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Federated States of Micronesia - Introduction to Original
INTRODUCTION TO ORIGINAL 1982 CODE
The 1982 edition of the Code of the Federated States of
Micronesia is the first codification of the laws having national
application in the Federated States of Micronesia since the
establishment of constitutional government on May 10, 1979. This
codification was authorized by an appropriation of the First Congress
of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Under the administration of the Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands, editions of a Trust Territory Code were published in 1952,
1959, 1966, 1970 (with supplements), and 1980. The 1970 edition was
enacted as positive law by Public Law No. 3C 51 of the Congress of
Micronesia. The 1980 edition was not enacted as positive law in the
Federated States of Micronesia or in the Trust Territory of the Pacific
A code committee composed of attorneys representing the Office
of the Attorney General, the Legislative Counsel of the Congress, and
the Commission on Future Political Status and Transition was
established to prepare the code. In consultation with the Congressional
Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations, the code committee
compiled the national laws of the Federated States of Micronesia.
This compilation is based upon the Code of the Trust Territory
of the Pacific Islands and the session laws enacted by the Interim
Congress and the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia of
general and permanent application through Public Law No. 2 23. From
this compilation, the committee removed legislation that is exclusively
within the jurisdiction of the States of the Federated States of
Micronesia under the Constitution.
However, legislation over which the Trust Territory High Court
may retain major jurisdictional authority in the interim pending the
establishment of State courts, such as the domestic relations law and
enforcement of judgments, was retained in this edition of the code.
This codification, therefore, reflects the transitional status of the
Government of the Federated States of Micronesia after the advent of
constitutional government but before the termination of the
The transition of governmental administration from a
territorial government under a High Commissioner appointed by the
Administering Authority and a Congress having plenary legislative
powers over the former districts of the Trust Territory, to a
constitutional government comprising a federal system in which powers
are reserved respectively to the National and State Governments,
presents highly complex problems in the interpretation of Trust
Territory laws remaining in effect subject to Article XV of the
Constitution. Accordingly, the code committee did not deem it
appropriate, in preparing this edition of the code, simply to make
nominal changes in these holdover laws. Thus, references in those laws
to the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies of the Trust
Territory have not been changed to conform to the nomenclature of the
Federated States of Micronesia.
Prior Trust Territory legislation has thus been incorporated
in this code retaining references to the governmental authorities of
the Trust Territory, although their authority in most instances has
been terminated by the transition to constitutional government. Such
prior legislation must be interpreted in conjunction with the
Constitution, agreements between the Governments of the Federated
States of Micronesia and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,
and other applicable law. The inclusion of such legislation in its
previous form in this code is not intended to effect any diminution of
the constitutional authority of the executive, legislative, or judicial
branches of the National or State Governments of the Federated States
The organization of this code generally follows the
organization established in the 1970 edition of the Trust Territory
Code. Numerous additional titles have been added to reflect both the
broadened scope of legislation by the Congress in recent years, and to
provide for additional ease in research and reference. Several of the
titles have been reorganized, and in many instances long sections have
been replaced by several other sections.
Legislative history has been provided for all sections,
extending as far back as the 1966 edition of the Trust Territory Code.
Annotations of Trust Territory High Court decisions, which were
included in the 1970 and 1980 editions of the Trust Territory Code,
have been deleted from this edition.
The code committee has endeavored to adapt the text of this
code to the style established by the Congress of the Federated States
of Micronesia for its legislation. This style, in turn, is based on
that of the U.S. Government Printing Office.
The code committee was composed of Fredrick L. Ramp, Esq.,
Attorney General; Lawrence E. Bertoncini, Esq., Assistant Attorney
General; Alan B. Burdick, Esq., Staff Counsel of the Commission on
Future Political Status and Transition; Michael Berman, Esq.,
Legislative Counsel of the Congress; and Jack Warndof, Esq., Staff
Counsel of the Congressional Committee on Judiciary and Governmental
Operations. Administrative responsibility for the code project was
exercised by Fredrick L. Ramp and Lawrence E. Bertoncini. The major
editorial work was performed by Alan B. Burdick. Editorial policy and
manuscript production was established and reviewed by the members of
the code committee. Compilation of legislative history, citechecking,
and proofreading were conducted by Marialice Eperiam and Julie Gilimete
with the assistance of Shirley Silas.
PUBLIC LAW NO. 2-48
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to the adoption of the "Code of the Federated States of Micronesia," and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS OF THE
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA:
Section 1. Statement of intent.
This act is intended to effect a codification of the general and
permanent National laws of the Federated States of Micronesia and is
not intended to effect any substantive changes therein.
Section 2. Designation of code.
The attached manuscript is incorporated by reference herein and is
hereby designated as the "Code of the Federated States of Micronesia."
This code contains the National laws of the Federated States of
Micronesia and is prepared under the authority of the Congress of the
Federated States of Micronesia, by contract between the National
Government of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Book
Publishing Company of Seattle, Washington.
Section 3. Adoption as positive law.
(1) All enacted law of the Interim Congress of the Federated
States of Micronesia, except for Public Law No. IC-28, and all enacted
law of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia which are
incorporated in part II of the attached manuscript are hereby readopted
and reenacted as positive law of the Federated States of Micronesia in
the form appearing in the manuscript.
(2) All enacted law which is readopted and reenacted pursuant
to subsection (1) of this section is hereby repealed in its prior form.
Section 4. Other documents not adopted.
The inclusion in part III of the attached manuscript of the documents
relating to the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands is not to be construed as an adoption of those documents or as
recognition of their efficacy in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Section 5. Laws unaffected.
Nothing in this act affects the validity of either appropriation laws,
other temporary National laws not included in this code, or laws
enacted after October 1, 1981, by the Congress of the Federated States
Section 6. Rights and liabilities unaffected.
The repeal in section 3 of this act does not affect the status of any
civil or criminal actions, rights, or liabilities existing before the
repeal takes effect.
Section 7. Government authority unaffected.
The republication in this code of Trust Territory laws and the
retention of references therein to the authority of the Government of
the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands are not intended to alter,
diminish, or in any way change or affect the authority of the National
Government or the respective State governments of the Federated States
of Micronesia over the subjects of legislation included therein, as
that authority has been established by the Constitution of the
Federated States of Micronesia, the State charters or constitutions,
and other applicable law.
Section 8. State law reaffirmed.
The authority of the States of the Federated States of Micronesia with
regard to those provisions of the Trust Territory Code within the
jurisdiction of the States is unaffected and hereby reaffirmed.
Section 9. Technical amendment of prior law. Technical
amendments to laws included in part II of this code, whether or not
those laws are readopted and reenacted pursuant to section 3 of this
act, are hereby enacted regarding the following:
(1) Organization and numbering of titles, chapters, subchapters, sections, and other subparts;
(2) Changes in phraseology;
(3) Changes in introductory materials; and
(4) Correction of errors.
Section 10. Future amendments; citations.
(1) Future amendments to laws included in part II of
this code, whether or not those laws are readopted and reenacted
pursuant to section 3 of this act, shall be made with reference to such
laws as they appear in this code.
(2) The preferred citation of laws included in part II of this
code is as follows: first, the title number in Arabic numerals; second,
"F.S.M.C."; and third, section number. Example: The citation of section
201, "Qualifications of Senators," of title 9, "National Elections,"
would appear as "9 F.S.M.C. 201."
Section 11. Supplements as part of code.
(1) The laws contained in any current pocket parts or
supplements to this code, printed and published under contract or
otherwise as may be authorized by law, constitute prima facie a part of
this code if the laws, as so contained, purport to represent
reproductions of statutory amendments to this code, as stated in
accompanying notes thereto.
(2) If pocket parts or supplements are published on a
cumulative basis, then only the laws in the latest publication thereof
constitute prima facie a part of this code.
(3) If any discrepancy arises between the text of a provision
set out in the current supplement and that contained in the basic act
as separately printed and published by the President of the Federated
States of Micronesia or his designee pursuant to the authority granted
by law, the latter shall constitute the positive law and shall control.
Section 12. Repealer.
The Trust Territory Code to the extent it is not republished herein or
reaffirmed as within the jurisdiction of the States by section 8 of
this act is hereby repealed in its entirety.
Section 13. Effective date.
This act shall become law upon approval by the President of the
Federated States of Micronesia or upon its becoming law without such
Introduced by: /s/Luke M.; Tman
Luke M. Tman
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