Judicial Branch of American Samoa

The Judiciary of American Samoa is defined under the Constitution of American Samoa and the American Samoa Code. It consists of the High Court of American Samoa and a local district court under the administration and supervision of the Chief Justice of the High Court. Both courts are located in the capital of Pago Pago. The Chief Justice and the Associate Justice of the High Court are appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior, and the six associate judges of the High Court and one local district court judge are appointed by the Governor of American Samoa.

Because American Samoa does not have a federal court like the Northern Mariana IslandsGuam, or the United States Virgin Islands, matters of federal law arising in American Samoa have generally been adjudicated in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii or the District Court for the District of Columbia.

The highest legal authority is the High Court, which is headed by a chief justice and associate justices, all appointed by the U.S. secretary of the interior. The High Court has appellate, trial, and land and titles divisions. Each village has a village court with authority to adjudicate matters pertaining to village rules and local customs. District courts hear preliminary felony proceedings, certain cases arising from the village courts, and civil and small claims.

Listing of Justices and Judges

Chief Justice F. Michael Kruse

Acting Associate Justice Elvis R. P. Patea

Acting Associate Justice Fiti A. Sunia

Chief Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Associate Judge Su'apaia Edmund C. Pereira

Associate Judge Satele Ali'itai Lili'o

Associate Judge Fa'amausili P. Pomele

Associate Judge Muasau T. Tofili

Associate Judge Tunupopo A. Alaalafaga

Associate Judge Paepae Iosefa Faiai

District Court Judge Pro-Tem Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde