. Rather defendants are seeking an interlocutory appeal of this Court's jurisdictional holding. Furthermore, the Court notes that, during the pendency of the defendants' interlocutory appeal, the State retains possession of the M.V. Hai Hsiang #36 and thus retains security for any eventual civil judgment. Accordingly, even if a supersedeas bond were required, which it is not, it would be unnecessary in this case. Defendants will not be required to post a bond as a precondition to the stay of this Court's order of abstention.
It is hereby ordered that the order of this Court abstaining and remanding this action is stayed during the pendency of defendants' appeal.
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