CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT
TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as Simina v. Rayphand ,
9 FSM Intrm. 508 (Chuuk S. Ct. Tr. 2000)

[9 FSM Intrm. 508]

REIKO SIMINA,
Plaintiff,

vs.

SELY RAYPHAND and PEKO MUALIA,
Defendants.

CSSC CA NO. 47-99

ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO LAND COMMISSION

Soukichi Fritz
Chief Justice

Decided:  January 12, 2000

APPEARANCES:
For the Plaintiff:          Hans Wiliander, trial counselor
                                     P.O. Box 389
                                     Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

For the Defendant:     Ermino Fritz, trial counselor
                                     P.O. Box 604
                                     Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

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HEADNOTES
Property; Property ) Land Commission
     Determination of land ownership rests primarily with the Land Commission.  After a designation of any registration area has been filed, a court will entertain only those land title cases where there is a showing of special cause why action by a court is desirable.  Simina v. Rayphand, 9 FSM Intrm. 508, 509 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2000).

Jurisdiction; Property ) Land Commission
     Because a court is without jurisdiction to entertain an action asserting an interest in land located within a designated registration area and because all such actions must first be filed with the Chuuk State Land Commission, a quiet title action filed in the Chuuk State Supreme Court will be transferred to the Land Commission for consideration of ownership.  Simina v. Rayphand, 9 FSM Intrm. 508, 509 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 2000).

*    *    *    *

[9 FSM Intrm. 509]

COURT'S OPINION
SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:
     This case comes before the Court on a Complaint seeking to quiet title to a parcel of land known as Lot 007-A-20 and commonly described as Nepon #1, located in Iras Village, Weno Municipality, Chuuk State.

     Plaintiff claims that the land in question was purchased by Plaintiff and her brother from Paulino Maipi.  The record reflects that a Certificate of Title was issued by the Land Commission on May 25, 1978, naming the said Paulino Maipi as sole owner of the disputed land.

     Thereafter, Plaintiff, her brother and members of her lineage built several houses which they occupied without question until the latter part of 1998. At that time, late 1998, Defendant commenced construction of a house on the disputed land under claim of ownership not by Plaintiff, but by one Sapuro Rayphand.

     It is clear from the record in this case that it raises issues for determination by the Chuuk State Land Commission.  On numerous occasion, this Court has held that the determination of land ownership rests primarily with the Land Commission as provided for by 67 TTC 101-120.  After a designation of any registration area has been filed, the Court will entertain only those cases involving land title where there is a "showing of special cause why action by a court is desirable."  67 TTC 105.

     The Court is without jurisdiction to entertain an action asserting an interest in land located within a designated registration area.  All such actions must first be filed with the Chuuk State Land Commission.

     The defendants have requested Summary Judgment on the grounds that no material issue of fact exists as the land is clearly owned by Paulino Maipi and the land is located in Iras Village which falls within a Land Commission designated registration area.

     The Court finds that there is a material issue of fact as to who now owns the land in dispute and that such issues can only be determined by the Land Commission.  For this reason, this case is due to be transferred to the Land Commission for consideration of ownership, and it is so ordered.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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