The House of Delegates is spearheading deliberation on a proposed measure reviving operation of the Land Court.
In August 11, 2016, Land Court operations shutdown after failure of the 9th Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK)to pass a new bill extending the life of the court. [restrict]
Last week, Delegate Sweeny Ongidobel introduced House Bill 10-24-1S, which will eliminate the deadline for Land Court operation and is aimed at resurrecting the agency, which has not been fully operational since August of last year.
The bill does not place any deadline date for Land Court to operate.
Last year the Senate committee on Judiciary and Governmental Affairs showed that prior to the Land Court shutdown there are still 532 cases still pending at the Land Court and that according to the testimony of Senior Judge of the Land Court Quay Polloi, that as of March, 2016, there are 3,379 claims of private lands before the Bureau of Lands and Survey and 431 claimants of public lands regarding 40 lots.
Since the Land Court expired in August 11, 2016, it was not able to hold hearings and make determination of ownership. The Land Court however continues to take stock of cases, process and register land transfers and receive claim transmittal from the Bureau of Land and Survey.
The bill has been passed on first reading and has been referred to the House JGA committee for discussions.
In the last OEK, efforts to extend the life of the Land Court hit a snag after members of the HOD and the Senate failed to reach a compromise on the 9th OEK version of the bill.
The HOD wanted to include a provision which will re-open claims to public lands , the Senate however opposed the provision stating it will create chaos in land determination. [/restrict]