1.0407 Counterclaims and objections—Supporting documents.

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(a) For a period of 60 days immediately following the posting of notice required in 1.0406, any interested person may file a counterclaim or objection. If the sixtieth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the next regular business day for the purpose of the section, is considered as the sixtieth day. The Territorial Registrar may not accept any counterclaims or objections filed after the sixtieth day as defined herein.

(b) A counterclaim or objection must be supported by a petition signed by no less than 25 persons related by blood to the title in question The petitioners must be at least 18 years of age and residents of American Samoa at the time the petition is filed.

(c) The Territorial Registrar, if not satisfied with the validity of information offered in the petition, shall require proof of age, blood relationship to title, and residence of any or all signers of the petition.

(d) In the event the family does not have the number of members qualified as required to support the counterclaim or the objection, the counterclaimant or objector shall so state in a signed affidavit.

History: 1962, PL 7-38; 1968, PL 10-61; 1970, PL 11-117.

Case Notes:

Where prospective matai title holder applies to court for determination as matai, and 2 objectors intervene, 3 persons become candidate for title. Reid v. Talalele, 4 ASR 458 (1964).

Objection to a matai title claim was not filed within the sixty days required by statute where the timely original objection was filed and withdrawn by relatives without objector’s knowledge and his motion to intervene in the case was not filed until eight years later. A.S.C.A. § 1.0407(a); In re Matai Title Liua, 15 A.S.R.2d 80 (1990).

Regarding the statutory exception for families having fewer than 25 adult, blood family-members, the term “family” is equated with the claimant’s or counter-claimant’s clan for purposes of testing the validity of matai-title petitions. A.S.C.A. § 1.0405, 1.0407; Registration of Matai Title “Le’aeno”, 24 A.S.R.2d 117 (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).