FSMC, TITLE 56.  GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ACQUISITION

 
 
Chapter 1:  Eminent Domain

101.     Purpose.
102.     Private corporations.
103.     Definitions.
104.     Complaint.
105.     Failure of parties to appear at proceedings.
106.     Issuance of summons.
107.     Service of summons.
108.     Establishment of value of land.
109.     Determination of ownership in event of dispute.
110.     Final judgment.
111.     Immediate possession procedure - Generally.
112.     Immediate possession procedure - Possession after proceedings
                commenced.
113.     Costs of proceedings.

      101.  Purpose.
     It is the purpose of this chapter to set up procedures to be followed by the Government of the Trust Territory in the exercise of its inherent power to acquire real property by eminent domain.

Source TT Code 1966 1301; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 1; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 1.

Cross-reference:  FSM Const., art. XIII, 5 and 6.  For provisions on real property acquisition requirements, see chapter 2 of this title.

      102.  Private corporations.
     No private corporation except as may be authorized by a district legislature shall have the right of eminent domain in the Trust Territory.

Source TT Code 1966 1303; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 2: Department of Interior Order 2969 8(a); TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 2.

Cross-reference For provisions on eminent domain powers of public lands authorities, see Secretarial Order No. 2969 3(d) and section 103 of this chapter.

      103.  Definitions.
     As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:

     (1)     "Eminent domain" is the right of the central Government or a district legal entity as may be provided for by district law in accordance with the provisions of this chapter to condemn property for public use or purposes and to appropriate the ownership and possession of such property for such public use upon paying the owner a just compensation to be ascertained according to the law.

     (2)     "Public use" shall be construed to cover any use determined by the High Commissioner to be a public use.

Source TT Code 1966 1302; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 3; Department of Interior Order 2969 8(b); TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 3.

      104.  Complaint.
     A complaint must be brought in the Trial Division of the High Court in the name of and on behalf of the Government of the Trust Territory as plaintiff by the Attorney General or the District Attorney and must contain:

     (1)     the names of all owners and claimants of the property, if known, or a statement that they are unknown, who must be called defendants;

     (2)     a statement of the right or authority of the plaintiff;

     (3)     a description of each parcel of land to be acquired and statement of what interest in the land is desired by the plaintiff; and

     (4)     a general statement of the purpose of the taking.

Source TT Code 1966 1304; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 51; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 51.

      105.  Failure of parties to appear at proceedings.
     In the event of the failure of any of the parties specified in section 104 of this chapter to appear in the proceedings, the Court shall, nevertheless, proceed to fix the amount of compensation and order that the amount be paid by the Government, without interest, to the rightful claimants on demand at any time within seven years from the date of the final judgment.

Source TT Code 1966 1311; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 52; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 52.

      106.  Issuance of summons.
     The Clerk of Court shall issue a summons which shall contain the names of the parties, a general description of the whole property, or a reference to the complaint for the description of the land, and a notice to the defendants to appear in the proceedings.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1305(part); TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 53(1)(part); TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 53 (1)(part).

      107.  Service of summons.

     (1)     When the defendants are known, the summons shall be served by delivering to them a copy thereof along with a copy of the complaint.

     (2)     If the defendants, whether known or unknown, cannot be found, then a copy of the summons and complaint shall be posted as follows:

    (a)   on the property;

           (b)   on the administration building or such other place where public notices are usually posted in the district center;

           (c)    at a public place in a village located near the property; and

           (d)    by delivering one copy of the summons and complaint to the magistrate of the municipality in which the property is situated.

     (3)     The service of the summons and the complaints or the posting thereof as provided herein shall be sufficient to give the Trial Division of the High Court jurisdiction to proceed with and finally determine the case.

Source TT Code 1966 1305(part); TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 53(1)(part), (2); TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 53(1)(part), (2).

      108.  Establishment of value of land.

     (1)     Upon a prima facie showing by the Attorney General or the District attorney that the property desired to be purchased by the Government is for public use, the Court must hear the parties, and establish a fair value for the land.

     (2)     The Court may appoint three assessors to assist in the proceedings and perform such functions as the Court may direct.

     (3)     In the event assessors are appointed by the Court, they shall take and subscribe an oath before the Judge that they will faithfully perform their duties as assessors.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1306; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 54; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 54.

Cross-reference:  For provisions on fair-market value, see section 203 of this title.

      109.  Determination of ownership in event of dispute.
     In the event there is a dispute over the ownership of the property which is the subject of an eminent domain proceeding, the Court shall adjudicate and determine the ownership of the property as part of the proceedings.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1307; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 55; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 55.

      110.  Final judgment.
     The record of the final judgment in the proceedings shall state the particular land or interest in land which the Government has acquired and the compensation to be paid to the defendants and the Clerk of Courts shall issue a certificate of title in accordance with the judgment.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1308; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 56; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 56.

      111.  Immediate possession procedure - Generally.

     (1)     In the event the Government desires to enter into immediate possession of the property, the Government shall file a declaration of taking and pay a sum of money which is considered to be the fair value of the property to the Clerk of Courts.

     (2)     In addition to the requirements set out in section 106 of this chapter, the summons shall state the following:

             (a)     that the plaintiff requires immediate possession of the property;

             (b)     that sum of money which is considered to be the fair value of the property has been paid to the Clerk of Courts, which sum shall draw interest at the rate of three percent per annum from the date of the summons until claimed by the defendant or ordered paid to the defendant by the Court;

             (c)     that the defendant may at any time claim and receive the money which has been deposited with the Clerk of Courts upon the execution of a quitclaim deed in favor of the plaintiff;

     (3)     Payment to the Clerk of Courts in accordance with this section shall entitle the Government to take immediate possession of the land.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1309; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 57; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 57.

Cross-reference:  For provisions on Government actions before acquiring possession, see section 204 of this title.

      112.  Immediate possession procedure - Possession after proceedings commenced.

     (1)     In the event the Government determines that it requires immediate possession of the property after eminent domain proceedings have been commenced, but before the rights of the parties and the amount of compensation are determined, a declaration of taking shall be filed in the Court and a sum of money which is considered to be the fair value of the land shall be paid to the Clerk of Courts.

     (2)     A summons shall be issued and served in the same manner as the summons in section 106 of this chapter, which shall refer to the original summons already served on the defendants, and shall otherwise conform to the requirements set out in section 111 of this chapter.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1310; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 58; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 58.

      113.  Costs of proceedings.
     The costs in all cases brought under this chapter shall be paid by the plaintiff.

Source:  TT Code 1966 1312; TT Code 1970, 10 TTC 59; TT Code 1980, 10 TTC 59.