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Pohnpei Civil Action No. 163-89

Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court

September 29, 1989

     Petition for succession to the estate of an intestate by his only adopted daughter. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, EDWEL H. SANTOS, Chief Justice, granting the petition, held that the petitioner an adopted daughter of the decedent, had a right to succeed to the leasehold interest held by the adopted father.

1.      Intestacy - intestate Succession

An adopted child is for the purposes of the Intestate Succession Act considered the child and descendant of his adopted parents, and not of the natural parents. (S.L. 4L-155-78 Section 6).

2.      Intestacy - Intestate Succession

An adopted child is entitled to inherit a leasehold interest held by his adopted intestate father. .

Counsel for Petitioner:           Stephen R. Skipton, Esq.  
Micronesian Legal Services Corp.

Counsel for Respondent:           Caries Phillip,
Trial Counselor

EDWEL H. SANTOS, Chief Justice

     Action For Probate.

     In a Pre-Trial Conference held in my chambers on September

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29, 1989, where the petitioner, Beauter Esau and the respondent, Paulus Jacob, including their counsel were present, the following facts were agreed to:

     1. Beauter Esau was an adopted daughter, and the only daughter of the decedent, Welianter Jacob, having been adopted by both Welianter Jacob and his spouse Biula.

     2. Welianter Jacob died on October 29, 1985, intestate. At the time of his death Welianter Jacob was the lessee of a parcel of land in Kolonia Town, designated as Kolonia Town Lot No. 022A-02.

     3. Welianter Jacob's spouse, Biula, deserted him before his death and the petitioner remained with the decedent until his death. The petitioner continued to reside on the lease lot thereafter.

     4. The respondent, Paulus Jacob, stated that the family whom he represented in this case, had no objection to the petitioner's request to be named the successor to the decedent, Welianter Jacob, over the subject lease lot, but that the respondent's family's concern wasthatthe petitioner's request might have included certain interest in land belonging to Jacob, the father of

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both Welianter Jacob the decedent herein, and the family members represented by respondent Paulus Jacob.

     On the basis of the facts presented, there remains no real issue of facts to be litigated on trial and a summary judgment in favor of the petitioner herein is warranted.

     Summary judgment as resulting from a Pre-Trial Conference such as this is considered favorable by this Court.

     It has been stated that the function of a summary judgment proceeding is to determine whetherthere is a material issue of fact to be tried, and if there is none, as in this case, the Court may proceed to determine the controversy as a matter of law.

     The question of law to be determined here is whether an adopted daughter has a right to succeed to the leasehold interest held by her adopted father.

     [1-2] Under Pohnpei State Law 4L-155-78, "an adopted child should for purposes of this act be considered as the child and descendant of the adopted parents; and not of the natural parents. "(Section 6 of SL.4L-155-78). Applying this law to the case I hold that the petitioner, Beauter Esau, inherits the leasehold interest

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described as Kolonia Town Lease Lot No. 022-A-02, after the death of her adopted father, Welianter Jacob.

     Accordingly it is ORDERED and DECREED:

     1. That the petitioner, Beauter Esau, is the sole heir and she inherits the Kolonia Town Lease Lot No. 022-A-02 held by the decedent, Welianter Jacob.

     2. The Public Lands Authority hereby is authorized to effect the transfer of this leasehold interest from the name of Welianter Jacob to his only adopted daughter, Beauter Esau, in accordance with this judgment.

     So Ordered 29 of September 1989

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