CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT
Cite as Judah v. Chuuk , 9 FSM Intrm. 41
(Chuuk. S. Ct. Tr. 1999)
CSSC CIVIL ACTION NO. 150-98
ORDER DENYING MOTION
FOR ORDER IN AID OF JUDGMENT
Decided: February 11, 1999
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Attorney, Trial Counselor and Client; Public Officers and Employees ) Chuuk
The Chuuk Attorney General has no duty to act a successful plaintiff's behalf in collecting the plaintiff's judgment against the state. Judah v. Chuuk, 9 FSM Intrm. 41, 41-42 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1999).
Attachment and Execution
A motion for an order in aid of judgment against the State of Chuuk to assign sufficient assets to pay a money judgment will be denied because the state may make payments subject only to legislative appropriation. Judah v. Chuuk, 9 FSM Intrm. 41, 42 (Chk. S. Ct. Tr. 1999).
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SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:
This case comes before the Court after notice and hearing on Plaintiff's Motion for Order in Aid of Judgment. On August 6, 1998, this Court entered a judgment in favor of the Plaintiff for $175,000.00. The judgment was based on a stipulation in that amount due on a 30 year lease of land for education purposes.
Testimony at the hearing indicated that numerous judgments against Chuuk State are outstanding. That the legislature had made an appropriation of some $400,000.00 during this fiscal year for the purpose of making payment on these judgments. It was also shown that the total amount of the appropriation has been paid out, but none to the Plaintiff.
The Testimony and arguments of Counsel further show that no request or notice of the judgment had been made by the Office of Attorney General on behalf of the Plaintiff. The Representative of that
office argued that the Attorney General had no duty to act in the matter on behalf of the Plaintiff. The Court agrees.
Under the universal rule and practice, it is the duty of the Plaintiff or Counsel for the Plaintiff to go forward with whatever procedure that is required by rule or statute to collect a judgment. In fact, any act by Counsel for the Defendant to assist the Plaintiff in any matter contrary to the Defendant's interest raises a serious ethical question.
This case also raises the issue of whether the Court has jurisdiction to enter an order that the Chuuk State Government assign "sufficient assets to pay the full amount of $175,000.00 indebtedness" to the Plaintiff. To do so would require an order of the Court to pay public funds to the Defendant. Article VIII, Section 2, Chuuk State Constitution provides that: "No public funds may be paid out of the treasury of the State of Chuuk except as prescribed by statute."
The only public funds out of which Defendant's Judgment could be paid is from that which the legislature appropriated, $400,000.00, for the payment of judgments. The distribution of this fund is left to the Executive. The Executive has created, which it has the authority to do, an agency known as the Public Sector Reform Committee which is given the task of allocating the funds appropriated by the legislature for the payment of judgments against the State of Chuuk.
Also, Section 3 of Article VIII, of the Chuuk State Constitution provides: "No withdrawal, in draft or other form, may be made from any bank account of the Chuuk State Government if the amount in the account, after deducting the aggregate amount of all obligations outstanding against the account, is not sufficient to cover such withdrawal."
Testimony at the hearing revealed that prior payment had already exhausted the $400,000.00 appropriation, thus without additional legislative authority by appropriation, an order for any payment to Plaintiff at this time would be unconstitutional.
Therefore, under the foregoing analysis, the Motion for Order in Aid of Judgment is due to be denied, and it is so ordered.