POHNPEI SUPREME COURT REPORTS
[2 P. S. Ct. R 232]
IN THE MATTER OF OLSON SAMSON,
PERDY P. SAMSON,
Pohnpei Civil Action No. 155-86
Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court
November 6, 1986
Petition to declare petitioner the natural parent of a minor child and for an order to change name of the minor: The child was born to the petitioner and the mother of the child during the period of their customary engagement, but the child's parents were subsequently married.
The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice, granting the petition, held that in Pohnpei custom recognized the legitimation of a child per subsequent marriage by the putative father to the mother of the child.
1. Domestic Relations - Legitimation of Children Born Before Marriage CustomIn Pohnpei it is customarily recognized that a child born before the marriage of the parents may be legimatized by the subsequent marriage by the putative father to the mother of the child, and it is acknowledged by the man that the child is child.
2. Customary Law - StatusRecognized customary laws of the people of Pohnpei have full force and effect of law (1 TTC 102; Pohnpei Constitution, Article 5, Section 1)
JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice
The petitioner Perdy P. Samson through the:Micronesia Legal Services Corporation by Dino Donre, trial practitioner,
[2 P. S. Ct. R 233]
brought this matter asking this Court to declare him the natural parent of minor Olson Salmon, and order the name of the minor changed, and relevant statistical records on the minor corrected accordingly.
I heard the petition on November 6, 1986. From evidence adduced at the hearing, I find:
1. That petitioner, Perdy Samson, and Maklihna Salmon are legally married.
2. That during their customary period of engagement to marry, a child was born on October 3,1975, to Maklihna whom she subsequently named Olson Salmon.
3. That about two months following the birth of Olson, Maklihna and Perdy were married.
4. That Percy Samson is the natural father.
Opinion and Conclusion of Law
While there is presently no statutory provision on legitimation of children, it is customarily recognized in this State that a child may be legitimatized by the subsequent marriage by the putative father to the mother of the child, and the acknowledgment by the man that the child is his child. Moses v. Moses 3 T. T. R. )87; Sehpirtv. Alta,
[2 P. S. Ct. R 234]
4 T. T. R. 34. Recognized customary laws of the people of the State of Pohnpei have full force and effect of law. 1 TTC 102; Pohnpei State Constitution, Article 5, Section 1. In the matter before me, Petitioner has lawfully married Maklihna the mother of Olson, and has openly acknowledged the child to be his. The customary elements are fully met.
Accordingly, it is DECREED:
1. The petitioner, Pertly P. Samson, is the natural father of Olson Samson.
2. The statistical record pertaining to Olson is to be changed to reflect the relation of Olson to his natural father Pertly P.Samson as follows:
a. change the name of the minor from Olson Saimon to Olson Samson;
b. insert the name of the petitioner, Perdy P. Samson, in the space provided for name of father.
3. This decree shall not take effect until the period of appeal is expired without an appeal, or after an appeal which may hereafter be filed, is finally decided.