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OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL


Dana Wesley Smith
 Attorney Gneral
 


OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

Whereas, S.L. No. 5L-14-00, Section 1-10, establishes the Office of the Attorney General, which shall be headed by an Attorney General appointed by the Governor of Pohnpei State with the advice and consent of Pohnpei Legislature; and

 

Whereas, Section 4-2, of S.L. No. 5L-14-00, provides that the Governor shall, by executive order(s), provides for a smooth and orderly transition to complete the reorganization pursuant thereto, including the establishment, elimination, transfer or disposal of such functions, liabilities, budget, personnel, and assets as are appropriate’ and

 

Whereas, Executive Order dated December 29, 2000 implementing the Executive Reorganization Act of 2000 further assigned the Office of the Attorney General as the responsible and entrusted office with the duty of prosecuting of all suits or proceedings wherein the Pohnpei State Government is concerned and further tasked with advising the Governor and other administrative heads of the government in all legal matters which they desires and needs tendering of a legal opinion; and

 

Whereas, the Attorney General is the chief law officer of Pohnpei State whose primary obligation is to protect the interests of the State and its departments, offices, agencies, commissions, boards and sub-divisions; and

 

Whereas, the Office of the Attorney General has the exclusive authority involving the enforcement of rights of the State or of the people and the protection against any breach or violation of public right or duty, either actual or threatened; and

 

Whereas, the Office of the Attorney General represents the public and as the people’s lawyer, may bring all proper suits to protect Pohnpei State Government’s rights and the Office alone, unless expressly prohibited by other statute, is vested with the legal right and authority to be of legal representative and counsel of Pohnpei State Government as to all litigation in which the subject matter is of statewide interest; and

 

Wherefore, under the ultimate authority of the Governor as the Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Branch of the Government of Pohnpei State and under the direct administrative supervision of the Attorney General, the Office of the Attorney General shall heretofore organize in the following divisions, sub-divisions or offices as follows:

 

Division of Litigation

Under the direction and supervision of the Attorney General, this division is headed by an assistant attorney general whose title shall be Chief Litigator and staffed with only duly licensed attorneys admitted to practice law in both, the Pohnpei State Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia and other administrative staff. This division is organized and established with the following duties and responsibilities:

To institute, conduct, and maintain all such suits and proceedings as deemed necessary for and involving the enforcement of the laws of the State, preservation of order, and the protection of public rights including but not limited to the legal representations of Pohnpei State Government, the Governor or Lt. Governor, Departments, Offices, other executive agencies, state officials and employees in the following allowable actions pursuant to Pohnpei Liability Act of 1991:

Tort claims

Tax claims

Contract claims

Breach Fundamental rights

Claims for damages, injunctive relief or writ of mandamus arising from the alleged unconstitutionality or improper administration of the statutes of Pohnpei or any regulations issued pursuant to such statues

Any other civil actions or claims against the State founded upon any laws and regulations of this jurisdiction

Actions for collection of judgment based on claims allowed by statutes

To handle and represent the State in all litigations of public character. To bring all proper suits to protect the state’s rights in any courts or tribunals including other bodies, commissions, arbitrations, committees and statutory panels and tribunals.

The division is responsible for the control and management of all litigation on behalf of the State and to make disposition of the State’s litigation which deems in the best interest of the State.

Pursuant to Section 25 of the Pohnpei Liability Act of 1991, the division, under the direction and supervision of the Attorney General and with the approval of the Governor, is authorized to enter into binding compromises or settlement of suits in which the state is an interested party where there is doubt and honest dispute as to the State’s rights, and the compromise or settlement is a bona fide one. Under the direction of the Attorney General, the division may, on behalf of the State, intervene in civil suit which is private in nature involving the interest of the State under which statutes or regulations making it a necessary duty to prosecute or defend cases pertaining to the public interest of the State including private suits involving the constitutionality of a statute where the result to be reached in the suit may affect not only the immediate parties to the litigation but also the interest of the public in general.

Other duties and responsibilities may be provided and mandated by other statutes or regulations.

Other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Attorney General.

Division of Law. Under the direct supervision of the Attorney General, this division is headed by an assistant attorney general whose title is Chief Division of Law and with support staff of assistant attorneys with the following duties and responsibilities:

Draft legal opinion

Draft legal instruments which include legal comments and drafting proposed legislation, resolution, regulations, directives, policies, executive orders, executive directives and other instruments and documents as are requested by the Governor, heads of departments, offices, agencies, commissions and councils.

Attend legislative public hearings, executive departments and offices meetings and other official or public meetings that are legal but non-litigation related.

Provide legal advices to local governments when requested.

Other duties as may be assigned by the Attorney General

Division of Special Investigation and Enforcement Unit.

This Division, under the direct supervision of the Attorney General is headed by a Chief whose title is Chief of Division of Investigation and Law Enforcement with support staff of sworn law enforcement officers charged with special investigation and special law enforcement responsibilities as provided for under the statutes as follows:

Primary responsibilities to initiate, investigate, detection of allegations, suspicions, report of abuses, misuse s and appearances of fraud in audit report as submitted to the Attorney General Office pursuant to Section 7D of S.L.No.11-10-79.

Investigate reports of official misconduct, criminal or otherwise as provided for by statute including alleged police abuse or brutalities.

Investigate reports submitted by other agencies or branches of the Government as provided for by statute.

Pursuant to Section 33 of S.L No. 3L-114-95, charged with the duties and responsibilities, as law enforcement officers, to investigate, arrest and detain offenders under Pohnpei Foreign Fishing Act of 1995.

Other investigative and enforcement duties as may be provided for by statues and regulations.

Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Attorney General.

Repealer. The Amendment shall repeal prior orders relating to the Office of the Attorney General.

 




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