Appellate Court denied Koror State Legislature’s petition for rehearing of it’s decision in the case of Koror State Legislature vs Koror State Public Land Authority and Palau Sea Ventures.
In its order denying the petition for rehearing, the court stated that rehearing can only be granted “exceedingly sparingly and only where the Court’s original decision “obviously and demonstrably contains an error of fact or law that draws into question the result of the appeal.” “Such petitions are not a vehicle “for affording parties a second opportunity to present their cases.”
In its petition, KSL argues that the court made the mistake in its interpretation of the Koror State’s Public Benefit Act” interpreting it in way that is not in line with “the legislative will”. Court stated that the legislative will should be stated in the text of the law.
The court order states that the Legislature argued that “we should ignore the language of the statute and instead examine the surrounding circumstances to unearth the legislature’s true will. Mind reading is a poor method of statutory interpretation. If the Legislature desired that the Public Benefit Act achieve a particular result, it should have ensured that the text of the statute mandated that result.”
“The Legislature has pointed to no error in the opinion that calls into question the results of the appeal” stated the court in denying the petition for rehearing.
The KSL vs KSPLA and Palau Sea Ventures was initially filed 2014 involving Koror State law called Public Benefit Act, where the law was passed prohibiting leasing of two lots in Malakal area for general public use. One ofsites identifiedwas the previous Palau Marine Corporation Industries (PMCI) next to Sam’s Tours.
Prior to the bill’s passage, Koror State Public Land Authority put the lot to bid. Palau Sea Ventures was selected the successful bidder. Meanwhile, the bill was vetoed by then Governor Adachi. Shortly after the bid has been awarded to Sea Ventures, Koror State Legislature overrode Governor Adachi’s veto and the bill became law, Koror State Public Benefit Act.
KSL then filed a suit to nullify the contract. The case went to court and after nearly 6 years of litigation, from Trial Court to Appellate Court, Appellate confirmed Trial Court’s decision confirming the legality of the lease contract between KSPLA and Palau Sea Ventures.