1.0403 Qualifications for succession to title- Delegate to the U.S House of Representatives, staff members, dependents.

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A person not possessing all of the following qualifications is ineligible to succeed to a matai title:

(a) He must be of at least one-half Samoan blood.

(b) He must have been born on American soil: provided that a person born of parents who were inhabitants of American Samoa, but temporarily residing outside of American Samoa or engaged in foreign travel, at the date of birth of such child, may, for the purposes of this subsection, be considered as having been born on American soil if:

(1) while actually residing in American Samoa and at any time within one year after he attains the age of 18 years, he files with the Territorial Registrar a renunciation, under oath of allegiance to the country of his birth; or

(2) he has resided in American Samoa for a continuous period of not less than 10 years prior to the time of filing his application to be registered as the holder of a matai title.

(c) He must be chosen by his family for the title.

(d) He must live with Samoans as a Samoan.

(e) For purposes of this section, the Territory’s Delegate to the United States House of Representatives while occupying the post of Delegate, and his dependents, or a member of his staff recruited from this Territory while employed by the Delegate’s office, and his dependents, are considered to be continuously residing in American Samoa although physically residing outside of American Samoa.

History: 1962, PL 7-38, 1968, PL 10-61, amd 1981, PL § 1.

Case Notes:

Person succeeds matai title, implies previous title holder. RCAS 6.0101. Mailo v. Fuimaono, ASR 757 (1967)

Eligibility requirements for matai title holders. RCAS 6.0101. Asuega v. Manuma. 4 ASR 616 (1965)

Qualifications of person to succeed to matai title. RCAS 6.0101. Vainini v. Ala. 4 ASR 683 (1965)

Basic qualifications to succeed to matai title. RCAS 6.0101. Reid v. Talalele. 4 ASR 458 (1964).

A citizen of Western Samoa, born in that country of parents who were not inhabitants of American Samoa, is ineligible to hold a matai title in American Samoa. A.S.C.A. § 1.0403(a). Toilolo v. Poti, 23 A.S.R.2d 130 (1993).

A person born outside American soil is eligible for a matai title only if both parents were inhabitants of American Samoa and were temporarily residing outside of American Samoa or engaged in foreign travel at the time of that person’s birth. A.S.C.A. § 1.0403. Toilolo v. Poti, 24 A.S.R.2d 1 (1993).

A matai title bestowed contrary to statute cannot be registered or otherwise recognized; and use of an unregistered matai title is a criminal act. A.S.C.A. §§ 1.0401-1.0414. Toilolo v. Poti, 23 A.S.R.2d 130 (1993).

Research Guide: For provisions regarding residence requirements succession claimants. See 1.0404.