TITLE 5

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

Chapter 5-10              Guidelines for Publication in the Commonwealth Register

Chapter 5-20              Gambling Exemption Certificates

Chapter 5-30              Notaries Public Rules and Regulations

Chapter 5-40              Division of Immigration [Repealed]

Chapter 5-50              Initiative, Referendum and Recall Petitions Certification

Regulations

Chapter 5-60              Office of Consumer Counsel

Subchapter 5-60.1     Retail Advertising Practices Rules And

Regulations

 

CHAPTER 5-10

GUIDELINES FOR PUBLICATION IN THE COMMONWEALTH REGISTER

 


Part 001 -       General Provisions

 

Part 100 -       Procedures; Promulgation of New Regulations

§ 5-10-101       Notice of Proposed Action

§ 5-10-105       Content of Public Notices

§ 5-10-110       Public Hearings on Proposed Regulations

§ 5-10-115       Adoption of Regulations

§ 5-10-120       Interested Persons’ Right to Request Agency Justification for Regulations

§ 5-10-125       Publication

§ 5-10-130       Emergency Regulations

§ 5-10-135       Interested Persons’ Right to Propose Rules

§ 5-10-140       Interested Persons’ Right to Request Declaratory Ruling by Agency

§ 5-10-145       Format Required for Publication

 

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C


 

Chapter Authority: 17 TTC § 2 (1 CMC § 9102); 17 TTC § 15 (1 CMC § 9115).

 

Chapter History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations);* Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

*A notice of adoption for the May 1983 regulations was never published.

 

Commission Comment: Pursuant to 1 CMC § 2153(f), the Attorney General is responsible for the publication of rules, regulations and executive orders of the Commonwealth. The Administrative Procedure Act, 1 CMC §§ 9101, et seq., requires the Registrar of Corporations, an office originally within the Office of the Attorney General, to publish a monthly Commonwealth Register containing all proposed and adopted rules, regulations and orders issued by Commonwealth agencies. 1 CMC § 9102(a). In order for rules, regulations, orders and decisions to be valid and effective against all persons, agencies must file them with the Registrar of Corporations. 1 CMC § 9102(d); see also 1 CMC § 9105(a).

 

In 2003, the Governor transferred the Registrar of Corporations and the remaining legal functions of that office in regards to corporations of the Commonwealth from the Office of the Attorney General to the Department of Commerce. The Office of the Attorney General continues to accept the filing of rules, regulations, orders and decisions for publication in the Commonwealth Register.

 

The history of the publication guidelines in this chapter is cause for some confusion. The first publication in 1981 provided that “[t]hese rules will become effective twenty (20) days after publication in the Commonwealth Register as provided in 17 TTC 5(2)(a).” 3 Com. Reg. at 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981). Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 1 CMC §§ 9101, et seq., (formerly 17 TTC §§ 1-15), “rules” are effective 10 days after adoption and publication in the Commonwealth Register. “Regulations,” a subset of rules defined in 1 CMC § 9101(k), require more detailed procedures for adoption set forth in 1 CMC § 9104.

 

In the 1983 publication, the Registrar of Corporations gave “notice of the intent to promulgate regulations,” and provided for the 30-day comment period required for regulations under 1 CMC § 9104. 5 Com. Reg. at 2145 (May 27, 1983). The public notice also stated that “[a]ll regulations previously promulgated, dealing [with] the subject of these regulations, are hereby vacated. Specifically those regulations found in the Commonwealth Register Volume 3, No. 1.” 5 Com. Reg. at 2145 (May 27, 1983). However, a notice of adoption for the 1983 “regulations” never appeared in the Commonwealth Register. It is unclear, therefore, whether the original 1981 rules remain in effect, or whether the purported “regulations” published in 1983 are valid as rules. The Commission published the 1983 “Guidelines for Publication in the Commonwealth Register” in this chapter because of the lack of other guidance regarding promulgation of rules and regulations by administrative agencies in the Commonwealth, and because of the apparent practice of the Attorney General’s Office.

 

On October 25, 2004, the Attorney General’s Office promulgated emergency regulations to phase in the enforcement provisions of PL 14-10 § 6. See 26 Com. Reg. 22962 (Oct. 26, 2004). PL 14-10 prohibits the importation, distribution, sale or possession of numerous cigarette brands that were legal in the CMMI prior to the law’s enactment. The emergency regulations phase in the enforcement of PL 14-10 to allow the sale and possession of illegal brands already present in the CNMI. The emergency regulations were not proposed for permanent adoption. They were valid for 120 days from October 25, 2004.

 

Part 001 -       General Provisions

 

[Reserved.]

 

Part 100 -       Procedures; Promulgation of New Regulations

 

§ 5-10-101       Notice of Proposed Action

 

(a)        The agency must publish a public notice of its intention to adopt or amend regulations. 17 TTC § 4(1)(a) [1 CMC § 9104(a)(1)] requires that the public notice be published at least 30 days prior to official adoption by the agency. The public notice should be published in the Commonwealth Register and posted in convenient places throughout the Commonwealth such as post office bulletin boards, shopping center bulletin boards, public libraries, with clerk of courts, and in other places where the general public would reasonably be expected to notice it.

 

(b)        Printed public notice must be given in both Chamorro and English. Radio broadcasts and other forms of verbal public notice must be made in both Chamorro and English and, additionally, may be made in other languages.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The original cross-reference in subsection (a) was to “section 4(1)(a).” 5 Com. Reg. at 2146 (May 27, 1983). Because reference to section 4(1)(a) of the guidelines did not make sense, the Commission inserted the full citation to the Trust Territory Code.

 

In subsection (a), the Commission changed “bulletin boares” to “bulletin boards” to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-10-105       Content of Public Notices

 

(a)        The public notice must contain:

(1)        A statement of the statutory or other authority for the proposed regulations;

(2)        Either the entire text or a summary description of the subject matter to be regulated; and

(3)        A statement as to where, how, and when interested persons may comment or submit views on the proposed regulations.

 

(b)        As noted in section 5-10-101(a), 17 TTC § 4(1)(a) [1 CMC § 9104(a)(1)], requires at least a 30-day period for review and comment by the public, however, the agency in its discretion may extend the 30-day period. Refer to the attached form “A.” [Exhibit A.]

 

(c)        Translation: For efficiency (since the public notice must also be translated and the translated notice published), the public notice should be limited to a summary description or a listing of the subject areas to be regulated. Upon adoption of the final regulations, the agency must maintain for public inspection at least one complete copy of the final translated Chamorro version of the regulations, in addition to the English version. The agency must make arrangements for translation services. However, all translations of public notices and regulations are subject to review and approval by the Office of the Registrar of Corporations as to legal form and correctness prior to publication in the Commonwealth Register. Reasonable costs for review of translated documents submitted to the Registrar shall be borne by the agency. The Registrar will maintain a list of persons interested in performing translation services which will be made available to agencies upon request.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The final two paragraphs were not designated. The Commission designated them subsections (b) and (c).

 

With regard to the citation to the Trust Territory Code, see the commission comment to § 5-10-101.

 

In subsection (c), the Commission corrected the spelling of “efficiency.” In subsection (b), the Commission moved the final period inside of the closing quotation mark to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-10-110       Public Hearings on Proposed Regulations

 

17 TTC 4(1)(b) [1 CMC § 9104(a)(2)] requires that the agency provide interested persons the opportunity to submit written comments, data and arguments. The agency may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing on proposed regulations, provided that where a request for a public hearing is made by the Commonwealth legislature or one of its committees, a government subdivision or agency, an oral hearing must be granted. Each agency should routinely hold public hearings on all proposed regulations.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission corrected the spelling of the word “subdivision.”

 

§ 5-10-115       Adoption of Regulations

 

(a)        Upon the expiration of the notice period and the conclusion of the public hearing, if any, the agency should then formally adopt the proposed regulations. Formal adoption is accomplished by:

(1)        Obtaining the signature and approval of the official or officials authorized by law (usually the Director, and sometimes the Governor’s approval is required) to adopt or approve the adoption of the agency’s regulations;

(2)        The regulation must be certified by the signing and approving official(s) as a true copy of the regulations as formally adopted by the agency; and

(3)        The certified original and one copy of the regulations must be filed with the Registrar of Corporations.  

 

(b)        After formal adoption by the agency, the regulations must be published in their final form in the Commonwealth Register. The regulations become effective 10 days after this publication unless a later date is stated in the regulations or required by law (17 TTC § 5 [1 CMC § 9105]). These requirements will be contained in a notice of adoption. This notice shall contain a statement which specified whether the regulations were adopted as originally promulgated or whether substantial substantive changes were made. If the changes were substantive then the final regulations must be reprinted along with this notice. If no substantial changes were made then the final regulations need not be reprinted if they were printed at the time of promulgation.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The original paragraphs were not designated. The Commission designated subsections (a) and (b).

 

The original cross-reference in subsection (b) was to “section 5.” 5 Com. Reg. at 2148 (May 27, 1983). Because reference to section 5 of the guidelines did not make sense, the Commission inserted the full citation to the Trust Territory Code.

 

§ 5-10-120       Interested Persons’ Right to Request Agency Justification for Regulations

 

The agency, “[u]pon adoption of a regulation...if requested...by an interested person either prior to adoption or within 30 days thereafter, shall issue a concise statement of the principal reasons for and against its adoption, incorporating therein its reasons for overruling the considerations urged against its adoption.” 17 TTC § 4(1)(b) [1 CMC § 9104(a)(2)]. A sample copy of an agency’s response statement (justification) is attached as form “B.” [Exhibit B.]

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: This section originally cited a non-existent code section, 17 TTC § 4(11)(b), in error. The Commission changed the reference to section 4(1)(b), which contains the quoted language.

 

The Commission moved the final period inside the closing quotation mark.

 

§ 5-10-125       Publication

 

For purposes of 17 TTC §§ 2, 4, and 5 [1 CMC §§ 9102, 9104 and 9105] publication is deemed to be made where a copy of the rule or regulation is filed with the Registrar, and the Registrar and agency maintain and make copies available for public inspection and copying. Thus, where mass publication and dissemination by a printer or otherwise is not possible, for example, due to power failure, typhoon, etc., publication will be deemed to be effected in substantial compliance with 17 TTC §§ 2, 4, and 5 [1 CMC §§ 9102, 9104, and 9105] by one or a combination of posting public notices in places frequently visited by a substantial number of the general public, newspaper notices, radio and other forms of public notice as warranted under the particular circumstances, and then filing a copy of the regulations with the Registrar. Accordingly, the notice period (at least 30 days) under 17 TTC § 4(1)(a) [1 CMC § 9104(a)(1)] of intention to adopt regulations and the effective dates of rules and regulations under 17 TTC § 5(2) [1 CMC § 9105(b)] and other relevant dates and time periods in 17 TTC will be determined by reference to the date that regulations in compliance with these rules are filed with the Registrar.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: With regard to the references to the Trust Territory Code, see the commission comments to §§ 5-10-101 and 5-10-115.

 

§ 5-10-130       Emergency Regulations

 

Emergency regulations are governed by 17 TTC § 4(2) [1 CMC § 9104(b)] entitled “Procedure for Adoption of Regulations” and 17 TTC § 5(2)(b) [1 CMC § 9105(b)(2)] entitled “Filing and Effective Date of Rules and Regulations.” For purposes of those sections, it is our position that emergency regulations become effective and enforceable on the date they are filed with the Registrar. This result is consistent with the language of 17 TTC § 2(3) [1 CMC § 9102(d)] which applies to all regulations except emergency regulations. Otherwise, the emergency nature of this protection to be afforded by these regulations would be nullified.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: With regard to the references to the Trust Territory Code, see the commission comments to §§ 5-10-101 and 5-10-115.

 

The Commission corrected the spelling of the word “consistent” and moved the period after “Rules and Regulations” inside of the closing quotation mark.

 

§ 5-10-135       Interested Persons’ Right to Propose Rules

 

(a)        Petition for Adoption of Rules. An interested person may petition an agency requesting the adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule. Within 30 days after submission of a petition, the agency shall either deny the petition in writing, stating its reasons for the denial, or shall initiate rule-making proceedings in accordance with this chapter.” (17 TTC § 6 [1 CMC § 9106])

 

(b)        A copy of the agency’s written denial and the petition of the interested person shall be filed with the Registrar for publication as a proposed rule or amendment or repeal of a rule pursuant to 17 TTC § 1(8) or (9) and 17 TTC § 2(1) [1 CMC § 9101(h) or (i) and 1 CMC § 9102(a)].

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The original paragraphs were not designated. The Commission designated subsections (a) and (b).

 

The cross-references in subsection (b) of this section were to “Section 1(8) or (9) and Section 2(1).” 5 Com. Reg. at 2149 (May 27, 1983). The Commission inserted the full citation to the Trust Territory Code. However, citation to 1 CMC § 9101(i), formerly 17 TTC § 1(9), appears to be in error. The Commission removed extraneous quotation marks around subsection (a) pursuant to 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

§ 5-10-140       Interested Persons’ Right to Request Declaratory Ruling by Agency

 

(a)        Declaratory Rulings by Agencies. Any person may petition an agency for declaratory rulings as to the applicability of any statutory provision or of any rule or order of the agency. Rulings disposing of petitions shall be issued promptly and shall have the same status as final agency decisions or orders in contested cases. (17 TTC § 7 [1 CMC § 9107])

 

(b)        A copy of each agency ruling shall be filed with the Registrar for publication as an agency order, rule or decision pursuant to 17 TTC §§ 1(3), (8), and (15) [1 CMC § 9101(c), (h) and (o)], and 17 TTC § 2(1) [1 CMC § 9102(a)].

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: The original paragraphs were not designated. The Commission designated subsections (a) and (b).

 

In the first paragraph of this section, the Commission changed “declaratory ruling” to “declaratory rulings” in order to reflect the language of the quoted statute. With regard to the references to the Trust Territory Code, see the commission comments to §§ 5-10-101 and 5-10-115. The Commission removed extraneous quotation marks around subsection (a) pursuant to 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

§ 5-10-145       Format Required for Publication

 

Printing concerns for the Commonwealth Register require that all materials submitted to the Registrar of Corporations conform to the following:

 

(a)        Material must be single spaced, with double spaces between paragraphs. Triple spacing may be used to set out headings.

 

(b)        White 8½ x 11 paper will be used. Please note that any material submitted for publication on legal size paper will be returned to the agency.

 

(c)        Ample margins of at least 1” must be allowed on top, left side and bottom of each page.

 

(d)       The signed original and at least one clear photostatic copy of the material must be submitted to the Registrar for publication.

 

(e)        Materials submitted should not be stapled or otherwise bound together.

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).


 

 

Exhibit A

 

FORM “A”

PUBLIC NOTICE

PROPOSED IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS

FOR TITLE 53

NATIONALITY, EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION

The Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in accordance with Title 53, Section 54 of the Trust Territory Code, Article V, Section 505 of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Schedule on Transitional Matters, Section 2 of the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands, is proposing to promulgate new regulations to be used in conjunction with Title 53, Trust Territory Code of the Pacific Islands.

 

The proposed regulations include the following subject areas:

 

1)         General Provisions

2)         Entry permits

3)         Entry for Vessel and Aircraft

4)         Port of Entry

5)         General Rules Pertaining to Immigration Policy

 

Copies of the proposed regulations may be obtained from the Immigration and Naturalization Office, Susupe, Saipan, CM 96950.

 

The Office of Immigration and Naturalization is soliciting views, opinions, facts and data for or against, the proposed Immigration Regulations from the general public.

 

Anyone interested in commenting on the proposed Immigration Regulations may do so by submitting comments in writing to the Immigration and Naturalization Officer, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Civic Center, Susupe, Saipan, CM 96950, within thirty (30) days from the date this notice is published in the Common Register.

Date: _________________________            _______________________________

(DEPARTMENT HEAD)

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 

Commission Comment: In the final paragraph, the Commission changed “Office of the Govern” to “Office of the Governor” to correct a manifest error.


 

 

Exhibit B

 

FORM “B”

PUBLIC NOTICE

ADOPTED REGULATIONS

Department of Public Health and Environmental Services

Authority

 

In accordance with Public Law l-8, Chapter 12, Section 3, the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services has the responsibility of administering all government-owned health care facilities and of adopting relevant regulations as deemed necessary. The Director of Public Health and Environmental Services has the responsibility of carrying out the duties of the Department. In accordance with those duties, the Director of Public Health and Environmental Services promulgated a schedule of fees for the provision of health services. The fee schedule was adopted after the expiration of a period of time designated for public comment.

 

Subject Matter

 

The adopted regulations included the following subjects:

 

1. Fees for medical services

2. Fees for emergency medical transportation

3. Fees for purchase and rental of medical and surgical supplies

4. Fees for purchase of prescription drugs and medication

 

Public Comment

 

During the period of time designated for public comment on the proposed regulations of the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services, the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas received complaints about the amount of the increase in the fees for medical services and about the proposed two-tiered fee schedule for Micronesians and non-Micronesians. In addition, a lawsuit was filed challenging the constitutionality of a two-tiered fee schedule.

 

In response to these comments, the proposed regulations were changed to their present form. Despite adverse public comment, it was necessary to increase the fees previously charged for medical services. Because of the continuous increase in costs in health delivery systems including the purchase of medicine, equipment and medical supplies in the national and international market, the cost of providing health services has increased substantially since health care fees were originally established in 1963. Even with the increase in fees, recipients of medical care and related services pay only a small percentage of the actual cost of providing such care. The proposed fee schedule was changed to provide for uniform application to all recipients regardless of race or national origin.

 

Copies of the adopted regulations may be obtained from the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services.

 

The Department of Public Health and Environmental Services is soliciting views, opinions, facts and data for and against the adopted regulations from the general public.

 

Anyone interested in commenting on the adopted regulations may do so by submitting comments in writing to the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan, CM 96950, within 30 days from the date this notice is published in the Commonwealth Register.

_______________________________

Director

Public Health and Environmental Services

FORM “B”

NOTISIAN PUBLIKO

I MA ADAPTA NA AREKLO

Depattamenton Public Health yan Environmental Services

Atoridat

 

Gi papa i Lai Publiko 1-8, Kapitilu 12, Seksiona 3, DePattamenton Public Health yan environmental Services gaige i responsabilidad na para hu atministra todo fasilidat hinemlo ni gaige gi halom gobeitnon Commonwealth ya sina ha man adapta otro siha na areklo yangen nesesario para hu chogue. I Direktot Public Health yan Environmental Services gai responsobilidat na hu lihe na i che’cho Depattamento ma chochogue. Ginen este na responsobilidat ani sina i Direktot Public Health yan Environmental Services man langos areklon apas pot setbision hinemlo. Este na eskeleran apas (fee schedule) siempre ma adapta yanggen ahupos i tiempo ni manahe publiko para hu nahalom hafa na opinion pot este na sunto.

 

Hafa Para Uma Deskuti

 

I ma dapata na areklo umahalom lokue este siha:

 

1. Apa para setbision hinemlo

2. Apas para transpotasion, manmalango yanggen guaha emergency

3. Apas yanggen para.un fahan pat hatkila trastis hinemlo kon todo trastis operasion.

4. Apas para umafahan amot hi ginen i dokto yan lokkue hafa na setbision hinemlo ni manahe manmalango.

 

Opinon Publiko

 

Durantin i tiempo ni manannahe publiko para hu nahalom opinion nish para i ma propoponi na areklon Depattamenton Public Health yan Environmental Services, i Commonwealth Senate manmaresibi kinentra ginen i publiko pot asunton apas setbision hinemlo ni ma kahat hulo yan guaha dos klasin preson setbisio, para Micronesian yan Non-Micronesian. Lokkue guaha keha gi halom koti na ma kokontra este na dos klasin preson setbision hinemlo.

 

I inepin este siha na kinentra, pot i ma propoponi na areklo para apas setbision hinemlo esta matulaika. Masaha guaha kinentra ginen publiko nesesario na uma kahat hulo i apas setbison hinemlo. Pot motibo na sisighiha hulo i preson hamot, matiriat ya trastis hinemlo gi metkao (market) eteramenti gi tano, i preso ni para umana guaha setbision hinemlo esta maulek kumahulona disti anai ma establesi gi 1963 na sakkan. Esta pago ha parereho ha i presion i setbision hinemlo. Maseha ma kahat hulo i apas setbision hinemlo, i mannapapasi pot este siha na setbisio tarabiha dididiha i pusento yanggen para uma kompara i deputsi presion hayo na setbisio pat.amot. Ma tulaika i finenena na proposito para apas setbision hinemlo pot rasion na para umana pareho ha i apas setbisio para todo rasan taotao.

 

Kopian este na adaptan areklo sina machule ginen Depattamenton Public Health yan Environmental Services.

 

I Depattamenton Public Health yan Environmental Services man espipia opinion parehoha fabot yan tifabot pot este siha na areklo ni esta ma adapta ginen i publiko.

 

Haye interesao para hu nahalom opinionna pot este siha na areklo pat lai ni ma adapta esta, hu tugi ya una halom gi Depattamenton Public Health yan Environmental Services, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Saipan, CM 96950, gi halom trenta dias anai ma langos este ha notisia ginen Commonwealth Register.

________________________________

Direktot

Public Health yan Environmental Services

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).


 

 

Exhibit C

 

FORM “C”

PUBLIC NOTICE

ADOPTION OF EMERGENCY REVENUE REGULATIONS

The Director of Finance, in accordance with Public Law No. 1-8, Public Law No. 1-30, and Title 17, TTC, Section 4(2), wishes to advise the public that new rules and regulations, identifies as Revenue Regulations Chapter No. 5901 of the Division of Revenue and Taxation, have been adopted.

 

The adopted regulations include the following subjects:

 

1. General Provisions

2. Definitions

3. Tax on Wages and Salaries

4. Deposit of Withheld Wage and Salary Taxes

5. Individual to File Return and Earned Income

6. Tax on Business Gross Revenues

7. Apportionment

8. Territorial Income Tax - Effective January 1, 1979

 

These regulations will be published in the Commonwealth Register and copies may be obtained from the Registrar of Corporations, Office of the Attorney General, 5th Floor Nauru Building, Susupe, Saipan, or from the Department of Finance, Susupe, Saipan, CM 96950.

 

The public interest in avoiding confusion in filing and paying taxes and avoiding a loss of Revenue to the Commonwealth, requires that these regulations be adopted immediately and prior to April 15, 1980, which is the deadline for filing Commonwealth Tax Returns.

Certified by:                __________________________                    _________________

                                    (DIRECTOR)                                     DATE

Concurred by:             __________________________                    _________________

                                    (GOVERNOR)                                               DATE

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 2145 (May 27, 1983) (vacating all previous regulations); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1123 (Feb. 23, 1981).

 


CHAPTER 5-20

GAMBLING EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES

 


Part 001 -       General Provisions

§ 5-20-001       Rule Making Authority

 

§ 5-20-005       Introductions and Purpose

§ 5-20-010       Definitions

 

Part 100 -       Rules for Issuance of Gambling Exemption

§ 5-20-101       The Date of Submission

§ 5-20-105       Contents of Application

§ 5-20-110       Signing of Application

§ 5-20-115       Additional Information

§ 5-20-120       Denial of Exemption

§ 5-20-125       Financial Summary Requirements

§ 5-20-130       Signing of Financial Summary

§ 5-20-135       Supplemental Financial Report

§ 5-20-140       Denial of Subsequent Exemption

§ 5-20-145       Limitation on Issuance

 

Part 200 -       Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 5-20-201       Fees

§ 5-20-205       Notice

§ 5-20-210       Effective Date


 

Chapter Authority: 6 CMC § 3166.

 

Chapter History: Proposed 30 Com. Reg. 28580 (Jul. 28, 2008);* Amdts Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 8280 (Nov. 15, 1991); Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

* To date, a notice of adoption had not been published.

 

Commission Comment: 6 CMC §§ 3161-3166 provide for the exemption of non-profit corporations or organizations from gambling restrictions applicable in the Commonwealth. 6 CMC § 3162 authorizes the Registrar of Corporations to grant the exemptions. 6 CMC § 3166 directs the Attorney General to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to fully implement the exemption provisions.

 

The Attorney General did not publish the original “Rules for the Issuance of Gambling Exemptions to Non-profit Organizations” or the amendments for comment prior to adoption.

 

Part 001 -       General Provisions

 

§ 5-20-001       Rule Making Authority

 

This chapter as set forth, and from time to time amended, is promulgated pursuant to the authority and directions set forth in the Commonwealth Code including, but not limited to, 6 CMC § 3166 and the Commonwealth Administrative Procedure Act, 1 CMC §§ 9101, et seq.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-005       Introductions and Purpose

 

This chapter as set forth, and from time to time amended, is enacted to implement, interpret, prescribe and clarify the policies and procedures the Registrar of Corporations will follow in issuing gambling exemption certificates which, under certain circumstances, permit a non-profit organization to conduct gambling activities on a specific occasion basis within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and, to assist such non-profit organizations in preparing their application and/or written financial summaries which are to be submitted to the Registrar of Corporations. The rules in this chapter are intended to be guidelines only and are subject to exemption, clarification, or modification, as deemed appropriate by the Attorney General or Registrar of Corporations.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-010       Definitions

 

Unless otherwise specifically defined in this chapter, in chapter 6, division 3, article 3 of the Commonwealth Code, all words and phrases set forth in the rules in this chapter shall be given their normal commonly understood meaning with the masculine including the feminine and neuter, the singular including the plural, the plural including the singular, the present tense including the past tense and future tense.

 

(a)        “Attorney General” means the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or any Deputy Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or other employee of the Attorney General’s Office authorized to act for or on behalf of the Attorney General.

 

(b)(1)   “Charitable purpose” means a gift, payment or donation which:

(i)         Will promote the welfare of others; or

(ii)        Help those in need; or

(iii)       Better the condition of society; or

(iv)       Benefit the public at large; or

(v)        Promote or support education; or

(vi)       Relieve disease and suffering; or

(vii)      Assist people in establishing themselves in life; or

(viii)     Erecting or maintaining public buildings or works; or

(ix)       Lessen the burdens of government; or

(x)        To support any other benevolent purpose.

(2)        Support of the operation or day-to-day activities of the non-profit organization shall not be considered a charitable purpose.

 

(c)        “Event or occasion” means a noteworthy happening; a social activity or occurrence; a holiday or celebration organized or recognized by the Commonwealth government; a festival or similar religious celebration. A gambling fund raising event which promotes social activities or interaction among the people in attendance may also be deemed an event or occasion for purposes of these rules. Provided however, that if the gambling fund raising activities are the event or occasion for which an exemption is granted, all such gambling activities must be conducted and concluded within a period not to exceed 4 consecutive days each calendar quarter.

 

(d)       “Exemption” means a certificate or similar written acknowledgment issued by the Registrar of Corporations permitting a corporation or association to conduct gambling activities pursuant to the procedures set forth in 6 CMC §§ 3161, et seq.

 

(e)        “Gambling” means any game of craps, keno, faro, monte, roulette, lansquenet, punch board, rough-etnoir, rondo, tan, fan-tan, poker of any kind, seven-and-a-half, twenty-one, hokey-pokey, forty-one, any activities involving a “gambling device” as that term is defined in 6 CMC § 3154, or any other banking or percentage game played with cards, dice, tiles, or any other device, for money, checks, credit, or other things of value.

 

(f)        “Occasion” means the same as “event or occasion” as defined above.

 

(g)        “Registrar of Corporations” means the Registrar of Corporations employed within the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or any Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar or other employee of the Registrar Office designated or authorized to act for or on behalf of the Registrar of Corporations.

 

(h)        “Verifiable cost” means any cost or expense solely and directly related to the gambling activities for which an exemption is issued and which is supported by a receipt, voucher, invoice or similar written document.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f), (g).

 

History: Proposed 30 Com. Reg. 28580 (Jul. 28, 2008);* Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

* To date, a notice of adoption had not been published.

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (c), the Commission corrected the spelling of “occurrence.” In subsection (d), the Commission corrected the spelling of “acknowledgment.”

 

In July 2008, the Office of the Attorney General proposed to add new subsections (i) through (n) and to repeal and replace subsection (b)(1). To date, a notice of adoption had not been published.  

 

Part 100 -       Rules for Issuance of Gambling Exemption

 

§ 5-20-101       The Date of Submission

 

Any application for an exemption shall be submitted to the Registrar no later than thirty days prior to the first date that gambling activities are to commence.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-105       Contents of Application

 

Every application for a gambling exemption shall contain at least the following information:

 

(a)        The name of the applicant seeking a gambling exemption as that corporation or association is registered with the Registrar;

 

(b)        The date that the applicant was first chartered or registered as a non-profit corporation or association;

 

(c)        The specific identity of the beneficiary of the proceeds of the proposed gambling activity either by specific name or a general description by class or status;

 

(d)       A detailed description of the type of activity for which the exemption is sought including, but not limited to, the name of each gambling game that will be conducted pursuant to the exemption;

 

(e)        The monetary limitation of any wager or payout which will be imposed upon each game or games;

 

(f)        The name or names of the person or people responsible for conducting each game;

 

(g)        The name or names of the person or people responsible for supervising those individuals who conduct each game;

 

(h)        That the applicant has not less than twelve shareholders or members who are full time bona-fide residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and actually living in the Commonwealth at the time the application for exemption is filed;

 

(i)         That a majority of the applicant’s directors are full time bona-fide residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands actually living in the Commonwealth at the time the application for the exemption is filed;

 

(j)         An acknowledgment that the applicant must provide a written financial summary to the Registrar no later than thirty days after the completion of the gambling event;

 

(k)        An acknowledgment to all profits on that proceeds from a gambling event shall be used only for charitable purposes;

 

(l)         An acknowledgment that no person, corporation, association, or entity will, either individually or on a combined basis, receive more than $1,000 or 10% of the gross receipts, which ever is smaller, (excluding verifiable costs), for staging or conducting an exempted gambling activity on behalf of the applicant;

 

(m)       The most recent previous date, if any, when the applicant conducted an exempted gambling activity.

 

Modified, 1 CMC 3806(e), (g).

 

History: Proposed 30 Com. Reg. 28580 (Jul. 28, 2008);* Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

* To date, a notice of adoption had not been published.

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (g), the Commission changed “of person” to “of the person” to correct a manifest error. In subsection (i), the Commission changed “applicants” to “applicant’s.” In subsections (j), (k) and (l), the Commission corrected the spelling of “acknowledgment.” In subsection (l), the Commission changed “receives” to “receive.” The Commission corrected the periods at the ends of subsections (k) and (l) to semicolons and inserted the word “and” at the end of subsection (l) pursuant to 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

In July 2008, the Office of the Attorney General proposed to amend the first paragraph of this section and to repeal and replace subsection (l). To date, a notice of adoption had not been published.  

 

§ 5-20-110            Signing of Application

 

Each application for exempt gambling activities shall be signed, under oath, before a notary or other person authorized to take oath in the CNMI, by an officer or other individual specifically authorized to act for and on behalf of the applicant.

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-115       Additional Information

 

The Registrar may require that any applicant for an exemption further prove, confirm or verify any or all information set forth in any application submitted prior to issuing a gambling exemption; or require an applicant to submit information in addition to that required by these rules prior to issuing such gambling exemption.

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-120       Denial of Exemption

 

The Registrar may deny an exemption to any applicant whose application is not in compliance with either the requirements of 6 CMC §§ 3161, et seq. or this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-125       Financial Summary Requirements

 

The financial summary which shall be submitted to the Registrar within thirty days after the completion of the gambling event shall contain a summary of income and expenses which shall include, at the minimum, the following information:

 

(a)        A separate listing of the proceeds collected from each type of gambling activity i.e.

(1)        Gambling devices

(2)        Card games

(3)        Dice games

(4)        Other games.

 

(b)        Income from ticket sales or admission charges, and income from related activities such as the sale of food and beverages.

 

(c)        Other income or accounts receivable unpaid at the time the report is filed.

 

(d)       A summary of expenses which shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(1)        Rental paid for the location wherein the gambling activities are held;

(2)        Cost of food or beverages sold to the public;

(3)        The cost of food provided to volunteers or workers;

(4)        The cost of beverage provided to volunteers or workers;

(5)        Advertising;

(6)        Posters, tickets, script;

(7)        Other supplies;

(8)        Miscellaneous expenses.

 

Modified, 1 CMC 3806(e), (g).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (a)(4), the Commission inserted the final period.

 

§ 5-20-130       Signing of Financial Summary

 

Each financial summary report shall be signed, under oath, before a notary or other person authorized to take an oath in the CNMI, by an officer or other person authorized to act for and on behalf of the organization filing such financial summary report.

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Amdts Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 8280 (Nov. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-135       Supplemental Financial Report

 

The Registrar may require any party to whom a gambling exemption has been issued to prove, confirm or verify any or all information set forth in the written financial summary which is submitted in accordance with this chapter or to provide further or additional information relative to the written financial summary in addition to that information required by this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-140       Denial of Subsequent Exemption

 

The Registrar may deny to any charitable corporation or organization a gambling exemption to hold any further or additional gambling event if such corporation or organization, or its predecessor in interest, has failed or refused to comply with either the requirements of 6 CMC § 3162(f) or this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-145       Limitation on Issuance

 

(a)        For purposes of issuance of a gambling exemption, the months of January, February and March, inclusive, shall comprise the first calendar quarter; the months of April, May and June, inclusive, shall comprise the second calendar quarter; the months of July, August and September, inclusive, shall comprise the third calendar quarter; and, the months of October, November and December, inclusive, shall comprise the fourth calendar quarter.

 

(b)        Where the “event or occurrence” incidental to which a gambling exemption is sought, is the social interaction occasioned by the gathering of people at the gambling fund raising event, a gambling exemption issued pursuant to the authority of 6 CMC §§ 3161, et seq. and this chapter, must be issued for consecutive days and will not be issued for a period in excess of four consecutive days during each calendar quarter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

Commission Comment: In July 2008, the Office of the Attorney General proposed to add a new section to this part, entitled “Operation of Gambling Activities.” To date, a notice of adoption had not been published. If adopted, the new section will be codified in § 5-20-150.

 

Part 200 -       Miscellaneous Provisions

 

§ 5-20-201       Fees

 

Because of the non-profit nature of the corporation or organization to which a gambling exemption is issued, and in an effort to permit such corporation or organization to have the maximum amount of proceeds to donate towards a charitable purpose, no fee will be charged or imposed by the Registrar of Corporations for the issuance of a gambling exemption.

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

§ 5-20-205       Notice

 

The Registrar of Corporations will, contemporaneously with issuing a gambling exemption certificate to a qualified organization, provide a copy of such certificate to the Department of Public Service in the district where the exempt organization will conduct its gambling fund raising activities.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 

Commission Comment: The reference to the Department of Public Service is in error. No such department existed in the government of the Commonwealth in 1991, nor does it currently exist.

 

§ 5-20-210       Effective Date

 

This chapter shall, pursuant to 1 CMC § 9105(b) become effective ten days after its publication in the Commonwealth Register which publication occurred on the fifteenth day of April, 1991.

 

Modified, 1 CMC 3806(d), (e).

 

History: Adopted 13 Com. Reg. 7676 (Apr. 15, 1991).

 


CHAPTER 5-30

NOTARIES PUBLIC RULES AND REGULATIONS

 


Part 001 -       General Provisions

§ 5-30-001       Authority

§ 5-30-005       Purposes

§ 5-30-010       Interpretation

§ 5-30-015       Prospective Effect

§ 5-30-020       Definitions

§ 5-30-025       Severability Clause

 

Part 100 -       Commissioning

§ 5-30-101       Commissioning

§ 5-30-105       Jurisdiction and Term

§ 5-30-110       Bond

§ 5-30-115       Recommissioning

§ 5-30-120       Ineligibility for Later Appointment

§ 5-30-125       Application

§ 5-30-130       Statement of Personal Qualifications

§ 5-30-135       Notarized Declaration

§ 5-30-140       Fee for Application

§ 5-30-145       Confidentiality

§ 5-30-150       Governmental Employees

 

Part 200 -       Powers and Limitations

§ 5-30-201       Powers and Duties of Notaries

§ 5-30-205       Disqualifications

§ 5-30-210       Impartiality

§ 5-30-215       False Blank Certificates

§ 5-30-220       Testimonials

§ 5-30-225       Unauthorized Practice of Law

§ 5-30-230       Certification Without Oath

§ 5-30-235       Removal from Office

§ 5-30-240       Removal from Office; Due Process

§ 5-30-245       Liability of Notary

§ 5-30-250       Fees

§ 5-30-255       Notice of Fees

§ 5-30-260       Notarizations Outside the Commonwealth

 

Part 300 -       Journal and Seal

§ 5-30-301       Journal

§ 5-30-305       Entries in Journal

§ 5-30-310       Signatures in Journal

§ 5-30-315       Inspection, Copying, and Disposal of Journal

§ 5-30-320       Official Signature

§ 5-30-325       Official Seal

§ 5-30-330       Seal Impression

§ 5-30-335       Obtaining a Seal

 

Part 400 -       Certificates

§ 5-30-401       General Acknowledgment

§ 5-30-405       [Reserved]

§ 5-30-410       [Reserved]

§ 5-30-415       Certified Copy

 

Part 500 -       Liability and Remedies

§ 5-30-501       Liability of Notary, Surety, and Employer

§ 5-30-505       Proximate Cause

§ 5-30-510       Revocation

§ 5-30-515       Other Remedies

§ 5-30-520       Additional Remedies Not Prevented

§ 5-30-525       Cause for Removal

§ 5-30-530       Reinstatement

§ 5-30-535       Impersonation

§ 5-30-540       Wrongful Possession

 

Part 600 -       Changes of Status

§ 5-30-601       Change of Address

§ 5-30-605       Change of Notary’s Name

§ 5-30-610       Lost Journal or Seal

§ 5-30-615       Resignation

§ 5-30-620       Disposition of Seal and Journal

§ 5-30-625       Death of Notary

 

Part 700 -       Authentication

§ 5-30-701       Evidence of Authenticity of Notarial Act

§ 5-30-705       Certificate of Authority

§ 5-30-710       Apostille

 

Part 800 -       Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 5-30-801       Distribution

§ 5-30-805       Effective Date


 

Chapter Authority: 4 CMC § 3312.

 

Chapter History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: 1 CMC § 2153(c) empowers the Attorney General to appoint and certify the appointment of notaries public and issue notarial certificates. 4 CMC §§ 3311-3326 govern notaries public in the Commonwealth. 4 CMC § 3312 authorizes the Attorney General to prescribe rules and regulations concerning the appointment and duties of notaries public and the administration of 4 CMC §§ 3311-3326.

 

PL 14-52 (effective Jan. 17, 2005) repealed and reenacted 4 CMC §§ 3311-3326. The new statutory provisions governing notaries public supersede many requirements of the 1992 regulations codified in this chapter.

 

Part 001 -       General Provisions

 

§ 5-30-001       Authority

 

The rules and regulations in this chapter are issued pursuant to the authority of the Attorney General granted under 4 CMC § 3312. This statute empowers the Office of the Attorney General to prescribe such rules and regulations as the Attorney General may deem advisable to regulate the appointment and duties of notaries public in the Commonwealth.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-005       Purposes

 

This chapter shall be construed and applied to advance the underlying purposes of the notary public statute, which are:

 

(a)        To promote, serve, and protect the public interest;

 

(b)        To simplify, clarify, and modernize procedures governing notaries;

 

(c)        To make as consistent as possible the practices and fees of notaries;

 

(d)       To provide for increased public confidence in notaries public;

 

(e)        To serve as guidelines for accountability for the community of notaries;

 

(f)        To educate notaries about the legal, ethical and technical facets of performing a notarial act;

 

(g)        To increase public awareness and understanding of the notary’s role in commerce and law; and

 

(h)        To instill in notaries a sense of self respect and professionalism in their duties.

 

Modified, 1 CMC 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-010       Interpretation

 

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular. The term “he” or “his” shall include feminine gender.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-015       Prospective Effect

 

The existing bond, seal, length of commission term, and liability of current notaries commissioned before the effective date of this chapter shall not be invalidated, modified, or terminated by this chapter, but those notaries shall comply with this chapter in performing notarizations and in applying for new commissions upon their becoming effective.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-020       Definitions

 

As used in this chapter:

 

(a)        “Acknowledgment” means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a signer, whose identity is personally known to the notary or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence, has admitted, in the notary’s presence, having signed a document voluntarily for its stated purposes.

 

(b)        “Commission” means to empower to perform notarial acts and the written authority to perform those acts.

 

(c)        “Copy certification” means a notarial act in which a notary certifies having made a photocopy of a document that is neither a public record nor publicly recordable.

 

(d)       “Jurat” means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a signer, whose identity is personally known to the notary or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence, has made, in the notary’s presence, a voluntary signature and taken an oath or affirmation vouching for the truthfulness of the signed document.

 

(e)        “Notarial act” and “notarization” mean any act that a notary is empowered to perform under § 5-30-201.

 

(f)        “Notarial certificate” and “certificate” mean the part of or attachment to a notarized document for completion by the notary and bearing the notary’s signature and seal.

 

(g)        “Notary public” and “notary” mean any person commissioned to perform notarial acts under 4 CMC §§ 3311, et seq.

 

(h)        “Oath” and “affirmation” mean a notarial act or part thereof in which a notary certifies that a person made a vow in the presence of the notary on penalty of perjury.

 

(i)         “Official misconduct” means:

(1)        A notary’s performance of or failure to perform any act prohibited or mandated respectively by this chapter or by any other law in connection with a notarization; or

(2)        A notary’s connection with a notarization; or

(3)        A notary’s performance of a notarial act in a manner found by the Attorney General after investigation to be negligent or against the public interest; or

(4)        The performance of any act in connection with the notary’s official capacity which defies simple common sense or, a breach of a duty of good faith and fair dealing.

 

(j)         “Personal knowledge of identity” means familiarity with an individual resulting from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to eliminate every reasonable doubt that the individual has the identity claimed.

 

(k)        Satisfactory evidence of identity” means identification of an individual based on:

(1)        At least 2 current documents, including those issued by a government with the individual’s photograph, signature and physical description, and the other by an institution, business entity, or federal or state government with at least the individual’s signature; or

(2)        The oath or affirmation of a credible person who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-025       Severability Clause

 

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 100 -       Commissioning

 

§ 5-30-101       Commissioning

 

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (c), the Attorney General shall commission as a notary any qualified person who submits an application in accordance with this chapter.

 

(b)        A person qualified for a notarial commission must:

(1)        Be at least 25 years of age and be a United States citizen or a permanent resident of the Commonwealth;

(2)        Lawfully reside or work in this Commonwealth or be temporarily residing elsewhere, although a resident of the Commonwealth. At least three years residence in the Commonwealth is required;

(3)        Read and write English;

(4)        Submit an application containing no significant misstatement or omission of fact;

(5)        Submit two letters of recommendation;

(6)        Submit a police clearance;

(7)        Be otherwise qualified for commissioning as a notary pursuant to law, including qualification by reason of employment by the United States government or by a contractor engaged in work for the United States government in the Commonwealth.

 

(c)        The Attorney General may deny an application based on:

(1)        The applicant’s conviction for a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude;

(2)        Revocation, suspension, or restriction of a notarial commission or professional license, such as a license to practice law, or sell securities or real estate, issued to the applicant by the Commonwealth or any state or territory of the United States of America;

(3)        The applicant’s prior official misconduct as defined in § 5-30-020, whether or not disciplinary action resulted; and/or

(4)        Failure to meet any of the commissioning requirements of this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-105       Jurisdiction and Term

 

A person commissioned as a notary by the Attorney General may perform notarial acts in any part of this Commonwealth for a term of two years, unless the commission is revoked under § 5-30-510 or resigned under § 5-30-615.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-110       Bond

 

No notarial commission becomes effective until, within 30 days after its issuance, an oath of office and a one thousand dollar bond has been filed with the Clerk of Commonwealth Trial Court. The bond must be executed by a licensed surety, bonding for a term of two years commencing on the commission’s effective date and terminating on its expiration date, with payment of bond funds to any person conditioned upon the notary’s misconduct as defined in § 5-30-020.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: Pursuant to the Commonwealth Judicial Reorganization Act of 1989, PL 6-25 (effective May 2, 1989), codified at 1 CMC §§ 3001, et seq., the Commonwealth Trial Court is now the Commonwealth Superior Court. See also the commission comment to 1 CMC § 3001.

 

§ 5-30-115       Recommissioning

 

An applicant for recommissioning as a notary shall timely submit a new application and comply anew with the provisions of part 100 of this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-120       Ineligibility for Later Appointment

 

A person who has been appointed and commissioned as a notary public and who performs any act as such after expiration of his term of office shall be ineligible for a subsequent appointment, unless the Attorney General is satisfied that such act was inadvertent or otherwise explainable. In general, no application for later appointment will be approved if there is credible evidence that a notary continued to perform notarial acts for a period of more than thirty days beyond the expiration of the notary’s prior commission.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-125       Application

 

Every application for a notarial commission must be made on forms provided by the Attorney General and include, at least:

 

(a)        A statement of the applicant’s personal qualifications;

 

(b)        A notarized declaration by the applicant; and

 

(c)        Two letters of recommendation by persons other than immediate family members or the employer of the applicant.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-130       Statement of Personal Qualifications

 

The application must state, at least:

 

(a)        The applicant’s age;

 

(b)        The applicant’s residence address and period of residence in the Commonwealth;

 

(c)        That the applicant can read and write English;

 

(d)       All criminal convictions of the applicant, including any pleas of admission and nolo contendere; and

 

(e)        All issuances, denials, revocations, suspensions, restrictions, and resignations of a notarial commission or other professional license involving the applicant in or any other state or territory of the United States.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-135       Notarized Declaration

 

Every applicant for a notarial commission shall sign the following declaration in the presence of a notary of this Commonwealth:

Declaration of Applicant

I _________________________, being first duly sworn, on oath depose and say: That I am the applicant named in the foregoing application for a Notary Public Commission; That I signed the said application; That I have read the said application and know the contents thereof and that all matters and things therein stated and all the answer given to the questions therein set forth are true of my own knowledge.

________________________________

(signature of applicant)

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-140       Fee for Application

 

Every applicant for a notarial commission shall pay to the Commonwealth a non-refundable application fee of twenty-five dollars and submit evidence of payment with the application.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-145       Confidentiality

 

Disciplinary information in an applicant’s or notary’s statement of personal qualifications under paragraphs (d) and (e) of § 5-30-130 must be used by the Attorney General and designated Commonwealth employees for the sole purpose of performing official duties under 4 CMC chapter 3 and may not be disclosed to any person other than:

 

(a)        The applicant;

 

(b)        The applicant’s authorized representative or surety;

 

(c)        A representative of the federal or Commonwealth government acting in an official capacity; or

 

(d)       A person specified by court order or by duly authorized notice by the applicant.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-150       Governmental Employees

 

(a)        The Attorney General may commission any number of governmental employees to act as notaries, but notaries so empowered may perform notarial acts only in service of their respective governmental agencies.

 

(b)        Notaries empowered under this section may perform notarial acts in any part of this Commonwealth for a term of 2 years, and shall seek recommissioning by the Attorney General for each subsequent term.

 

(c)        An applicant for a notarial commission under this section must meet the requirements in §§ 5-30-125 through 5-30-145, except the application shall include a written declaration signed by the applicant’s governmental employer stating that the commissioning is in the public interest; and the fee in § 5-30-140 is waived for employees of this Commonwealth.

 

(d)       No bond shall be required of government employee notaries. Costs of all notarial supplies for a notary empowered under this section must be paid from funds of the notary’s governmental agency.

 

(e)        No fees may be charged for governmental notarial services performed by a notary empowered under this section.

 

(f)        Upon leaving the employment of their governmental agencies, notaries empowered under this section shall resign their commissions immediately under § 5-30-615 and dispose of their journals and seals under § 5-30-620.

 

(g)        A notary empowered under this section shall comply with all provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise specified in this section.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 200 -       Powers and Limitations

 

§ 5-30-201       Powers and Duties of Notaries

 

A notary is empowered to perform the following notarial acts:

 

(a)        Acknowledgments (such as powers of attorney, mortgages, grants, deeds and leases);

 

(b)        Oaths and affirmations to be used before any court, judge, officer or administrative agency in this Commonwealth;

 

(c)        Jurats;

 

(d)       Copy certifications and affidavits;

 

(e)        To take depositions and affidavits;

 

(f)        To keep a record of all official acts done by them;

 

(g)        To keep a record of the parties the date and character of every instrument acknowledged or proved before them;

 

(h)        When requested and upon payment of their fees therefor, to make and give a certified copy of any record in their office;

 

(i)         To provide and keep official seals or stamps, which shall be engraved as required by this chapter; and

 

(j)         To authenticate with their official seals all official acts.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806 (d), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992)

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (a), the Commission corrected the spelling of “acknowledgment” and inserted a closing parenthesis to correct manifest errors. At the end of subsection (j), the Commission changed the semicolon to a period to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-30-205       Disqualifications

 

(a)        A notary is disqualified from performing a notarial act if the notary:

(1)        Is a signer of or named in the document that is to be notarized;

(2)        Will receive directly or indirectly from a transaction connected with the notarial act any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, cash, property, or other consideration exceeding in value the fees specified in § 5-30-250; or

(3)        Is related to the person whose signature is to be notarized as a spouse, brother or sister, or parent or child.

 

(b)        Nothing in subsection (a)(2) shall prevent any attorney who is a notary, from performing any notarial act done in the course and scope of the attorney’s practice of law or the employee’s employment, and nothing in this subsection shall prevent an attorney from collecting attorneys fees in any transaction in which the attorney or employee also provides notarial services, provided that no notarial act shall be valid if the notary has a direct or indirect personal monetary interest, other than for attorneys fees and costs, in the subject matter or proceeds of the transaction.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: At the end of subsection (b), the Commission changed the semicolon to a period to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-30-210       Impartiality

 

(a)        A notary may not influence a person to enter into or not to enter into a lawful transaction involving a notarial act by the notary.

 

(b)        A notary shall perform notarial acts in lawful transactions for any requesting person who tenders the appropriate fee specified in § 5-30-250.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-215       False Blank Certificates

 

A notary may not execute any certificate containing a statement known by the notary to be false or perform any official action with intent to deceive or defraud. Moreover, a notary may not execute any certificate or form or other document which is not completely filled out, including the proper date and signatures.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-220       Testimonials

 

A notary may not endorse or promote any product, service, contest, or other offering if the notary’s title or seal is used in the endorsement or promotional statement.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-225       Unauthorized Practice of Law

 

(a)        A non-attorney notary may complete but may not select notarial certificates, and may not assist another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act.

 

(b)        This section does not preclude a notary who is duly qualified in a particular profession from giving advice relating to matters in that professional field and charging separate professional fees for advice unrelated to his notarial services.

 

(c)        A notary may not make representations to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary does not have, including the power to counsel on immigration or other legal matters.

 

(d)       A non-attorney notary who advertises notarial services in a language other than English shall include in the advertisement, notice, or sign in addition to an English language translation the following in the same language:

(1)        The statement, prominently displayed: “I am not an attorney and have no authority to give advice on immigration or other legal matters”; and

(2)        The fees for notarial acts specified in § 5-30-250(a).

 

(e)        A notary may not advertise or use the term “notary public” or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign in any manner that is misleading, deceptive, fraudulent or untrue.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-230       Certification Without Oath

 

No notary public shall certify to the affidavit of a person without personally administering the oath or affirmation to such person. Such act shall constitute grounds for removal from office by the Attorney General. A notary public so removed from office shall be ineligible for a subsequent appointment.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-235       Removal from Office

 

The following shall constitute official misconduct and grounds for removal from office by the Attorney General:

 

(a)        Charging and receiving for an act or service done or rendered by him a fee greater than the amount prescribed by law;

 

(b)        Dishonestly, unfaithfully, or improperly discharging any of his duties as notary public;

 

(c)        Certifying to the affidavit of a person without administering the oath or affirmation personally to such person;

 

(d)       Conviction under Commonwealth or U.S. federal statutes of embezzlement, fraud, bribery, theft, forgery, falsification or destruction of records, receiving stolen property, violation of the Consumer Protection Act (4 CMC §§ 5101, et seq.), violation of any unfair business practices as described by 4 CMC § 5202 or any other offense which indicates a lack of integrity or honesty; or

 

(e)        Those reasons enumerated in § 5-30-530.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (d), the Commission moved the period after “et seq.” inside of the closing parenthesis to correct a manifest error.

 

The original subsection (e) referred to § 6-205, codified at § 5-30-530. This reference appears to be in error. A reference to § 6-204, codified at § 5-30-525, was probably intended.

 

§ 5-30-240       Removal from Office; Due Process

 

A notary may be removed from commission or “decommissioned”:

 

(a)        After a due process hearing before the Attorney General or his designee including the right to be represented by counsel.

 

(b)        The quantum of proof shall be by the “clear and convincing evidence” standard.

 

(c)        The burden of proof shall be upon the Attorney General.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-245       Liability of Notary

 

For the official misconduct or negligence of a notary public, the notary and the sureties of his official bond are liable to the parties injured thereby for damages sustained. Sureties shall be liable to the extent of the bond.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-250       Fees

 

Every notary public is entitled to demand and receive the following maximum fees:

 

(a)        Noting the protest of mercantile paper, $1;

 

(b)        Each notice and certified copy of protest of mercantile paper, $1;

 

(c)        Noting protest other than of mercantile paper, $1;

 

(d)       Each notice and certified copy of protest other than of mercantile paper, $2;

 

(e)        Each deposition, or official certificate, $2;

 

(f)        Administration of oath, including the certificate of such oath, 25 cents;

 

(g)        Affixing the certificate of such oath to each duplicate original instrument beyond four, 15 cents;

 

(h)        Taking any acknowledgment, 50 cents for each party signing; and

 

(i)         Affixing to each duplicate original, beyond one of any instrument acknowledged before him, his certificate of acknowledgment, 25 cents for each person making such acknowledgment.

 

(j)         A notary may charge a reasonable travel fee when traveling within the Commonwealth to perform a notarial act if:

(1)        The notary explains to the person requesting the notarial act that the travel fee is separate from the notarial fee and is neither specified nor mandated by law; and

(2)        The notary and the person requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance.

 

(k)        A notary may not request, seek or receive any contingent fee or, as a notary fee, any amount based on a percentage of the value of any transaction which he is authenticating.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-255       Notice of Fees

 

Notaries shall maintain and have available for inspection an English language schedule of fees for notarial acts, as specified in § 5-30-250(a). No part of any displayed notarial fee schedule may be printed in smaller than 10-point type.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-260       Notarizations Outside the Commonwealth

 

A notary has no authority and may not perform any notarial act outside the geographical territory of the Commonwealth. Any notarial act so performed shall be null, void and of no effect. Notaries performing notarial acts outside the jurisdiction or allowing their notarial stamps seals to be used by another outside the jurisdiction shall be subject decommissioning proceedings.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 300 -       Journal and Seal

 

§ 5-30-301       Journal

 

A notary shall keep, maintain, protect as a public record, and provide for lawful inspection a chronological, permanently bound official journal of notarial acts, containing numbered pages.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-305       Entries in Journal

 

(a)        For every notarial act, the notary shall record in the journal at the time of notarization at least the following:

(1)        The date and time of day of the notarial act;

(2)        The type of notarial act;

(3)        A description of the document or proceeding;

(4)        The signature and printed name and address of each person for whom a notarial act is performed;

(5)        The evidence of identity of each person for whom a notarial act is performed, in the form of either:

(i)         A statement that the person is “personally known” to the notary,

(ii)        A description of the identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration, or

(iii)       The signature and printed name and address of a credible witness swearing or affirming to the person’s identity;

(6)        The fee, if any, charged for the notarial act; and

(7)        The address where the notarization was performed if not the notary’s business address.

 

(b)        A notary shall record in the journal the circumstances in refusing to perform or complete a notarial act.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-310       Signatures in Journal

 

At the time of notarization, the notary’s journal must be signed, as applicable, by:

 

(a)        The person for whom a notarial act is performed;

 

(b)        The credible witness swearing or affirming to the identity of the person for whom the notarial act is performed; and

 

(c)        [Reserved.]

 

(d)       The 2 witnesses to a signature by mark of the document that is notarized.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-315       Inspection, Copying, and Disposal of Journal

 

(a)        A journal of notarial acts is an official public record that may be inspected in the notary’s presence by any individual whose identity is personally known to the notary or proven, on the basis of satisfactory evidence, who specifies the notarial act sought, and who signs the notary’s journal.

 

(b)        Upon request in compliance with subsection (a), the notary shall provide a photocopy of an entry in the journal at a cost of not more than fifty cents per photocopy. If a certified copy is requested, the additional cost is as specified in § 5-30-250.

(c)        A notary shall safeguard the journal and all other notarial records as valuable public documents and never destroy them, except at the direction of the Office of the Attorney General.

 

(d)       The journal must be kept in the exclusive custody of the notary, and may not be used by any other notary or surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment.

 

(e)        Upon resignation, revocation, or expiration of a notarial commission, or death of the notary, the notarial journal and records must be delivered by hand delivery, certified mail or other means providing a receipt to the Office of the Attorney General in accordance with this chapter. Failure to do so may result in a civil penalty assessment of a maximum of two hundred dollars to the former notary or his estate.

 

(f)        A notary shall make and deposit a true and correct copy of his or her notarial journal with the Clerk of the Commonwealth Supreme Court each year on June 30 and also upon resignation, death, expiration of term of office, removal from or abandonment of office, or change of residence from the Commonwealth.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-320       Official Signature

 

In completing a notarial act, a notary shall sign on the notarial certificate exactly and only the name indicated on the notary’s commission and seal.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-325       Official Seal

 

(a)        A notary shall keep an official notarial seal or stamp that is the exclusive property of the notary and that may not be used by any other person nor may it be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment.

 

(b)        Upon resignation, revocation, or expiration of a notarial commission, or death of the notary, the seal or stamp must be returned to the Attorney General and a new seal or stamp must be obtained for any new (other than renewal) commission under § 5-30-335. Failure to so return the seal may within the discretion of the Attorney General, result in a assessment of a civil penalty of a maximum of $200.00 to the former notary or his estate.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-330       Seal Impression

 

(a)        Near the notary’s official signature on a notarial certificate, the notary shall affix in black ink a sharp, legible, and photographically reproducible impression of the notarial seal or stamp that must include the following elements:

(1)        The notary’s name exactly as indicated on the commission;

(2)        The words “Notary Public,” “Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands” and “My commission expires (commission expiration date)”;

(3)        The address of the notary’s business or residence; and

(4)        A border in a rectangular or circular shape no larger than two inches, surrounding the required words.

 

(b)        Illegible information within a seal impression may be typed or printed legibly by the notary adjacent to but not within the impression.

 

(c)        An embossed seal impression that is not photographically reproducible may be used in addition to but not in lieu of the seal or stamp described in subsection (a).

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (a)(2), the Commission moved the comma after “Notary Public” inside the closing quotation mark to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-30-335       Obtaining a Seal

 

(a)        A vendor of notary seals may not provide a notarial seal or stamp, either inking or embossing, to a person claiming to be a notary, unless the person presents the following documents, which the vendor must retain for 5 years:

(1)        A photocopy of the person’s notarial commission, attached to

(2)        A notarized declaration substantially as follows:

Application for Notary Seal

I, ____________________________ (name of person requesting seal), declare that I am a notary public duly commissioned by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, with a commission starting date of _____________ and a commission expiration date of ___________. As evidence, I attach to this paper a photocopy of my commission.

 

________________________ (signature of person requesting seal) (notarial certificate specified in § 5-30-401)(b)) A notary applying for a seal as a result of a change in the notary’s legal name shall present a copy of the confirmation of notary’s name change from the Office of the Attorney General in place of the application for a notary seal.

 

(b)        A vendor of notary seals who fails to maintain a file containing the documents specified in this section may be assessed a civil penalty in the maximum amount of $100.00.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 400 -       Certificates

 

§ 5-30-401       General Acknowledgment

A notary shall use a certificate in substantially the following form in notarizing the signature or mark of persons acknowledging for themselves or as partners, corporate officers, attorneys in fact, or in other representative capacities:

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Island)

On this _______ day of _____________ , 19 ___ , before me, the undersigned notary, personally appeared __________________, (personally known to me) (proved to me through government-issued documentation who is personally known to me,) to be the person(s) whose name(s) (is)(are) signed on the preceding or attached document, and acknowledged to me that (he)(she)(they) signed it voluntarily for it stated purpose(.)

(as partner for _____________________ , a partnership.)

(as _______________for _____________ , the principal.)

(as ____________________ for ___________________ , (a) (the)________________ .)

(by mark before ________________________ and ___________________ , subscribing witnesses.)

___________________________________

(official signature and seal of notary)

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission corrected the spelling of “documentation.”

 

§ 5-30-405

 

[Reserved.]

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-410

 

[Reserved.]

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-415       Certified Copy

 

A notary shall use a certificate in substantially the following form in notarizing a certified copy:

 

On this ________ day of ____________ 19 ___ , I certify that the preceding or attached are true, exact, complete, and unaltered photocopies made by me of ________________ (description of document), (presented to me by the document’s custodian, ___________________) and that, to the best of my knowledge, the photocopied document is neither a public record nor a publicly recordable document, certified copies of which are available from an official source other than a notary.

_______________________________

(official signature and seal of notary)

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission inserted an opening parenthesis before “description of document” to correct a manifest error.

 

Part 500 -       Liability and Remedies

 

§ 5-30-501       Liability of Notary, Surety, and Employer

 

(a)        A notary is liable to any person for all damages proximately caused that person by the notary’s official misconduct in performing a notarization.

 

(b)        A surety for a notary’s bond is liable to any person for damages proximately caused that person by the notary’s official misconduct in performing a notarization, but this liability may not exceed the penalty amount of the bond or of any remaining bond funds that have not been expended to other claimants. Regardless of the number of claimants, a surety’s total liability may not exceed the penalty amount of the bond.

 

(c)        An employer of a notary is liable to any person for all damages proximately caused that person by the notary’s official misconduct in performing a notarization related to the employer’s business, if the employer directed, encouraged, consented to, or approved the notary’s misconduct, either in the particular transaction or, impliedly, by previous actions in at least one similar transaction subject to similar employer conduct.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-505       Proximate Cause

 

Recovery of damages against a notary, surety, or employer does not require that the notary’s official misconduct be the sole proximate cause of the damages.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-510       Revocation

 

(a)        The Attorney General may revoke a notarial commission or “decommission” a notary on any ground for which an application for a notarial commission may be denied under § 5-30-101, infractions of §§ 5-30-205, 5-30-210, 5-30-215, 5-30-220, 5-30-225 and subject to the due process protections of § 5-30-240.

 

(b)        Resignation or expiration of a notarial commission does not terminate or preclude an investigation into a notary’s conduct by the Attorney General, who may pursue the investigation to a conclusion, whereupon it must be made a matter of public record whether or not the finding would have been grounds for revocation.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-515       Other Remedies

 

(a)        The Attorney General may deliver a written official warning to cease misconduct to any notary whose actions are judged to be official misconduct under § 5-30-020(i).

 

(b)        The Attorney General may seek a court injunction to prevent a person from violating any provision of this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-520       Additional Remedies Not Prevented

 

The remedies of this chapter supplement, and do not preclude, other remedies provided by law.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-525       Cause for Removal

 

Cause for removal or “decommissioning” shall be those enumerated in § 5-30-235 or:

 

(a)        A conviction of or entering a guilty or “no contest” plea to any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or, in the case of attorney at law, any suspension or disbarment in any jurisdiction wherever admitted to practice.

 

(b)        Adjudication of insanity or incompetence which would support a presumption of inability to understand the nature of an oath, the elements of a simple contract or the duties and obligations of notaries public.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-530       Reinstatement

 

Reinstatement and recommissioning may be accomplished upon a showing by the decommissioned notary of reinstatement of civil rights and rehabilitation and, restitution, if any is due, is fully made. In the cases of attorneys at law, reinstatement to the sanctioning bar association or other professional licensing authority.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-535       Impersonation

 

Any person not a notary who knowingly acts as or otherwise impersonates a notary is guilty of a crime as set out in 4 CMC § 3317.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-540       Wrongful Possession

 

Any person who knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces, or destroys the seal, journal, or official records of a notary is guilty of a crime as set out in 4 CMC § 3317.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 600 -       Changes of Status

 

§ 5-30-601       Change of Address

 

Within 30 days after the change of a notary’s business or residence address, the notary shall deliver to the Attorney General by hand delivery certified mail or other means providing a receipt, a signed notice of the change, giving both old and new addresses.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-605       Change of Notary’s Name

 

(a)        A notary securing a change of name shall deliver to the Attorney General a signed notice of the change, giving both old and new names and the effective date of the new name.

 

(b)        Starting on the effective date, a notary with a new legal name shall sign that name on all notarial certificates, but only after the following steps have been completed:

(1)        The notice described in subsection (a) has been delivered;

(2)        A confirmation of notary’s name change has been received from the Attorney General; and

(3)        A new seal or stamp bearing the new name exactly as in the confirmation has been obtained.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission inserted a period at the end of subsection (b)(3) and removed the word “and” to correct manifest errors.

 

§ 5-30-610       Lost Journal or Seal

 

Within 10 days after the loss, destruction or theft of an official journal or seal, the notary shall deliver to the Attorney General by hand delivery, certified mail or other means providing a receipt, a signed affidavit of loss, destruction or theft, and inform the appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission inserted the word “General” after “Attorney” to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-30-615       Resignation

 

(a)        A notary who resigns a notarial commission shall deliver to the Attorney General by hand delivery certified mail or other means providing a receipt, a notice indicating the effective date of resignation.

 

(b)        Notaries who cease to reside or work in, or for, this Commonwealth or who become physically incapacitated such that they are unable to read or write shall resign their commissions.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-620       Disposition of Seal and Journal

 

(a)        Except as provided in subsection (b), when a notarial commission is resigned, revoked, or expires, the notary shall:

(1)        As soon as reasonably practicable, surrender the official seal or stamp to the Office of the Attorney General.

(2)        Within 30 days after the effective date of resignation, revocation, or expiration, deliver to the Office of the Attorney General by hand delivery, certified mail or other means providing a receipt, the notarial journal and records.

 

(b)        A former notary who intends to apply for a new commission and whose previous commission or application was not revoked or denied need not deliver the journal and records within 30 days after commission expiration, but must do so within 3 months after expiration unless re-commissioned within that period.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-625       Death of Notary

 

(a)        If a notary dies during the term of commission, the notary’s heirs or personal representative, as soon as reasonably practicable after death, shall:

(1)        Surrender the official seal or stamp to the Office of the Attorney General; and

(2)        Deliver to the Office of the Attorney General by hand delivery, certified mail or other means providing a receipt

(i)         A signed notice of the date of death to the Office of the Attorney General, and

(ii)        The notarial journal and records.

 

(b)        Failure to comply with these provisions of may result in a civil penalty, in the discretion of the Attorney General, of a maximum of one hundred dollars, levied against the deceased notary’s estate.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 700 -       Authentication

 

§ 5-30-701       Evidence of Authenticity of Notarial Act

 

(a)        The authenticity of the official notarial seal and signature of a notary of this state may be evidenced by:

(1)        A certificate of authority from a designated person in the Office of the Attorney General, authenticated as necessary; or

(2)        An apostille from the Attorney General in the form prescribed by the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents of October 5, 1961.

 

(b)        An apostille as specified by the Hague Convention must be attached to any document requiring authentication that is sent to a nation that has signed and ratified this Convention.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-705       Certificate of Authority

 

A certificate of authority evidencing the authenticity of the official notarial seal and signature of a notary of this Commonwealth must be substantially in the following form:

Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act

I, ___________________________, (name, title, jurisdiction of authenticating official) certify that [name of notary,] the person named in the seal and signature on the attached document[,] is a notary public for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and was authorized to act as such at the time of the document’s notarization.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-710       Apostille

 

An apostille prescribed by the Hague Convention, as cited in the annotations to rule 44 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, must be in the form of a square with sides at least 9 centimeters long and contain exactly the following wording:

                                    APOSTILLE

(Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961)

 

1. Country: ____________________________________

2. This public document

has been signed by ______________________________

3. acting in the capacity of ________________________

4. bears the seal/stamp of _________________________

                                    CERTIFIED

5. at __________________ 6. the _________________

7. by _________________________________________

8. No. ________________________________________

9. Seal/Stamp  10. Signature: ____________________

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

Part 800 -       Miscellaneous Provisions

 

§ 5-30-801       Distribution

 

A copy of this chapter shall be furnished to each notary public with his new or renewed commission and a copy shall be made available to each notary currently commissioned on the effective date of this chapter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 

§ 5-30-805       Effective Date

 

The effective date of this chapter will be the date provided by law after which they are published in the Commonwealth Register and after the required proposal and comment period.

 

History: Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9637 (Sept. 15, 1992); Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9289 (June 15, 1992).

 


CHAPTER 5-40

DIVISION OF IMMIGRATION

 

[Repealed.]

 

 

Subchapter Authority: 3 CMC §§ 4311-4312; 3 CMC § 4344(d); Executive Order 03-01 (effective May 9, 2003).

 

 

Subchapter History: Repealed PL 17-1 (Mar. 22, 2010), 32 Com. Reg. 30094 (Apr. 19, 2010); Amdts Adopted 31 Com. Reg. 29921 (Oct. 6, 2009); Amdts Proposed 31 Com. Reg. 29813 (Aug. 27, 2009); Amdts Adopted 30 Com. Reg. 29100 (Dec. 22, 2008); Amdts Proposed 30 Com. Reg. 28801 (Oct. 25, 2008); Amdts Proposed 29 Com. Reg. 27080 (Oct. 17, 2007);++ Amdts Proposed 29 Com. Reg. 26728 (Sept. 17, 2007);++ Amdts Proposed 29 Com. Reg. 26570 (June 18, 2007);++ Amdts Adopted 29 Com. Reg. 26416 (Jan. 16, 2007); Amdts Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 25323 (Dec. 30, 2005); Amdts Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26410 (Dec. 29, 2006); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25997 (Aug. 24, 2006) (effective for 120 days from Aug. 1, 2006); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25922 (July 21, 2006) (effective for 120 days from June 27, 2006); Amdts Withdrawn 27 Com. Reg. 25489 (Dec. 30, 2005); Amdts Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 25211 (Nov. 25, 2005); Amdts Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 25147 (Oct. 24, 2005); Amdts Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 24873 (Sept. 22, 2005); Amdts Emergency 27 Com. Reg. 24534 (June 20, 2005) (effective for 120 days from May 31, 2005); Amdts Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24036 (Feb. 17, 2005) (repealing and repromulgating Comprehensive Immigration Regulations); Amdts Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23879 (Jan. 17, 2005); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 23699+ (Dec. 17, 2004);** Amdts Emergency and Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22825 (Sept. 24, 2004) (effective for 120 days from Sept. 9, 2004);** Amdts Emergency and Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22833 (July 26, 2004) (effective for 120 days from June 29, 2004);**Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 22855 (Sept. 24, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22645 (June 24, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22504 (May 24, 2004); Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 22865 (July 26, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 21580 (Jan. 22, 2004); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22486 (May 24, 2004) (effective for 120 days from May 18, 2004);** Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 22482 (Apr. 23, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 22110 (Mar. 23, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 21561 (Jan. 22, 2004); Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 22190 (Mar. 23, 2004); Amdts Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 21591 (Jan. 22, 2004); Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 22170 (Mar. 23, 2004); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 26 Com. Reg. 21523 (Jan. 22, 2004) (effective for 120 days from Jan. 14, 2004); Amdts Adopted 26 Com. Reg. 21709 (Jan. 22, 2004); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 25 Com. Reg. 20718 (Aug. 22, 2003) (effective for 120 days from Aug. 18, 2003);* Amdts Adopted 25 Com. Reg. 21469 (Nov. 17, 2003); Amdts Proposed 25 Com. Reg. 20649 (July 15, 2003); Amdts Adopted 25 Com. Reg. 21444 (Oct. 15, 2003); Amdts Proposed 25 Com. Reg. 20677 (July 15, 2003); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 24 Com. Reg. 19246 (June 17, 2002) (effective for 120 days from May 29, 2002);* Amdts Adopted 18 Com. Reg. 14206 (July 15, 1996); Amdts Proposed 16 Com. Reg. 12234 (July 15, 1994); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 18 Com. Reg. 14145 (May 15, 1996) (effective for 120 days from May 15, 1996);* Amdts Proposed 17 Com. Reg. 13034 (Mar. 15, 1995);* Amdts Proposed 17 Com. Reg. 13028 (Mar. 15, 1995);* Amdts Adopted 17 Com. Reg. 13040 (Mar. 15, 1995); Amdts Proposed 16 Com. Reg. 12585 (Nov. 15, 1994); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 16 Com. Reg. 12455 (Oct. 15, 1994) (effective for 120 days from Sept. 28, 1994);* Amdts Emergency 16 Com. Reg. 11768 (Mar. 15, 1994) (effective for 120 days from Mar. 7, 1994); Amdts Proposed 15 Com. Reg. 10654 (June 15, 1993);* Amdts Proposed 15 Com. Reg. 10645 (May 15, 1993); Amdts Proposed 15 Com. Reg. 10472 (Feb. 15, 1993);* Amdts Emergency 14 Com. Reg. 9761 (Oct. 15, 1992) (effective for 120 days from Oct. 9, 1992); Amdts Adopted 14 Com. Reg. 9668 (Sept. 15, 1992); Amdts Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 9514 (July 15, 1992); Amdts Proposed 14 Com. Reg. 8929 (Feb. 15, 1992);* Amdts Emergency and Proposed 13 Com. Reg. 8509 (Nov. 15, 1991) (effective for 120 days from Nov. 15, 1991);* Amdts Adopted 12 Com. Reg. 7203 (July 15, 1990); Amdts Proposed 11 Com. Reg. 6457 (Sept. 15, 1989); Amdts Emergency 8 Com. Reg. 4826 (Dec. 16, 1986) (effective for 120 days from Dec. 10, 1986); Amdts Emergency 8 Com. Reg. 4824 (Dec. 16, 1986) (effective for 120 days from Dec. 1, 1986); Amdts Adopted 8 Com. Reg. 4687 (Oct. 22, 1986); Amdts Proposed 8 Com. Reg. 4576 (Sept. 15, 1986); Adopted 7 Com. Reg. 3774 (July 22, 1985); Proposed 7 Com. Reg. 3623-24 and 3627 (May 21, 1985); Adopted 7 Com. Reg. 3584 (May 21, 1985) (Immigration Registration Regulations); Proposed 7 Com. Reg. 3441 (Feb. 15, 1985); Emergency 7 Com. Reg. 3377 (Jan. 15, 1985) (effective for 120 days from Jan. 10, 1985).

 

+Due to a pagination error in the Commonwealth Register, pages 23099-23698 do not exist.

++As of August 31, 2007, a notice of adoption had not been published.

**As of December 2004, notices of adoption for the December 2004, September 2004, July 2004 and May 2004 emergency and proposed amendments had not been published.

*Notices of adoption for the August 2003, June 2002, May 1996, March 1995, October 1994, March 1994, June 1993, February 1993, February 1992 and November 1991 proposed amendments were never published.

 

Commission Comment:

 

History of Immigration Authority in the CNMI:

 

PL 1-8, tit. 1, ch. 3, §§ 5 and 6 (effective Aug. 10, 1978) originally created an Office of Immigration and Naturalization within the Office of the Attorney General, responsible for the day-to-day supervision and administration of matters involving immigration, emigration and naturalization. See 1 CMC §§ 2171-2172 (1999).

 

Title 3, division 4 of the Commonwealth Code contains the Commonwealth immigration laws. PL 3-105 (effective May 13, 1984), the “Commonwealth Entry and Deportation Act of 1983,” codified as amended at 3 CMC §§ 4301-4382, repealed Trust Territory Code title 53, ch. 2 (former tit. 3, div. 4, ch. 3 of the Commonwealth Code, 3 CMC §§ 4301, et seq.) and all rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. See PL 3-105 § 29; see also the commission comment to 3 CMC § 4301.

 

3 CMC § 4311 makes the Immigration Officer, renamed the Chief of Immigration, established pursuant to 1 CMC § 2172, responsible for the administration of the act, the patrol of Commonwealth borders, and the entry of all persons into the Commonwealth. 3 CMC § 4312 grants the Attorney General overall supervision of the Office of Immigration and authorizes the Attorney General to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to enforce the act.

 

PL 9-5 § 15 (effective July 22, 1994), the “Immigration Enforcement Act of 1994,” changed the name of the Immigration and Naturalization Office to the Immigration Office. See the commission comment to 1 CMC § 2171.

 

Executive Order 94-3 (effective August 23, 1994) reorganized the Commonwealth government executive branch, changed agency names and official titles and effected numerous other revisions. According to Executive Order 94-3 §§ 103 and 301:

 

Section 103. Department of Commerce.

 

The Department of Commerce and Labor is re-designated the Department of Commerce.

 

. . .

 

Section 301. Department of Labor and Immigration.

 

                (a)           Department Established. There is hereby established a Department of Labor and Immigration which shall have at its head a Secretary of Labor and Immigration.

 

. . .

 

(c)           Immigration.

(1)           The Office of Immigration and Naturalization is re-designated the Immigration Service and is transferred to the Department of Labor and Immigration as a division of that department. The Immigration Service shall have at its head a Director of Immigration, who shall have all the powers assigned by law to the Immigration and Naturalization Officer, except any power transferred pursuant to Section 201 of this plan. The position of Immigration and Naturalization Officer is abolished.

(2)           All functions of the Attorney General relating to immigration and naturalization, are transferred to the Secretary of Labor and Immigration except:

(A)          any function transferred pursuant to Section 201 of this plan,

(B)          the hearing of immigration appeals as provided in 3 CMC § 4336(d), and

(C)          the constitutional function of legal representation.

 

The full text of Executive Order 94-3 is set forth in the commission comment to 1 CMC § 2001.

 

Executive Order 03-01 (effective May 9, 2003), the “Department of Labor and Immigration Reorganization Plan of 2003,” returned the immigration functions of the executive branch to the Office of the Attorney General. According to Executive Order 03-01 § 101:

 

Section 101. Office of the Attorney General: Division of Immigration. The Division of Immigration, Department of Labor and Immigration is transferred to the Office of the Attorney General to be headed by a Director of Immigration who shall be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Attorney General. The position shall be exempted from the civil service system pursuant to PL 13-1.

(a)           The Director of Immigration shall:

(1)           have powers and duties set forth in 3 CMC § 4311;

(2)           enforce, under the supervision of the Attorney General, 3 CMC §§ 4121 et seq., the Commonwealth Entry and Deportation Act, as amended; and

(3)           perform any function regarding immigration and naturalization matters including passport matter transferred pursuant to Executive Order 94-3, § 201 to the Special Assistant for Administration.

(b)           The Attorney General shall:

(1)           supervise the Director of Immigration and overall functions of the Division;

(2)           enforce the provisions of the Commonwealth Entry and Deportation Act, as amended and may prosecute all violations thereof;

(3)           promulgate rules and regulations as may from time to time be useful or required in enforcing the Commonwealth Entry and Deportation Act, as amended;

(4)           obtain warrants for the arrest of, or order continued detention of, aliens pending exclusion or deportation proceedings;

(5)           review the detention of persons arrested pursuant to 3 CMC § 4334 and, if deemed appropriate, order the continued detention or release of such persons; and

(6)           prepare the annual report required pursuant to 3 CMC § 4348.

(c)           The Labor and Immigration Identification Data System Office within the Division of Immigration, Department of Labor and Immigration is transferred to the Office of the Governor for organizational purposes but shall continue to provide critical resource data to the Department of Labor and the Division of Immigration.

(d)           The Department of Labor and Immigration shall be renamed the Department of Labor to be headed by a Secretary who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate. The Department of Labor shall consist of the Division of Labor, Division of Employment Services and Training, and Administrative Hearing Office. Each division shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary. The Administrative Hearing Office shall be headed by a Hearing Office Administrator, who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary. These three positions shall be exempt from the civil service system pursuant to PL 13-1.

 

See 1 CMC §§ 2171-2173 (2004).

 

PL 13-61 (effective Jan. 8, 2004) amends 3 CMC § 4344(d) to require the Attorney General to promulgate regulations that implement nonrefoulement obligations under certain international treaties to protect individuals who would be tortured if removed to the country of origin. PL 13-61 is the authority for part 900 of this subchapter. PL 14-6 (effective May 28, 2004) amends 3 CMC § 4332(b)(1) to extend tourist visas for visitors to the CNMI to 90 days. PL 14-6 § 3 authorizes the Attorney General to promulgate regulations to implement the act.

 

The Labor and Immigration Identification System Office was transferred to the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Immigration “for organizational purposes” pursuant to Executive Order 2007-09. 29 Com. Reg. 26699 (Aug. 17, 2007). Section 101 of EO 2007-09 requires that the Labor and Immigration Identification System Office “continue to provide critical resource data to the Department of Labor.” 29 Com. Reg. 26699 (Aug. 17, 2007). EO 07-09 was signed on August 1, 2007 (effective 60 days after submission to the legislature unless specifically modified or disapproved by a majority of the members of each house of the legislature). 29 Com. Reg. 26700 (Aug. 17, 2007). As of August 31, 2007, EO 07-09 had not been modified or disapproved by the legislature.

 

History of Immigration Rules and Regulations:

 

In 1981, the Immigration and Naturalization Office, Office of the Attorney General, first issued Immigration and Naturalization Regulations pursuant to the authority of Trust Territory Code tit. 53, ch. 2 (formerly codified at 3 CMC §§ 4301, et seq.). The history of the 1981 Immigration and Naturalization Regulations is as follows:

 

Amdts Adopted 5 Com. Reg. 2456 (Aug. 31, 1983); Amdts Emergency and Proposed 5 Com. Reg. 1775 (Jan. 31, 1983) (effective for 120 days from Jan. 27, 1983); Adopted 5 Com. Reg. 1778 (Jan. 31, 1983) (Foreign Investor Visa Rules and Regulations); Proposed 4 Com. Reg. 1690 (Nov. 22, 1982); Amdts Adopted 4 Com. Reg. 1532 (July 15, 1982); Amdts Proposed 4 Com. Reg. 1458 (May 24, 1982); Adopted 3 Com. Reg. 1002 (Feb. 23, 1981); Proposed 2 Com. Reg. 898 (Nov. 17, 1980).*

 

*The text of the proposed regulations was not published with the November 1980 notice of proposed regulations.

 

PL 3-105 § 29, effective May 13, 1984, repealed title 53, chapter 2 of the Trust Territory Code, formerly codified at 3 CMC §§ 4301, et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

 

On May 11, 1984, the Office of the Attorney General (AGO), promulgated the 1981 Immigration and Naturalization Regulations, as amended, as emergency regulations effective for 90 days, pursuant to the authority of PL 3-105. See 6 Com. Reg. 2792 (May 15, 1984) (effective 90 days from May 11, 1984). On August 23, 1984, the AGO re-promulgated the 1981 regulations, as amended, as emergency regulations effective for 120 days. See 6 Com. Reg. 3171 (Sept. 15, 1984) (effective for 120 days from Aug. 23, 1984). Finally, on May 20, 1985, the AGO promulgated, pursuant to PL 3-105, the 1981 regulations as amended as emergency regulations effective for 120 days or until the 1985 Comprehensive Immigration Regulations took effect. See 7 Com. Reg. 3625 (May 21, 1985) (effective May 20, 1985 to August 1, 1985).

 

The 1985 Comprehensive Immigration Regulations took effect August 1, 1985. The Attorney General promulgated the 1985 Immigration Regulations and subsequent amendments pursuant to the authority of PL 3-105. Beginning with the October 1994 proposed amendments, the Department of Labor and Immigration continued to amend the 1985 Immigration Regulations pursuant to Executive Order 94-3. Beginning with the July 2003 proposed amendments, the Attorney General continued to amend the 1985 Immigration Regulations pursuant to Executive Order 03-01.

 

On February 17, 2005, the Office of the Attorney General promulgated new Comprehensive Immigration Regulations that repealed and replaced the 1985 Immigration Regulations. In August 2006 and January 2007, amendments to the 2005 Comprehensive Immigration Regulations were adopted.

 

In December 2008, the Office of the Attorney General repealed subchapters 5-40.1 through 5-40.3 and promulgated new Immigration Rules and Regulations, which are codified, as may be amended, in this subchapter. The structure and the content of the 2008 Immigration Rules and Regulations are significantly different than the 2005 Comprehensive Immigration Regulations, as amended in 2007. Accordingly, previous history is cited only in the chapter history and is not cited in the individual sections.

 

Section 702 of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (PL 110-229, codified at 48 U.S.C. § 1806) amended the Covenant to remove the CNMI’s authority to create and manage its own immigration laws. On March 22, 2010, the Governor signed PL 17-1, removing all references to immigration and deportation functions from the Commonwealth Code. The administrative regulations pertaining to immigration were repealed on March 22, 2010, through 32 Com. Reg. 30094 (Apr.19, 2010).


CHAPTER 5-50

INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS CERTIFICATION REGULATIONS

 


Part 001 -       General Provisions

§ 5-50-001       Purposes

§ 5-50-005       Authority

§ 5-50-010       Severability

 

Part 100 -       Number of Signatures Required

§ 5-50-101       Initiative or Referendum Petitions; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

§ 5-50-105       Recall Petition; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

§ 5-50-110       Initiative Petitions Proposing Constitutional Amendments to Be Included on the Ballot During Special Elections; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

§ 5-50-115       Who May Sign Petition

 

Part 200 -       Attorney General Certification

§ 5-50-201       Constitutional Initiative Petition; Submission to Attorney General

§ 5-50-205       Commonwealth-wide or Local Initiative or Referendum Petition; Submission to Attorney General

§ 5-50-210       Recall Petitions; Submission to Attorney General

§ 5-50-215       Contact Person

§ 5-50-220       Petition and Signature Pages

§ 5-50-225       Affidavit Accompanying Petition and Signatures

§ 5-50-230       Constitutional Amendment; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-235       Special Election Popular Constitutional Initiative Petitions; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-240       Initiative or Referendum Regarding Commonwealth-wide or Local Law; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-245       Accepted Late-filed Petitions Regarding Certification for Initiatives or Referendums Regarding Commonwealth-wide or Local Law; Submission to Attorney General

§ 5-50-250       Accepted Late-filed Initiative Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-255       General Election Recall Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-260       Accepted Late-filed Petitions for General Election Recall Petition; Submission to Attorney General

§ 5-50-265       Accepted Late-filed General Election Recall Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

§ 5-50-270       Special Election Recall Petitions

 

Part 300 -       Certification to the Governor

§ 5-50-301       Deadline for Submitting Petition to Governor

 

Part 400 -       Certification to Legislature

§ 5-50-401       Deadline for Submitting Petition to Legislature

 

Part 500 -       Certification to the Commonwealth Election Commission

§ 5-50-501       Attorney General’s Certification to Commonwealth Election Commission Regarding Petitions Seeking to Amend the N.M.I. Constitution

§ 5-50-510       Attorney General’s Certification to Commonwealth Election Commission Regarding Recall Petitions

§ 5-50-515       Amendment Proposed

 

Part 600 -       Deadlines

§ 5-50-601       Determination Deadlines

§ 5-50-605       Calendar Days


 

Chapter Authority: N.M.I Const. art. IX and XVIII.

 

Chapter History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Commission Comment: Article IX of the N.M.I. Constitution provides for the enactment of Commonwealth laws by popular initiative, the rejection of Commonwealth laws by popular referendum and the recall of public officials by the voters of the Commonwealth. The Attorney General is required to certify that the requirements for initiatives, referendums and recalls are met. See N.M.I. Const., art. IX §§ 1(b), 2(b) and 3(b). Article XVIII § 4 governs constitutional amendment by popular initiative in the Commonwealth. Section 4(b) requires the Attorney General to certify initiative petitions for amendments to the Commonwealth Constitution.

 

Part 001 -       General Provisions

 

§ 5-50-001       Purposes

 

Articles IX and XVIII of the N.M.I. Constitution provide that the Attorney General must certify all popular initiative petitions that propose constitutional amendments and all initiative or referendum petitions that propose amendments to laws of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the “Commonwealth”) or local laws of a Senatorial District of the Commonwealth as well as all recall petitions before the Commonwealth Election Commission places the petition question on the ballot. The intent of the regulations in this chapter is to establish procedures and guidelines by which the Attorney General shall certify that the requirements of articles IX and XVIII of the N.M.I. Constitution have been met so that such petitions may be placed on an election ballot.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-005       Authority

 

The regulations in this chapter are promulgated pursuant to articles IX and XVIII of the N.M.I. Constitution, whereby the Attorney General is required to issue certifications regarding compliance with the constitution.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-010       Severability

 

If any provision of the regulations in this chapter or any application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of these regulations and to this end, the provisions of these regulations are declared to be severable.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 100 -       Number of Signatures Required

 

§ 5-50-101       Initiative or Referendum Petitions; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

 

Except as provided for in § 5-50-110, for initiative or referendum petitions, the Attorney General shall determine the total number of individuals qualified to vote by using the total number of persons registered to vote in the Commonwealth by the Commonwealth Election Commission one hundred fifty days prior to the next general election.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-105       Recall Petition; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

 

The Attorney General shall determine the total number of individuals qualified to vote for a recall petition by using the total number of persons registered to vote in the Commonwealth by the Commonwealth Election Commission. If the party submitting the recall petition seeks to have it included on the ballot in the next general election (“general election recall petition”), the Attorney General shall use the total number of voters registered by the Commonwealth Election Commission one hundred fifty days prior to the next general election. If the party submitting the recall petition seeks to have it included on the ballot in a special election (“special election recall petition”), the Attorney General shall use the total number of voters registered by the Commonwealth Election Commission on the day the petition is submitted to the Attorney General for certification.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-110       Initiative Petitions Proposing Constitutional Amendments to Be Included on the Ballot During Special Elections; Determination of Number of Individuals Qualified to Vote

 

If a party submits an initiative petition for a constitutional amendment that the party seeks to have included on the ballot in a special election (“special election popular constitutional initiative petition”), the Commonwealth Election Commission shall determine the total number of registered voters on the day the petition is submitted to the Attorney General for certification.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-115       Who May Sign Petition

 

An individual may sign an initiative, referendum, or recall petition, and the Attorney General shall count such signature, if he or she:

 

(a)        Is eligible to vote under the N.M.I. Constitution and Commonwealth law, and

 

(b)        Has properly registered to vote with the Commonwealth Election Commission at the time he or she signs the petition and as of the date of the Commonwealth Election Commission’s determination of the total number of individuals qualified to vote for the petition. All individuals who meet this criteria are considered “qualified to vote,” as that phrase is used in the N.M.I. Constitution.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 200 -       Attorney General Certification

 

§ 5-50-201       Constitutional Initiative Petition; Submission to Attorney General

 

Except for special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, all petitions regarding amendments to the N.M.I. Constitution shall be submitted with the required number of signatures to the Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, Administration Building, Capitol Hill, Saipan, no later than one hundred fifty days prior to the next regular general election. The Attorney General shall not certify any petitions that are submitted after this deadline. Special election popular constitutional initiative petitions may be submitted to the Attorney General at any time, except they may not be submitted within one hundred fifty days prior to regular general election.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-205       Commonwealth-wide or Local Initiative or Referendum Petition; Submission to Attorney General

 

All initiative or referendum petitions regarding Commonwealth-wide or local laws shall be submitted with the required number of signatures to the Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, Administration Building, Capitol Hill, Saipan, no later one hundred and fifty days prior to the next regular general election. The Attorney General shall not certify any petitions that are submitted after this deadline, except as provided in § 5-50-245.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-210       Recall Petitions; Submission to Attorney General

 

For general election recall petitions, the recall petition shall be submitted with the required number of signatures to the Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, Administration Building, Capitol Hill, Saipan, no later one hundred and fifty days prior to the next regular general election. The Attorney General shall not certify any general election recall petition that is submitted after this deadline, except as provided in § 5-50-260. Special recall petitions may be submitted to the Attorney General at any time, except they may not be submitted within one hundred fifty days prior to a regular general election.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-215       Contact Person

 

Every petition submitted to the Attorney General’s Office shall be accompanied by a written statement identifying the name of a person submitting the petition, and his or her address and phone number. The Attorney General shall refuse to certify petitions that are not accompanied by this information.

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-220       Petition and Signature Pages

 

(a)        Initiative Petitions. Each initiative petition shall contain the full text of the proposed amendment. All signature pages must be attached to a copy of the petition containing the full text of the proposed amendment. If an initiative petition proposes a new law or constitutional amendment, the “full text of the proposed amendment” means the full text of the new proposal. If the initiative petition proposes to modify an existing law or constitution section, the “full text of the proposed amendment” means the full text of relevant sections of the existing law or constitutional section with the proposed changes incorporated and highlighted in bold for new text or with strikethroughs for proposed deleted text. For petitions that propose to modify existing laws or constitutional sections, the sections of the existing law or N.M.I. Constitution that are not proposed to be changed and are not necessary for the understanding of the sections that are proposed to be modified do not need to be attached to the signature pages.

 

(b)        Referendum Petitions. Each referendum petition shall contain the full text of the law sought to be rejected and all signature pages shall be attached to a copy of the petition containing the full text of the law sought to be rejected.

 

(c)        Recall Petitions. Each recall petition shall identify the public official sought to be recalled by name and office and state the grounds for recall. All signature pages for the recall petition shall be attached to a copy of the petition containing the name and office of the public official sought to be recalled and the grounds for the recall.

 

(d)       Special Requirements for All Petitions Involving Recall and Popular Constitutional Amendment Petitions. In addition to the other requirements of this section, the party submitting petitions regarding recalls or popular constitutional amendments must indicate whether the petition is to be included on the ballot of a special or general election. This information must also be included on all signature pages. If this information is not included, the party requesting certification shall be deemed to have submitted a petition for inclusion at the next general election.

 

(e)        Requirements of All Petitions.

(1)        The signature pages for all petitions shall contain a place for the signing party to provide the following information:

(i)         Signature;

(ii)        Printed name;

(iii)       Date of birth or voter registration affidavit number;

(iv)       Mailing address;

(v)        Voting district; and

(vi)       Date of signature.

(2)        All information must be included for a signature to be certified as valid.

 

(f)        Individuals submitting petitions are encouraged to use the form attached to these regulations as exhibit A* for their signature pages.

 

*See the commission comment to this section.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Commission Comment: The original paragraphs of subsection (e) and the final paragraph were not designated. The Commission designated subsections (e)(1) and (e)(2) and (f).

 

In subsection (b), the Commission inserted the word “the” before “full text” to correct a manifest error.

 

Exhibit A, referenced in subsection (f), appeared at the end of the proposed regulations. See 27 Com. Reg. at 23806-23812 (Jan. 17, 2005). However, the exhibit was not published with the adopted regulations and therefore the Commission has not included it in this chapter.

 

§ 5-50-225       Affidavit Accompanying Petition and Signatures

 

(a)        Each petition and attached signature pages shall be submitted to the Attorney General with an affidavit signed by the individual or individuals who circulated the petition and obtained the signatures stating the following:

(1)        That the person signing the affidavit is the person who obtained the signatures attached to the petition;

(2)        That the person signing the affidavit witnessed the execution of all signatures attached to the petition, and to the best of his or her knowledge the signatures are of the persons who they purport to be;

(3)        When the signatures were obtained, the information required to be attached or included in the petition by § 5-50-220 was attached or included and each person signing was advised of its presence; and

(4)        That the affiant has not paid or will not in the future pay and that the affiant believes that no other person has paid or will pay, directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value to any signer for the purpose of inducing or causing such signer to affix the signer’s signature to the petition.

 

(b)        A declaration made in compliance with 7 CMC § 3305 and consistent with the requirements of this section may be submitted in lieu of an affidavit.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Commission Comment: The original paragraphs were not designated. The Commission designated subsections (a) and (b).

 

§ 5-50-230       Constitutional Amendment; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

Except for special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, the Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted a petition regarding a constitutional amendment regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition forty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If a sufficient number of signatures were submitted, but the Attorney General was unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party who submitted the petition shall have an additional ten calendar days to file additional signatures in support of the petition. If an insufficient number of signatures were submitted as specified in the regulations in this chapter, the party circulating the petition shall not receive any additional time to obtain signatures.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-235       Special Election Popular Constitutional Initiative Petitions; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

The Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted a special election popular constitutional initiative petition regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition, forty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If the Attorney General is unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party may re-file the petition with additional signatures at any time. If a re-filed petition is filed within ten days of the Attorney General’s denial of certification, the Attorney General shall inform the party how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition, within twenty days of the re-filing. If a re-filed petition is filed more than ten days after the Attorney General’s first denial of certification, it shall be deemed to be a new petition.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-240       Initiative or Referendum Regarding Commonwealth-wide or Local Law; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

The Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted a timely initiative or referendum petition regarding a Commonwealth-wide or local law regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition thirty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If a sufficient number of signatures were submitted as specified in the N.M.I. Constitution, but the Attorney General was unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party who submitted the petition shall have an additional ten days to file additional signatures in support of the petition. If an insufficient number of signatures were submitted, the party circulating the petition shall not receive any additional time to obtain signatures.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-245       Accepted Late-filed Petitions Regarding Certification for Initiatives or Referendums Regarding Commonwealth-wide or Local Law; Submission to Attorney General

 

All initiative or referendum petitions regarding amendments to Commonwealth-wide or local laws submitted with the required number of signatures to the Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, Administration Building, Capitol Hill, Saipan, no later one-hundred and twenty days prior to the next regular general election shall be considered accepted late-filed initiative petitions. The Attorney General will accept all such accepted late-filed initiative petitions for certification. The Attorney General shall not certify any petitions that are submitted after this deadline.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-250       Accepted Late-filed Initiative Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

The Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted an accepted late-filed initiative petition regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition thirty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If the Attorney General is unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party who submitted the petition shall not have another opportunity to submit additional signatures in support of the petition.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-255       General Election Recall Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

The Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted a timely general election recall petition regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition thirty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If a sufficient number of signatures were submitted as specified in the N.M.I. Constitution, but the Attorney General was unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party who submitted the petition shall have an additional ten days to file additional signatures in support of the petition. If an insufficient number of signatures were submitted as specified in the regulations in this chapter, the party circulating the petition shall not receive any additional time to obtain signatures.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-260       Accepted Late-filed Petitions for General Election Recall Petition; Submission to Attorney General

 

All general election recall petitions submitted with the required number of signatures to the Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, Administration Building, Capitol Hill, Saipan, no later one-hundred and twenty days prior to the next regular general election shall be considered accepted late-filed general election recall petitions. The Attorney General will accept all such accepted late-filed general election recall petitions for certification. The Attorney General shall not certify any petitions that are submitted after this deadline.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-265       Accepted Late-filed General Election Recall Petition; Attorney General Certification Notice

 

The Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted an accepted late-filed general election recall petition regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition thirty days after the petition is submitted for certification. If the Attorney General was unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party who submitted the petition shall not have another opportunity to submit additional signatures in support of the petition.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-270       Special Election Recall Petitions

 

Thirty days after receiving a recall petition to be submitted at a special election, the Attorney General shall notify the party who submitted the petition regarding how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition. If the Attorney General is unable to certify a sufficient number of signatures to meet the constitutional requirements, the party may re-file the petition with additional signatures at any time. If a re-filed petition is filed within ten days of the Attorney General’s denial of certification, the Attorney General shall inform the party how many valid signatures, as determined by the Attorney General, were submitted in support of the petition, within twenty days of the re-filing. If a re-filed petition is filed more than ten days after the Attorney General’s first denial of certification, it shall be considered a new petition.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 300 -       Certification to the Governor

 

§ 5-50-301       Deadline for Submitting Petition to Governor

 

The Attorney General shall submit all special election recall petitions and special election popular constitutional initiative petitions that he or she has certified as complying with the N.M.I. Constitution to the Governor on the day the petition is certified.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 400 -       Certification to Legislature

 

§ 5-50-401       Deadline for Submitting Petition to Legislature

 

Except for special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, the Attorney General shall submit all petitions that he or she has certified as complying with article XVIII, § 4(a) of the N.M.I. Constitution, to both houses of the Legislature on the day the petition is certified or ninety days prior to the next regular general election, whichever is earlier. For special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, the Attorney General shall submit all petitions that he or she has certified as complying with article XVIII, § 4(a) of the N.M.I. Constitution, to both houses of the Legislature on the day the petition is certified.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 500 -       Certification to the Commonwealth Election Commission

 

§ 5-50-501       Attorney General’s Certification to Commonwealth Election Commission Regarding Petitions Seeking to Amend the N.M.I. Constitution

 

The Attorney General shall provide the Commonwealth Election Commission with a written certification regarding each petition to amend the N.M.I. Constitution it receives. This certification shall advise the Commonwealth Election Commission whether or not the petition has complied with the requirements of article XVIII, § 4(a) of the N.M.I. Constitution. Except for special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, this certification shall be provided on the date it is issued or ninety days prior to the next regular general election, whichever is earlier. For special election popular constitutional initiative petitions, the Attorney General shall submit all petitions that he or she has certified as complying with article XVIII, § 4(a) of the N.M.I. Constitution, to the Commonwealth Election Commission on the day the petition is certified under § 5-50-235.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-505       Attorney General’s Certification to Commonwealth Election Commission Regarding Petitions Seeking to Amend Commonwealth-wide or Local Laws

 

For an initiative or referendum petition regarding an amendment to a Commonwealth-wide or local law, the Attorney General shall provide the Commonwealth Election Commission with a written certification regarding each petition that is submitted to the Attorney General. This certification shall advise the Commonwealth Election Commission whether or not the petition has complied with the requirements of article IX of the N.M.I. Constitution. The Attorney General shall notify the Commonwealth Election Commission on the day the certification is issued or ninety days prior to the next regular general election, whichever is earlier.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-510       Attorney General’s Certification to Commonwealth Election Commission Regarding Recall Petitions

 

The Attorney General shall provide the Commonwealth Election Commission with a written certification regarding each recall petition submitted to the Attorney General. This certification shall advise the Commonwealth Election Commission whether or not the petition has complied with the requirements of article IX of the N.M.I. Constitution. Except for special election recall petitions, the Attorney General shall notify the Commonwealth Election Commission on the day the certification is issued or ninety days prior to the next regular general election, whichever is earlier. For special election recall petitions, the Attorney General shall submit all petitions that he or she has certified as complying with article IX of the N.M.I. Constitution, to the Commonwealth Election Commission on the day the petition is certified under § 5-50-270.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (e), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-515       Amendment Proposed

 

A constitutional amendment petition shall be considered proposed, as that term is used in article XVIII, § 5(a) of the N.M.I. Constitution, when the Attorney General certifies it.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

Part 600 -       Deadlines

 

§ 5-50-601       Determination Deadlines

 

If any deadline specified in the regulations in this chapter falls on a Saturday, Sunday, Commonwealth holiday, or other non-work day, the date specified shall be the immediately preceding business day. For any filing under these regulations to be considered timely, it must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on the due date.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 

§ 5-50-605       Calendar Days

 

Unless the term “business days” is used, all references to “days” mean calendar days. “Business day” means any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, Commonwealth holiday, or other non-work day.

 

History: Adopted 27 Com. Reg. 24015 (Feb. 17, 2005); Proposed 27 Com. Reg. 23789 (Jan. 17, 2005).

 


CHAPTER 5-60

OFFICE OF CONSUMER COUNSEL

 

SUBCHAPTER 5-60.1

RETAIL ADVERTISING PRACTICES RULES AND REGULATIONS

 


Part 001          Introduction

§ 5-60.1-001    Authority

§ 5-60.1-005    Purpose

§ 5-60.1-010    Scope

§ 5-60.1-015    Definitions

 

Part 100          Comparative Price, Value, and Savings Claims

§ 5-60.1-101    Preamble

§ 5-60.1-105    Identifying Basis of Price Comparison

§ 5-60.1-110    Comparison to Seller’s Own Former (Regular) Prices

§ 5-60.1-115    Comparison to Future Prices

§ 5-60.1-120    Range of Savings or Price Comparison Claims

§ 5-60.1-125    Use of “List Price” or Similar Comparison

§ 5-60.1-130    Comparison to Other Sellers’ Price for Identical Product

§ 5-60.1-135    Comparison to Sellers’ Own or Other Sellers’ Price for Comparable Product

§ 5-60.1-140    Use of Terms “Two for Price of One”, “Buy One, Get One Free”

§ 5-60.1-145    “Imperfects”, “Irregulars”, “Seconds”

§ 5-60.1-150    “Factory to You”, “Factory Direct”, “Wholesaler”, “Wholesale Prices”

§ 5-60.1-155    Use of “Sale” Terminology

§ 5-60.1-160    “Emergency” or “Distress” Sales

 

Part 200          Customer Demand

§ 5-60.1-201    Customer Demand

 

Part 300          “Bait” Advertising and Selling

§ 5-60.1-301    “Bait and Switch”

 

Part 400          Warrantees and Guarantees

§ 5-60.1-401    Disclosure

§ 5-60.1-405    “Satisfaction Guarantee”

§ 5-60.1-410    “Lifetime” Warranties

 

Part 500          Use or Condition Disclosures

§ 5-60.1-501    “Used”, “Secondhand”

§ 5-60.1-505    “Rebuilt”, “Reconditioned”

§ 5-60.1-510    “As Is”

§ 5-60.1-515    “Irregular”, “Imperfect”

§ 5-60.1-520    “Discontinued”

 

Part 600          Credit

§ 5-60.1-601    Relation to Federal Law

§ 5-60.1-605    “Easy Credit”, “Liberal Terms”

§ 5-60.1-610    “No Credit Rejected”

 

Part 700          Severability

§ 5-60.1-701    Severability


 

Subchapter Authority: 4 CMC § 5119(a)

 

Subchapter History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Consumer Protection Act, codified at 4 CMC §§ 5101-5123, prohibits practices by merchants which deceive, mislead or confuse the consumer. 4 CMC § 5103(b) designates a Consumer Counsel within the Attorney General’s Office. The Consumer Counsel with the concurrence of the Attorney General is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to 4 CMC § 5119(a).

 

Part 001          Introduction

 

§ 5-60.1-001    Authority

 

The authority for the promulgation and issuance of Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Counsel Regulations Part I [NMIAC, title 5, chapter 60] is derived from the Commonwealth Code, Consumer Protection Act, including, but not limited to, the following section: 4 CMC § 5119.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-005    Purpose

 

The purpose of the Retail Advertising Regulations Part I [NMIAC, title 5, subchapter 60.1] is:

 

(a)        To protect consumers from deceptive, misleading, and fraudulent advertising practices;

 

(b)        To provide guidance to sellers when designing their advertisements; and

 

(c)        To foster consumer confidence in the marketplace.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-010    Scope

 

The regulations in this subchapter apply to advertising in the CNMI of commerce and trade as defined in 4 CMC § 5104(b) of the Consumer Protection Act.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d), (f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-015    Definitions

 

Except as hereinafter stated and unless a different meaning of a term is clear from its context, the definitions of terms used in this chapter shall be the same as those used in the Consumer Protection Act (4 CMC §§ 5101 et seq.).

 

(a)        “Advertisement” (including the terms “advertise” and “advertising”), means any oral, written, graphic, or pictorial statement made by a seller in any manner in the course of the solicitation of business. Advertisement includes, without limitation, any statement or representation made in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication or on radio or television or contained in any notice, handbill, sign, billboard, banner, poster, display, circular, pamphlet, or letter, or printed on or contained in any tag or label which is attached to or accompanies any product offered for sale.

 

(b)        “Clear and conspicuous” (including the terms “clearly” and “conspicuously”) means that the statement, representation or term being conveyed is in close proximity to the statement, representation or term it clarifies, modifies, or explains, or to which it otherwise relates; readily noticeable; reasonably understandable by the person(s) to whom it is directed; and not contradictory to any terms it purports to clarify, modify or explain. A statement, representation or term is not clear and conspicuous unless it shall:

(1)        For printed, written, typed or graphic advertisements:

(i)         Employ abbreviations only if they are commonly understood by the public (e.g., abbreviations commonly understood — AC, AM/FM, AUTO, AIR, 2DR, CYL, MSRP, and e.g., abbreviations not commonly understood WAC, PEG) or approved by federal or state law (e.g., terms allowed by the Federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601, et seq., or the Consumer Leasing Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601, et seq., such as “APR”);

(ii)        Be of sufficient prominence in terms of print, size and color contrast, as compared with the remainder of the advertisement, so as to be readily noticeable to the person(s) to whom it is directed. Any type size which is 10-point type or larger is deemed readily noticeable.

(2)        For radio advertisements and the audio portion of television advertisements or advertisements in any other audio-visual medium:

(i)         Be at a decibel level equal to the highest decibel level used in the advertisement; and

(ii)        Be at a speed equal to or slower than any other statement, representation or term contained in the advertisement.

(3)        For required superimposed written copy (“super”) in a television advertisement or advertisements in any other audio-visual medium:

(i)         The minimum height of supers should be:

(A)       Capital and lower case letters: 24 video scanlines;

(B)       Capital letters only: 18 video scanlines;

(ii)        Appear on the screen for a duration sufficient to allow a viewer to have a reasonable opportunity to read and understand the statement, representation or term.

(iii)       It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the super is sufficient if the super meets the following on-screen minimum display time:

(A)       Three seconds for the first line of text; and

(B)       One second for each additional line.

 

(c)        “Comparative price” means the price or value of a product to which a seller is comparing its current price in any advertisement.

 

(d)       “List price or manufacturer’s suggested retail price” means the price issued to retailers by national brand manufacturers as a suggested retail price for the manufacturer’s product.

 

(e)        “Person” means any association, corporation, individual, institution, natural person, organization, partnership, trust or any other legal entity.

 

(f)        “Price comparison” means the direct or indirect comparison in any advertisement (whether or not expressed wholly or in part in dollars, cents, fractions, or percentages) of a seller’s current price for a product with any other price or statement of value, whether or not such price is actually stated in the advertisement. Price comparison includes any price reduction claim or savings claim which a seller makes with respect to the seller’s current price for any product.

 

(g)        “Product” means any and all goods, whether tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed and any and all services or franchise or distribution system of any nature.

 

(h)        “Raincheck” means a written document evidencing a consumer’s entitlement to purchase advertised items at an advertised price. Rainchecks shall be executed in duplicate, one copy being given to the consumer and one copy being kept by the issuing supplier, and shall contain at least the following information:

(1)        The name and address of the supplier;

(2)        The name, address and phone number of the consumer;

(3)        A description of the item to be purchased, including the model, make and year, if relevant;

(4)        The quantity entitled to be purchased by the consumer;

(5)        The advertised price of the item; and

(6)        The date of issuance.

 

(i)         “Seller” means any person who offers any product for retail sale, rental or lease at any location and disseminates advertisements for that product in the Commonwealth. Seller may include any officer, agent, employee, salesperson, or representative of a seller and any advertising agency employed by a seller.

 

(j)         “Trade area” means the geographic area where the seller’s outlets are located and where the seller’s advertisements are disseminated.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission changed “prices issued” to “price issued” in subsection (d).

 

Part 100          Comparative Price, Value, and Savings Claims

 

§ 5-60.1-101    Preamble

 

Price comparison advertising is a form of advertising used in the sale of products whereby current prices are compared with the seller’s former or future prices, the prices of other sellers, or other stated values, to demonstrate price reductions or cost savings. It is the intent of this section to ensure that the comparative price used in any price comparison advertisement provides accurate information and meaningful guidance to the consumer. The use of misleading price comparisons is injurious to both the consuming public and competitors and is an unfair or deceptive act and an unfair method of competition under Section 5105 of the Consumer Protection Act (4 CMC § 5105).

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission corrected the spelling of “preamble” in the section title.

 

§ 5-60.1-105    Identifying Basis of Price Comparison

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller to make a price comparison or claim a savings as to any product it offers (for example: “$29.99 - save $10.00” - or - “20% off all men’s shirts”) unless the seller clearly and conspicuously describes the basis for the price comparison or the savings claimed; provided, however, a seller may compare a higher and a lower price without describing the basis for the price comparison or the savings claimed if the higher price is the seller’s own former (regular) price as determined in accordance with §5-60.1-110. Terms such as “formerly,” “regularly,” “originally,” or words of similar meaning may be used by the seller to identify the higher price as its own former (regular) price.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-110    Comparison to Seller’s Own Former (Regular) Prices

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller to compare current price with its former (regular) price for any product or service, (for example: “$99, now $69 - save $30”; “Regularly $99, now $69”; “Originally $99, now $69”; “Save $30, now $69”) unless one of the following criteria are met:

 

(a)        The former (regular) price is equal to or below the price(s) at which the seller made a substantial number of sales of such products in the recent regular course of its business; or

 

(b)        The former (regular) price is equal to or below the prices) at which the seller offered the product for a reasonably substantial period of time in the recent regular course of its business, openly and actively and in good faith, with an intent to sell the product at that price(s).

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-115    Comparison to Future Prices

 

It is an unfair or deceptive practice for a seller to make an introductory offer or to compare its current price for a product with the price at which the product will be offered in the future (for example: “Introductory sale, now $69, will be $90”), unless:

 

(a)        The future price takes effect within a reasonable time after the introductory offer or price comparison is published; and

 

(b)        The product’s future price is, subsequent to the end of an introductory sale, properly established as the seller’s former (regular) price in accordance with § 5-60.1-110 of this part.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The original subsection (b) referred to section 470.220, which does not exist within the Consumer Counsel Regulations. The Commission inserted the correct NMIAC section addressing regular prices to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-60.1-120    Range of Savings or Price Comparison Claims

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to state or imply that any products are being offered for sale at a range of prices or at a range of percentage or fractional discounts (for example: “Save from 10% to 50% off”) unless the highest price or lowest discount in the range is clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement and a reasonable number of these items in the advertisement are offered with at least the largest advertised discount. If at least 5% of the items in the advertisement are offered with at least the largest advertised discount it shall create a rebuttable presumption that a reasonable number were offered with at least the largest advertised discount.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-125    Use of “List Price” or Similar Comparison

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to claim an actual savings from a “list price”, “manufacturer’s suggested retail price”, or term of similar meaning unless the “list price” is the price at which the product is offered by a reasonable number of sellers in the seller’s trade area (for example: “List price $99, our price $69, save $30.00”). However, a seller may reference a list price in relation to its regular price as long as no savings are claimed and the seller discloses that the list price may not necessarily be the price at which the product is sold in the trade area.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-130    Comparison to Other Sellers’ Price for Identical Product

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller to compare his price with a price currently being offered by another seller for an identical product (for example: “Sold elsewhere for $99, our price $69”) unless the stated higher comparative price is at or below the price at which the identical product is currently being offered in the seller’s trade area by:

 

(a)        A reasonable number of other sellers in the same trade area; or

 

(b)        Another seller(s) is specifically identified in the advertisement.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-135    Comparison to Sellers’ Own or Other Sellers’ Price for Comparable Product

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller to compare his price with the price at which he or any other seller is offering a comparable product (for example: “$69, compare at $99”, “comparable value $99”) unless:

 

(a)        The comparable product is currently being offered at the stated higher comparative price by the seller or by a reasonable number of other sellers in the seller’s trade area or another seller(s) specifically named in the ad; and

 

(b)        There are no substantial differences in quality, grade, materials, or craftsmanship between the comparable product and the product offered by the seller; and

 

(c)        If the comparable product is sold by the seller, the comparative price is determined in accordance with § 5-60.1-110.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission changed the position of the apostrophe in subsection (a) to reflect a singular seller to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-60.1-140    Use of Terms “Two for Price of One”, “Buy One, Get One Free”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller to state or imply that products are being offered at the usual price of a smaller number of the same or a different product (for example, “four pillows for the price of three” or “buy one pair of shoes, second pair free”) unless:

 

(a)        The seller clearly and conspicuously discloses all material conditions which are imposed on the sale; and

 

(b)        The price indicated by the seller as its usual and customary price for the smaller number of products is the seller’s own former (regular) price for such products as determined in accordance with § 5-60.1-110.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(c), (f), (g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: In subsection (b), the Commission changed the position of the apostrophe to reflect a singular seller and inserted a final period to correct manifest errors.

 

§ 5-60.1-145    “Imperfects”, “Irregulars”, “Seconds”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use a comparative price in connection with an imperfect, irregular or second product unless it is accompanied by a clear and conspicuous disclosure that such comparative price applies to the price of the product, if perfect. The comparative price advertised shall be based on:

 

(a)        The price currently charged by the advertiser for the product without defects, or

 

(b)        The price currently charged by representative principal retailers in the trade area for the product without defects, and the advertisement discloses which basis of comparison is being used.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-150    “Factory to You”, “Factory Direct”, “Wholesaler”, “Wholesale Prices”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the terms “factory to you”, “factory direct”, “wholesaler”, “wholesale prices” and the like unless the implied savings can be substantiated and the terms meet all of the requirements below.

 

(a)        The terms “factory to you,” “direct from maker,” “factory outlet” and the like may not be used unless all advertised merchandise is actually manufactured by the advertiser or in factories owned or controlled by the advertiser.

 

(b)        The terms “wholesaler,” “wholesale outlet,” “distributor” and the like may not be used unless the advertiser actually owns and operates or directly and absolutely controls a wholesale or distribution facility which primarily sells products to retailers for resale.

 

(c)        The terms “wholesale price,” “at cost” and the like may not be used unless they are the current prices which retailers usually and customarily pay when they buy such merchandise for resale.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: In the first sentence of this section, the Commission deleted the word “used” after “the like” to correct a manifest error.

 

§ 5-60.1-155    Use of “Sale” Terminology

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the term “sale” unless the following requirements are met:

 

(a)        The unqualified term “sale” in advertising shall not be used if there is not a significant reduction from the advertiser’s usual and customary price of the merchandise offered and the sale is not for a limited period of time. If the sale exceeds thirty days advertisers shall be prepared to substantiate that the offering is indeed a valid reduction and has not become their regular price.

 

(b)        Time limit sales shall be rigidly observed. For example, merchandise offered in a “one-day sale,” “three-day sale,” “this week only sale,” should be taken off “sale” and reverts to the regular price immediately following expiration of the stated time. Introductory sales should be limited to a stated time period, and the selling price shall be increased to the advertised regular price immediately following termination of the stated period.

 

(c)        Price predictions advertisers may currently advertise future increases in their own prices on a subsequent date provided that they do, in fact, increase the price to the stated amount on that date and maintain it for a reasonably substantial period of time thereafter.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission changed “this week only,” sale” to “this week only sale,” and changed “revert” to “reverts” in subsection (b) to correct manifest errors.

 

§ 5-60.1-160    “Emergency” or “Distress” Sales

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to advertise an emergency or distress sale, including but not limited to bankruptcy, liquidation and going out of business sales unless the stated or implied reason is a fact, the sale shall be limited to a stated period of time, and shall offer only such merchandise as is affected by the emergency. “Selling out,” “closing out sale,” and similar terms shall not be used unless the concern so advertising is actually going out of business. The unqualified term “liquidation sale” means that the advertiser’s entire business is in the process of actually being liquidated prior to actual closing.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 200          Customer Demand

 

§ 5-60.1-201    Customer Demand

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act and an unfair method of competition under section 5105 of the Consumer Protection Act (4 CMC § 5105) for a seller to advertise any product for sale when the seller does not have that product in stock in sufficient quantities to meet reasonably anticipated customer demand during the effective period of the advertisement, except where:

 

(a)        The seller clearly and conspicuously discloses in its advertisement that quantities are limited or that restrictions apply to the advertised offer; or

 

(b)        Conditions beyond the seller’s control (i.e. bankruptcy of source, labor stoppage, act of God, etc.) interrupted the supply of the product; or

 

(c)        The seller has, in good faith, ordered the product in adequate time for delivery and in sufficient quantity to satisfy reasonably anticipated consumer demand, and the seller has maintained sufficient records to substantiate such orders; or

 

(d)       The seller tenders a raincheck entitling prospective purchasers to buy the advertised product at the advertised price and redeems the raincheck within a reasonable time after the issuance thereof; or

 

(e)        The seller offers prospective customers a product of an equal or greater value at the same price which is acceptable to a reasonable consumer or is of a lesser value at the same dollar or percentage savings.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(f).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 300          “Bait” Advertising and Selling

 

§ 5-60.1-301    “Bait and Switch”

 

It is an unfair and deceptive act or practice for a seller to make an offer of sale of any products or services when such offer is not a bona fide effort to sell such products or services. An offer is not bona fide if:

 

(a)        A seller uses a statement or illustration or makes a representation in any advertisement which would create in the mind of a reasonable consumer, a false impression as to the grade, quality, quantity, make, model, year, price, value, size, color, utility, origin or any other material aspect of the offered products or services in such a manner that, upon subsequent disclosure or discovery of the facts, the consumer may be induced to purchase products or services other than those offered;

 

(b)        The first contact or interview with the consumer is secured by the seller through deception, even if the relevant facts of the offer are disclosed to the consumer before the consumer views the offered products or services;

 

(c)        A seller discourages the purchase or sale of the offered products or services by any means, including but not limited to the following:

(1)        The refusal to show, demonstrate or sell the offered products or services in accordance with the terms of the offer;

(2)        Disparagement by the seller of the offered products or services;

(3)        The showing or demonstrating of offered products or services which are unusable or impractical for the purposes represented, or materially different from the offered products or services;

(4)        The use of a sales plan or method of compensation of sales personnel which is designed to penalize or prevent a salesperson from selling the advertised products or services;

 

(d)       A seller, in the event of a sale to the consumer of the offered products or services, attempts to persuade a consumer to repudiate the purchase of the offered products or services and purchase other products or services in their stead, by any means, including but not limited to the following:

(1)        Accepting a consideration for the offered products or services, then switching the consumer to other products or services;

(2)        Failing to make delivery of the offered products or services (or, with the consent of the consumer, substituting products or services of equal or greater value) within a reasonable time, or to make a refund;

(3)        Delivering offered products or services which are unusable or impractical for the purposes represented or materially different from the offered products or services. The purchase on the part of some consumers of the offered products or services is not in itself prima facie evidence that the offer is bona fide.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 400          Warrantees and Guarantees

 

§ 5-60.1-401    Disclosure

 

When the term “warranty” (or “guarantee”) is used in product advertising, a clear and conspicuous disclosure shall be made that the details of the warranty can be seen at the advertiser’s store prior to sale, or in the case of mail or telephone order sales, are available free on written request. It is an unfair or deceptive act to advertise that a product is warranted or guaranteed if the seller fails to promptly and fully perform its obligations under the warranty or guarantee.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-405    “Satisfaction Guarantee”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the term “satisfaction guarantee,” “money back guarantee,” “free trial offer,” or the like unless:

 

(a)        The seller or manufacturer refunds the full purchase price of the advertised product at the purchaser’s request; and

 

(b)        Any material limitations or conditions that apply to the guarantee are clearly and conspicuously disclosed.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission inserted the colon in this section.

 

§ 5-60.1-410    “Lifetime” Warranties

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the term “lifetime,” “life” or similar representations in advertising to describe the duration of the warranty or guarantee, unless the advertisement clearly and conspicuously discloses the life to which the representation refers.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 500          Use or Condition Disclosures

 

§ 5-60.1-501    “Used”, “Secondhand”

 

If a product was previously used by a consumer, it is an unfair or deceptive act to not disclose such fact to the buyer in the advertising. Terms such as “used,” “secondhand,” “pre-owned,” “repossessed,” “rebuilt,” “reconditioned” shall be used and shall be clear and conspicuous in the advertising.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: In the second sentence of this section, the Commission deleted the “ly” from “clearly” and “conspicuously” to correct manifest errors.

 

§ 5-60.1-505    “Rebuilt”, “Reconditioned”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the terms “rebuilt,” “reconditioned,” or the like, in a manner out of accordance with the following:

 

(a)        The term “rebuilt,” or the like, should be used only to describe products that have been completely disassembled, reconstructed, repaired and refinished, including replacement of parts.

 

(b)        The term “reconditioned,” or the like, should be used only to describe products that have received such repairs, adjustments or finishing as were necessary to put the product in satisfactory condition without rebuilding.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-510    “As Is”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to offer merchandise on an “as is” basis (i.e., in the condition in which it is displayed at the place of sale) without disclosure of such fact to the buyer. The words “as is” shall be clearly and conspicuously indicated in any advertising for the products.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-515    “Irregular”, “Imperfect”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to offer merchandise which is defective or rejected by the manufacturer because it falls below specifications without disclosure of such fact to the buyer. Terms such a “second” “irregular”, “imperfect,” and the like shall be clearly and conspicuously indicated in any advertising for the products.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(g).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Commission Comment: The Commission inserted the closing quotation after “imperfect” and inserted a period at the end of this section to correct manifest errors.

 

§ 5-60.1-520    “Discontinued”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to describe products as “discontinued,” “discontinued model,” or by words of similar import unless the manufacturer has, in fact, discontinued its manufacture, or the retail advertiser will discontinue offering it entirely after clearance of existing inventories.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 600          Credit

 

§ 5-60.1-601    Relation to Federal Law

 

All credit terms must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement. Any violation of the federal Truth in Lending Act in this regard shall be considered an unfair or deceptive act for purposes of the Consumer Protection Act [4 CMC §§ 5101 et seq.].

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-605    “Easy Credit”, “Liberal Terms”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the terms “easy credit,” “easy credit terms,” “liberal terms,” “easy pay plan” and other similar phrases that relate to credit worthiness as well as to the terms of sale and credit repayment unless:

 

(a)        Consumer credit is extended to persons whose ability to pay or credit rating is below typical standards of credit worthiness;

 

(b)        The finance charges and annual percentage rate do not exceed those charged to persons whose credit rating has been determined and who meet generally accepted standards of credit worthiness;

 

(c)        The down payment is as low and the period of repayment of the same duration as in consumer credit extensions to those of previously determined credit worthiness; and

 

(d)       The debtor is dealt with fairly on all conditions of the transaction including the consequences of a delayed or missed payment.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

§ 5-60.1-610    “No Credit Rejected”

 

It is an unfair or deceptive act to use the words “no credit rejected” or the like, unless true that consumer credit will be extended to anyone regardless of the person’s credit worthiness or financial ability to pay.

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).

 

Part 700          Severability

 

§ 5-60.1-701    Severability

 

If any provision of this subchapter shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the validity of the remainder of the regulations shall not be affected thereby.

 

Modified, 1 CMC § 3806(d).

 

History: Adopted 28 Com. Reg. 26128 (Aug. 24, 2006); Proposed 28 Com. Reg. 25760 (June 19, 2006).