Tuli’au v. Tuiasina

Series: 8ASR3d | Year: | ASR
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Complaints which fall short of the plausibility standard are subject to dismissal under T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) unless the court lacks the subject matter jurisdiction to hear a complaint, in which case dismissal under T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) is appropriate

A former or current government employee who wishes to challenge his employment-termination must bring such a dispute before the Office of the Administrative Law Judge (“OALJ”) in the first instance; that office has primary jurisdiction over such disputes. From the OALJ, a disaffected party may then seek judicial review, not at the Trial Division level but before the Appellate Division. A.S.C.A. § 4.0604 (b) & (h).

Any claim premised on the American Samoa Government’s failure to renew a professional license are matters beyond the scope of the Trial Division’s subject matter jurisdiction. A.S.C.A. § 31.1006 explicitly requires that “[a]ll proceedings respecting the…refusal, suspension, revocation, or modification of a [medical practitioner’s] license issued by the [Regulatory Health] Board, and judicial review thereof, must be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act set forth in 4.1001 et seq.”

If the substance of a plaintiff’s claims hinges on whether the government wrongfully terminated the plaintiff’s employment, a decision the Office of the Administrative Law Judge (“OALJ”) renders, the form of plaintiff’s complaint as one lying in tort under the Government Tort Liability Act, A.S.C.A. §§ 43.1201, et seq., will not stand. The proper venue for such a dispute lies with the OALJ.