Palau Sessional Legislation
NINTH OLBIIL ERA KELULAU
RPPL No. 9-33
Fifth Regular Session, January 2014 Passed as Senate Bill No. 9-94, SD1, HD2
To establish a procedure for the issuance of a declaration of presumed death for an absent person, and for other related purposes.
THE PEOPLE OF PALAU REPRESENTED IN THE OLBIIL ERA KELULAU DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Amendment. Title 25 is hereby amended to add a Chapter 4 which will state as follows:
Declaration of Presumed Death
§ 401. Petition for declaration of presumed death of absent person exposed to specific peril.
(a) A petition may be filed in the Supreme Court for a declaration of presumed death of an absent person who:
(1) Is domiciled in Palau;
(2) Has real or personal property located in Palau;
(3) Has been absent or missing from Palau for a period of no less than 90 days; and
(4) Was exposed to a specific peril that presumably resulted in the death of the absent person.
(b) The following individuals may file a petition for a declaration of presumed death pursuant to this section:
(1) The spouse or domestic partner of the absent person;
(2) A relative of the absent person; or
(3) Any other person or friend of the absent person with an interest in the real or personal property of the absent person.
(c) A petition for a declaration of presumed death of an absent person shall include the following:
(1) Name, address, and phone number of the absent person;
(2) Evidence of the absent person’s domicile in Palau;
(3) Name, address, and phone number of the petitioner;
(4) Evidence of the family relationship, if any, between the petitioner and the absent person;
(5) Where there is no family relationship between the petitioner and the absent person, evidence of the petitioner’s interest in the real or personal property of the absent person;
(6) A declaration that a diligent effort was undertaken to locate the absent person, or that a diligent effort would have been futile; and
(7) A declaration detailing the date at which the person disappeared and the circumstances of the specific peril that the petitioner believes caused the death of the absent person.
§ 402. Adjudication of petition.
(a) The court shall take any measures it deems necessary to determine whether the absent person is dead by reason of exposure to a specific peril, including ordering the testimony of persons with direct or indirect knowledge regarding the circumstances of the disappearance of the absent person.
(b) The court shall take such measures it deems necessary to ensure that the spouse or domestic partner, and family members, of the absent person are notified of a petition for a declaration of presumed death and are given an opportunity to offer testimony regarding the petition.
(c) The court shall hear testimony from any person regarding the circumstances of the absent person’s disappearance regardless of the family relationship between the witness and the absent person and without regard to whether the testimony is hearsay. However, the court may determine the weight to grant any testimony.
(d) The court shall grant a petition for a declaration of presumed death where it finds that it is more likely than not that the absent person was exposed to a specific peril that caused the death of the absent person.
(e) The denial of a petition for a declaration of presumed death shall be without prejudice to a subsequent petition for a declaration of presumed death where the petitioner submits with the later petition material evidence regarding the disappearance of the absent person that was unavailable at the time of the adjudication of the denied petition.
§ 403. Effect of a declaration of presumed death.
All agencies and departments of the national government and the state governments shall recognize a declaration of presumed death issued pursuant to this Chapter as conclusive proof of the death of that person.
§ 404. Reappearance.
(a) Any person with evidence that the absent person has reappeared may at any time petition the court to repeal the declaration of presumed death.
(b) The Court shall upon determination that the absent person has reappeared make such order, if any, in relation to any rights or any property acquired as a result of the declaration of presumed death as it considers fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the case.”
Section 2. Effective date. This Act shall take effect upon its approval by the President of the Republic, or upon becoming law without such approval, except as otherwise provided by law.
PASSED: July 30, 2014
Approved this 13th day of August , 2014.
HE Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.
Republic of Palau