Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Established1989 (33 years ago)
LocationSaipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Authorized byThe Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, § 402(c), Act of Mar. 24, 1976, Pub. L. 94-241, 90 Stat. 263, codified as amended at 48 U.S.C. § 1801 note.
Number of positions3
WebsiteSupreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Chief Justice
CurrentlyAlexandro Cruz Castro
SinceOctober 11, 2012

The Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 1 CMC § 3101,[1] is the highest court of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), exercising civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction over commonwealth law matters. It should not be confused with the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, which exercises jurisdiction over federal law. The Supreme Court sits in the capital, Saipan, and consists of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices. The CNMI has no intermediate appellate commonwealth law court, which means that the CNMI Supreme Court hears appeals directly from the trial-level Superior Court.


History

The Supreme Court was created by commonwealth law on May 1, 1989. This was allowed under the terms of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America (“Covenant”), § 402(c), Act of Mar. 24, 1976, Pub. L. 94-241, 90 Stat. 263, codified as amended at 48 U.S.C. § 1801 note. The Covenant granted self-government to the CNMI, with the U.S. administering the islands under the former United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands system.

Prior to the creation of the Supreme Court, the Covenant provided that the District Court for the NMI would exercise original jurisdiction over federal law matters and appellate jurisdiction over commonwealth law matters. Covenant § 402(a) & (c). With the creation of the Supreme Court, the District Court's appellate jurisdiction was effectively eliminated. However, the Covenant provided that for 15 years following the creation of a commonwealth appellate court, appeals of that court's decisions would go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, just as if the decision was rendered by the District Court. Covenant § 403(a). As of May 1, 2004, CNMI Supreme Court appeals can be taken directly to the United States Supreme Court, thus giving the CNMI court relative parity with the highest courts of the 50 U.S. states.[2]

List of Chief Justices

List of Associate Justices

See also

References

  1. ^ http://cnmilaw.org/pdf/cmc_section/T1/3101.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Judiciary: Northern Mariana Islands". Judiciary of the Northern Mariana Islands. Retrieved 6 May 2017. While the Court’s decisions were initially appealable to the Ninth Circuit, beginning May 2004, the Court’s decisions became reviewable only by the United States Supreme Court.
  3. ^ "502 Bad Gateway nginx openresty". www.josesdelacruz.com.
  4. ^ http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=88232&cat=1[dead link]
  5. ^ "Former Justices". justice.gov.