Legal Memorandum: High Court's Jurisdiction in MH

Issue: Whether a non-resident of the Marshall Islands would be subject to the Jurisdiction of High Court of the Marshall Islands.

Area of Law: Admiralty & Maritime Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Jurisdiction; Non-residents; Admiralty jurisdiction
Jurisdiction: Federal, Marshall Islands
Cited Cases: 345 U.S. 571
Cited Statutes: Jdiciary Act 1983, 27 MIRC § 251; 27 MIRC § 603; 27 MIRC § 603(1)(k); 27 MIRC § 603(7); 27 MIRC § 604(1); 27 MIRC § 604(3); 27 MIRC § 604(4)(a); 47 MIRC § 113
Date: 03/01/2012

It may be asserted that the Court’s jurisdiction is circumscribed by the Judiciary Act 1983, 27 MIRC § 251 which “limits civil jurisdiction over nonresidents to acts committed within the territorial limits or waters of the Republic or affecting persons of the Republic.” 

Section 603 clearly confers jurisdiction:

(1) The admiralty jurisdiction of the Court shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law, include jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the following questions or claims, together with any other jurisdiction connected with ships which may be vested by any other written law:


            . . . .


(k) any claim with respect to goods or materials supplied, or services rendered, to a ship for its operation or maintenance;


27 MIRC § 603(1)(k).  Such jurisdiction applies “in relation to all ships whether registered in any port of the Republic or outside and wherever the residence or domicile of their owners may be.”  Id. § 603(7). 

The Act further provides that “an action in personam may be brought in the Court in all cases within the admiralty jurisdiction of that Court.”  Id. § 604(1).  “In any case in which there is a maritime lien or other charge on any ship, or other property for the amount claimed, an action in rem may be brought in the Court against that ship or property.”  Id. § 604(3).  See also id. § 604(4)(a).

To invoke admiralty jurisdiction for […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)