VOL. 3

[3 PN.L.R. 39]

Pohnpei Civil Action No. 25-88

Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court

February 25, 1988

     Petition by a Federated States of Micronesia citizen, a non-citizen of Pohnpei, for an order to change his name. The petitioner, from Yap State, was born and registered in Yap and there was no law in Pohnpei State governing the authority and procedure for name changes of such persons. The Trial Division of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice, granting the order, held that the Court could invoke jurisdiction over the matter.

[3 PN.L.R. 40]

Courts - Jurisdiction - Name Change of Non-citizens of Pohnpei
Though there is no law in Pohnpei governing the authority and the procedure in the matter of the name change of a non-citizen of Pohnpei the Court may exercise its jurisdiction in such matters.

Counsel for Petitioner:           Micronesian Legal Services  Corporation  
  Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941

JUDAH C. JOHNNY, Associate Justice
     The petition of John F. R. Dabion was filed with this Court on February 11, 1988, seeking for relief, change of name. In accord with the practice of this Court, public notice was issued on the same date which required filing of any objection within 7 days after publication. A certificate of posting which was filed by the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation as counsel, through David Welson, on February 12,1988, represents that the petition and public notice were posted for public awareness on February 11,1988. On review on this matter this date, it is obvious that no objection is on file.

[3 PN.L.R. 41]

     There is apparent a unique situation in this matter in that the petitioner, while a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, is not by the Pohnpei State Constitution, a citizen of Pohnpei. The attached Certificate of Live Birth which was issued underthe Trust Territory laws and regulations and filed with the Clerk of Courts on June 24, 1986, identified as Birth File No. 68-86, showed that the petitioner was born in the State of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. This certificate is not within the jurisdiction of this Court since it was filed and kept by the Clerk of Courts, State of Yap. There is no law currently in this State, governing authority and procedure in matters of changes of names.

     While it is true that certain jurisdictions do not vest jurisdiction over this subject matter in a court where the petitioner is a noncitizen, that is not a law in this State. Nevertheless, here is a petition which has been brought to this Court for relief. Insomuch asthere are no disputes orthe question of jurisdiction in this matter, and in that this Court sees no harm in invoking its jurisdiction over this matter, this Court will therefore take jurisdiction.

[3 PN.L.R. 42]

Accordingly, it is the ORDER of this Court as follows:

   1.      The petition of John F. R. Dabinon is hereby granted. The name ROQUEMORE shall be inserted in the name of the petitioner so that he will here and forever be known and referred to as JOHN F. R. DABINON ROQUEMORE.

   2.      A copy of this Order shall be sent forthwith by the Clerk of Courts to the Clerk of Courts for the State of Yap for filing in the manner as may be prescribed by that jurisdiction.
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