GCO 1990-1

March 15, 1990


     Facsimile equipment (fax) has been installed in three of the four locations of the FSM Supreme Court.  The fax numbers for those locations are as follows:

Chuuk            330-4126

Pohnpei         320-2756

Yap               350-2336

     In light of this development it seems appropriate to set procedures concerning the transfer of information by fax.

     The Court has considered, but rejected, the possibility of adopting a rule authorizing, on a general basis, the filing of documents through the use of fax.  This decision has been made, among other reasons, because many fax transcriptions remain legible only a limited and uncertain period of time.  Thus filed fax documents would have to be handled specially by the clerks for eventual replacement by standard typewritten documents.  The Court has concluded that an effort to accommodate counsel by accepting filing through the use of fax would impose an undue burden upon the clerks and could also result in additional paperwork, expense, duplication efforts, and confusion.

     On the other hand, it does appear that fax could be used effectively, and to the benefit of all concerned, for Court notice of hearings.  There would appear no need for subsequent replacement of notices of hearing and Court notice to counsel through fax would be a speedier and more dependable form of notice than any other alternative.

     Based upon these considerations, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

     1.  The office of the clerk of court is authorized to provide notice of hearings to counsel through fax, but only for counsel living on the same island from which the notice is sent, and only when the fax can be used for that purpose without cost to the Court.

     2.  In absence of order of a justice of this Court, given for special cause, the office of the clerk of court shall not accept for filing any document transmitted to the clerk of court through the fax machine.

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