1.0404 Eligibility to file claim or objection-Record of absent residents-Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and staff members.
(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), no one is eligible to claim or object to the succession to a matai title unless he is a resident in American Samoa for one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the claim or objection.
(b) The Territorial Registrar shall keep a record of the names of those bona fide residents of American Samoa who are absent from the Territory for any of the following reasons:
(1) attendance at an educational institution;
(2) service in the United States armed forces;
(3) medical treatment and recuperation;
(4) temporary traveling;
(5) missionary work as a minister.
(c) Any person on such record is eligible to claim or object to the succession to a matai title as if he actually resided in American Samoa.
(d) A person’s name shall be recorded upon the petition of 5 adult members of his family. The recording shall be effective for 2 years.
(e) The provisions of subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this section do not apply to 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 the Territory while employed by the Delegate’s office, and his dependents. For purposes of this section, the Delegate and his dependents or a member of his staff recruited from the Territory and his dependents are considered to be actually residing in American Samoa although physically located outside of American Samoa.History: 1968, PL, 10-61; 1970, PL 11-88, amd 1981, PL 17-23.
Generally with a matai title candidate must meet statutory residence requirement by being actually present in American Samoa for a required period and have intent to remain. RCAS 6.0112. In re Matai Title of Fagaima, 4 ASR 83 (1973)
Where both person claiming title and person objecting had resided in California for more than 20 years, neither was entitled to claim, or object to a claim, of title; (and that one of them had registered for as an absent resident 10 weeks after he registered for the title did not entitle him to claim the title). In re Matai Title Afoafouvale. 4 ASR 145 (1975)
Education at Provision that one attending an educational institution can claim or object to a claim of the title could not be used to justify an absence of more than 20 years on the basis of one summer school course In re Matai Title Afoafouvale.4 ASR 145 (1975)
Provision on attending an educational institution does not apply when one is taking a correspondence course while off the island, since the course can also be taken by correspondence while on the island. In re Matai Title Afoafouvale. 4 ASR 145 (1975)
Where a claimant retired from the service in 1966 and did not reside in American Samoa between that time and 1974, when he claimed a title, the service exception did not apply. In re Matai Title Afoafouvale, 4 ASR 145 (1975).
No one is eligible to claim or object to the succession to a matai title unless he has resided in American Samoa for one calendar year immediately preceding the date of the claim or objection. A.S.C.A. § 1.0404. In re Matai Title Niuatoa, 16 A.S.R.2d 25 (1990).
In order to register for a matai title under the absent resident provision, which requires that absence from the Territory in the year preceding the filing of matai claim or counterclaim was due to medical reasons, an applicant must produce more than a cursory and equivocal statement from a doctor. A.S.C.A. § 1.0404(b) (3). In re Matai Title “Fonoti”, 20 A.S.R.2d 22 (1991).
Candidates who do not meet the residency requirements of A.S.C.A. § 1.0404 will be, at that time, ineligible to claim succession to a matai title. In re Matai Title “Fonoti”, 20 A.S.R.2d 22 (1991).
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).