Jury Rules


Rule 1. Scope

Rule 2. Juror Qualification Form

Rule 3. Exemptions

Rule 4. Excuse

Rule 5. Special Venire

Rule 6. Challenges for Cause

Rule 7. Oath

Appendix 1. (Questionnaire)





These jury rules shall supplement the provisions of 46 ASCA Chapter 15 and shall apply to all jury proceedings in the High Court and District Court of American Samoa. They shall be known as the Jury Rules and cited as ______________ TCRJR.




(a) In the event the chairman of the jury commission determines that it is impracticable to mail juror qualification forms to all names in the master jury wheel, the chairman may require prospective jurors to complete the forms when they first appear at the courthouse pursuant to summons.

(b) The juror qualification form to be used is attached as Appendix I hereto.




(a) A person may claim exemption from service as a juror, in addition to those reasons listed in 46.1506 ASCA, if he has been discharged as a juror within one year.


(b) An exemption may be claimed by affidavit, stating the office, occupation or employment of the affiant and the reason for seeking exemption. The affidavit must be delivered to the clerk.




(a) Upon written request, an excuse on the ground of serious personal hardship under 46.1507 ASCA may be granted for any of the following reasons:


(1) Excessive travel distance or lack of available transportation to the court;


(2) Extreme financial burden, or undue risk of material injury to or destruction of the juror’s property or make alternative arrangements to alleviate the financial burden or risks;


(3) The prospective juror’s services are immediately needed for the protection of the public health and safety, and it is not feasible to make alternative arrangements to relieve the person of these responsibilities during the period of service as a juror; and


(4) The prospective juror has a personal obligation to provide actual and necessary care to another, and it is not feasible to make alternative arrangements for that care. The court may in any individual case require that the person furnish a letter from a physician stating that the person being cared for is in need of regular and personal care.


(b) A person should be excused from jury service for serious personal hardship only if it is not possible to defer the person’s jury service to a time within one year when no serious personal hardship would result.


(c) Inconvenience is not an adequate reason for excuses from jury duty, although it may in the court’s discretion be considered a ground for a temporary deferment of the obligation to serve.




Whenever jurors are not drawn or summoned, or a sufficient number fails to appear, the court may order a sufficient number drawn and summoned, or may by an order entered in the minutes direct the marshal to summon competent persons, but not from the bystanders.




A prospective juror may be challenged for cause on any one or more of the following grounds:


(a) Lack of qualifications as provided in 46.1505 ASCA;

(b) Relationship of consanguinity or affinity within the third degree to the prosecutor, defense attorney or defendant;

(c) Standing in the relationship of guardian and ward, master and servant, employer and employee, principal and agent, or debtor and creditor to the prosecutor or the defendant;

(d) Having an unqualified opinion or belief as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant; or

(e) Bias or prejudice.




As soon as the jury is selected, an oath must be administered to the jurors, in substance, that they and each of them will well and truly try the matter before them and that they will render a true verdict according to the evidence.





INSTRUCTIONS: Jury service is a civic duty. The information requested of you in the form below will be used to determine your qualification or jury service (with the exception of the information concerning your national origin or economic status; see below). Please fill out the form in either English or the Samoan language and return it, duly signed, to the Clerk of Courts by mail or in person within ten (10) days of receipt. If you are unable to fill out the form, return it to the Clerk of Courts by mail or in person within ten (10) days.


(O FA’ATONUGA): O le ‘au’auna i le Vaega-Iloilo-I’uga o se tiute tau’ave a tagata lautele. O le a fa’aogaina le fa’amatalaga mana’omia mai ia te oe, lea o lo o tusia i lalo e fuafua iai lou agava’a mo le galuega o le Iloilo-I’uga (vagana ai le fa’amatalaga e uiga i lou atunu’u moni, tulaga o le tamao’aiga; va’ai i lalo). Fa’amolemole ia fa’atumu uma fesili o lo’o i lalo i so’o se gagana po’o le fa’a-Peretania po’o le fa’a-Samoa, ona fa’afo’i lea i le failautusi o Fa’amasinoga i le meli po’o lou o’o mai lava ma ‘oe a’o le’i atoa le sefulu aso e amata i le aso na fa’ato’a e mauaina ai. Afai e le mafai ona e fa’atumuina le pepa ona fa’afo’i lea i lel Failautisu o Fa’amasinoga i le meli po’o oe lava a’o le’i mavae aso e sefulu.


l. Full Name (Suafa Atoa)______________________________________

2. Social Security Number (Numera o le saogalemu) ________________

3. Home Address (Tuatusi i le aiga) ______________________________


4. Name of Business and Address ________________________________

(Igoa ole Pisinisi/Tuatusi) ____________________________________

5. Home Telephone (Telefoni i le aiga) ___________________________

6. Business Telephone (Telefoni i le Pisinisi) ______________________

7. Date and place of birth ______________________________________

8. Nationality (Malo/Atunu’u) __________________________________

9. Length of time you have lived in American Samoa ________________

(Le’umi (Le leva) o aso o lou nofo ai i Amerika Samoa)

10. Marital Status (Tulaga fa’aipoipo) _____________________________

ll. Name and occupation of spouse _______________________________

(Suafa o le ava/tane ma sana matagaluega)

l2. Have you had previous experience as a juror? ____________________

(E iai sou agava’a fa’a-tagata Iloilo-I’uga?

a. Grand Jury (Vaega Iloilo-I’uga-To’atele (Grand Jury)____________

When did you last serve (O anafea na e galue mulimuli ai?) __________________________

b. Trial Jury (Vaega Iloilo-I’uga o se iloiloga patino) ______________

When did you last serve (O anafea na e galue mulimuli ai?)


l3. Present occupation (Matagaluege o iai nei) ______________________

l4. Grade completed in school (Vasega na i’u lelei i le a’oga) __________

l5. A person may claim exemption from service as a juror if he/she is: (E faaagafua oe mai le vaega-iloilo-i’uga pe afai o oe)

a. An attorney at law. (Ali’i loia o le tulafono)

b. A head of a executive department, an elected official, or a judge, of the United States, or Territory. (Ali’i faatonu o se matagaluega, sui filifilia, po’o se faamasino o le Malo Tele po’o le Territori).

c. A minister or priest following his profession. (Ali’i Faifeau)

d. A practicing physician or dentist. (Ali’i Foma’i o le tino po’o se Foma’i fainifo)

e. A member of the armed forces or military on active duty, or an active member of a police or fire department. (Se tagata o tauto i le malo, po’o se ali’i leoleo)

f. Has been discharged from jury service within the last year. (Po’o se tagata ua faagafua mai lana tiute o le vaega iloiloiuga mai le tausaga ua te’a)

16. The following situations justify excuse from jury service:

(O tulaga ia e i lalo e fa’tagaina nai lo le galue i le vaega iloilo-i’uga)

a. you are not a national of the United States eighteen years old who has resided for a period of ninety (90) days within the Territory of American Samoa;

(Ua le o ‘oe o se nesionale o le Iunaite setete ua sefulu ma le valu (18) tausaga le matua o le ua atoa le ivasefulu (90) aso o nofo i totonu o le Teritori oAmerika Samoa;)

b. you are incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory jury service;

(ua le gafatia e ‘oe ona faia lelei le galuega tau iloilo-i’uga, ona o se tulaga fa’ale mafaufau po o le fa’aletonu o le tino;)

c. you are unable to read, speak and understand the English or Samoan language;

(E mafai ona e faitau, tautala ma malamalama i le gagana fa’aperetania po’o le gagana samoa;)

d. you have a charge pending against you for the commission of, or you have been convicted in a court of record of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and your civil rights have not been restored by pardon or amnesty.

(o i ai nei se moliga fa’asaga ia te oe o lo o fatalitali, ona o se soliga o se (tulafono), po ua fa’asalaina ‘oe i se fa’asalaina i le fa’afalepuipui e silia i le tausaga e tusi ma ua le’i toe fa’afo’ia atu ou aia fa’a-tagatanu’u moni i se fa’amagaloga fa’ale-malo.)

Do you wish to claim any of the above as an excuse? ________________

(E te fia ta’ua mai se vaega o le fa’asologa lea e i luga e fa’agafuaina ai?)

If yes, which one? (Afai e te tali mai “ioe”, o le fea ia?)


Do you have other reasons for wishing to be excused from jury

service? ____________________________________________________

(E iai se isi mafua’aga e te mana’o ai ia faaagafuaina oe mai le tautua i le vaega-iloilo-iuga?)

If so, please explain. __________________________________________


(Afai e iai, faamolemole faamatala mai.)

I swear that my responses to the above questions are true to the best of my knowledge.

(Ou te tauto o a’u tali i fesili o lo o i luga ua fa’amaoni e tusa ia lo’u matua iloatino).

Dated (faia): ___________19____. ____________________________

Signature (Suafa)