37.0221 Leasing of native land.

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(a) Native land may, with the approval of the Governor, be leased to any person for any term not exceeding 55 years for any purpose, except for the working of minerals and cutting of timber.

(b) Provisional agreements for the leasing of native land as provided in subsection (a) may be entered into with the native proprietor or proprietors. Every such provisional agreement, stating in full its terms and conditions, shall be submitted with a plan showing the situation of the land to the Governor for approval, and it shall have no validity until such approval has been signified in writing.

(c) All leases of native land approved under this section shall be conditioned on the occupation or cultivation of at least 1/10 of the area of the land leased, by the lessee within a period of 2 years from the date of approval. Upon failure of this condition or failing the continuous occupation or cultivation of the land for any period of 5 years after the date of approval the Governor may, if he deems it necessary and expedient, cancel the lease, and the land shall revert immediately to the native lessor. Land leased pursuant to this section shall be deemed occupied by the leasee if the leases is a party to a mortgage of such land granted in connection with the acquisition or erection of improvements situated thereon.

(d) The lessee must, within 2 calendar months after any provisional agreement to lease has been approved by the Governor, deposit in the Office of the Governor a properly drawn and legally attested lease for confirmation under the hand and seal of the Governor, and such lease shall be registered in a book to be styled registrar of titles.

(e) If a lessee enters into a mortgage of land lease pursuant to this section to finance the acquisition or construction of housing or other improvements of any type situated thereon, the lease of such land shall not be subject to cancellation or revert under subsection (c) of this section during the original stated term of such mortgage or any renewal or extension thereof.

History: 1949 Code §§ 1283-1286; amd 1978, PL 15-88 § 1; amd 1979, PL 16-49 § 1; readopted 1980, PL 16-88 §§ 1, 2; 1982, PL 17-31 §§1, 2; and 1988 PL 20-73; 1989 PL 21-23.

Amendments: 1978, 1979 Subsection (a): raised maximum term from 30 to 55 years.

Reviser’s Comment: As required by Art. I, § 3 and Art. II, § 9 of the American Samoa Constitution, this amendment was passed by two successive Legislatures.