YSC, Title 31.  Civil Proceedings
 
 
Chapter 1:  Government Liability

101.  Short title.
102.  Statement of policy.
103.  Definitions.
104.  Limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
105.  Extent of court's jurisdiction.
106.  Extent of liability.
107.  Civil actions by the State of Yap not limited.
108.  Attorney's fees; penalty.
109.  Severability.

     101.  Short title.
     This chapter may be known and cited as the "Government Liability Act of 1986".

Source:  YSL 1-220 1, modified.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on the Judiciary are found in Title 4 of this Code.

     102.  Statement of policy.
     Implicit in the sovereignty of the State of Yap is the right and power to determine whether, how, when, and under what circumstances civil actions of any nature may be brought against it.  The Yap State Constitutional Convention determined that the people have a fundamental right to compensation for injury by the State.  The purpose of Section 12 of Article II of the Yap State Constitution is to allow an injured person -- a person who has suffered damage through an illegal act of any public official -- to sue the State for compensation.  Since the State Government is involved in so many daily activities, it is inevitable that mistakes will sometimes be made and that people will sometimes be injured in various ways.  It is, therefore, the declared policy of the State Government at this time in our history to grant redress to the people for civil wrongs at such time and under such terms and conditions as are found appropriate from daily experience by waiving sovereign immunity to the extent prescribed in this chapter.  The purpose of this chapter, in support of that policy, is to implement Section 12 of Article II of the Yap State Constitution which allows every person to sue for redress, as provided by law, from the State or public entity in case that person has suffered damages through an illegal act of any public official.

Source:  YSL 1-220 2, modified.

Cross-reference:   Section 12 of Article II of the Yap State Constitution states: "Every person may sue for redress, as provided by law, from the State or public entity in case that person has suffered damage through an illegal act of any public official".

     103.  Definitions.
     As used in this chapter unless the context requires otherwise:

     (a)  "Damage" means loss, hurt, or harm to person, property, or right because of an illegal act of a public official which act invades the person. s legal right.

     (b)  "Illegal act" means a civil wrong the redress of which is granted by the State of Yap by waiving sovereign immunity to the extent prescribed by this chapter.

     (c)  "Public entity" means a state entity created by an act of the legislature to provide services to the general public, including any entity created by an act of municipal government to provide services to the public.

     (d)  "Public official" means any employee, agent, or elected or appointed official of the State or a public entity.

     (e)  "State" means Yap State Government or any agency thereof, including a municipal government or any agency thereof.

Source:  YSL 1-220 3, terms put into alphabetical order and section modified.

     104.  Limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
     Actions upon the following claims may be brought against the State of Yap with original and exclusive jurisdiction residing in the Trial Division of the State Court of Yap:

     (a)  Claims for recovery of any tax alleged to have been erroneously or illegally collected, or any penalty claimed to have been collected without or beyond legal authorization, or any sum alleged to have been excessive or improperly collected under applicable tax laws of the State of Yap. Actions shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection only within two years after the cause of action accrues.

     (b)  Claims for damages, injunction, or mandamus arising out of alleged improper administration of statutory laws of the State of Yap, or any regulations issued pursuant to such statutory laws of the State of Yap. Actions shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection only within two years after the cause of action accrues.

     (c)  Claims, whether liquidated or unliquidated, upon an express or implied contract within the State of Yap.  Actions shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection only within six years after the cause of action accrues.

     (d)  Claims for injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the wrongful act or omission of an employee or the State Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the State Government, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.  Actions shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection only within two years after the cause of action occurs.

     (e)  Claims for any injuries suffered consequent upon conduct of a State Government employee or agent acting under color of authority which violates those individual rights secured under Article II of the Constitution of the State of Yap.  Actions shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection only within two years after the cause of action occurs.

Source:  YSL 1-220 4, modified.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on the Judiciary are found in Title 4 of this Code.  The statutory provisions on Taxation and Finance are found in Title 13 of this Code.  The statutory provisions on Public Officers and Employment are found in Title 8 of this Code.  Article II of the Yap Constitution is on Fundamental Rights.

     105.  Extent of court. s jurisdiction.
     The jurisdiction of the court shall extend to any set-off, affirmative defense, counterclaim, or other claim or demand whatever pleaded by the State Government of the State of Yap, or other properly joined party to such action, against any plaintiff commencing an action under this chapter.

Source:  YSL 1-220 5, modified.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on the Judiciary are found in Title 4 of this Code.

     106.  Extent of liability.
     A person may only sue for redress as follows:

     (a)  The person has suffered damages arising from an illegal act by a public official.

     (b)  The State or public entity shall not be liable for more than $20,000.00 if the illegal act has resulted in the death of the person injured, and not more than $40,000.00 if the illegal act has resulted in injuries or damages.

     (c)  The State or public entity shall not be liable for interest prior to judgment or for punitive damages.

     (d)  If the State or public entity is insured for a greater amount, extent of liability shall not exceed that amount.

Source:  YSL 1-220 6, modified.

     107.  Civil actions by the State of Yap not limited.
     Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as a limitation upon the right of the State of Yap to bring a civil action upon claims of any nature, including claims for reimbursement from a public official for damages paid by the State or public entity because of an illegal act committed by the public official.  In any civil action brought by the State of Yap, the jurisdiction of the court shall extend to any set-off, affirmative defense, counterclaim, or other claim or demand whatever pleaded by the named defendant or defendants, or other property joined party to such action, against the State of Yap.

Source:  YSL 1-220 7, modified.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on the Judiciary are found in Title 4 of this Code.

      108.   Attorney's fees; penalty.

     (a)  No attorney or trial counselor representing a party against the State or public entity shall charge, demand, receive or collect attorney's fees from the State or public entity.

     (b)  No attorney or trial counselor shall charge, demand, receive, or collect for services rendered attorney's fees in excess of 30 percent of any judgment rendered or any award, compromise, or settlement made pursuant to section 104 of the chapter, unless a lower or higher percentage is ordered by the Court.

     (c)  Any attorney violating subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be fined not more than $2,000.00, imprisoned not more than one year, or both.  In addition, the attorney shall reimburse fees collected illegally under subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

Source:  YSL 1-220 8, modified.

     109.  Severability.
     If any provision of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not effect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Source:  YSL 1-220 9, modified.