American Samoa Jurisdictions

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History[edit | edit source]

The ceding of American Samoa to the United States as a territory began in 1900. The island of Tutuila was ceded in 1900, Manu'a in 1904, and Swain Island in 1925. The United States Navy had authority over American Samoa until 1951. The Department of the Interior has had authority since 1956. Citizens of American Samoa are United States Nationals and not citizens.[1]

Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Courts[edit | edit source]

High Courts American Samoa has a high court that has four divisions:

  • Trial division. The trial division is also a court of general jurisdictions and hears felony and civil cases where the controversy is greater than $5,000
  • Probate division
  • Land and titles division
  • Appellate division

District Court
American Samoa has one local district court judge. They hear misdemeanor criminal offenses and civil cases when the controversy is less than $5,000.[2]

Administrative Divisions
The administration of American Samoa is divided into three districts (Western, Eastern, Manu'a) and two unorganized atolls (Swains Island and Rose Atoll). The three districts of American Samoa are divided into fifteen counties. The counties are then organized in villages.[3]

Counties[edit | edit source]

Below is a list of counties in American Samoa.


Swains Island
Rose Atoll
Sa‘ole
Ofu
Olosega
Ta‘ū
Faleasao
Fitiuta
Vaifanua
Sua
Ma‘oputasi
Itu‘au
Tualauta
Leasina
Lealataua
Fofo
Tualatai
Counties of American Samoa[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. “American Samoa,” U.S. Department of the Interior, 12 November 2020, https://www.doi.gov/oia/islands/american-samoa.
  2. “Judiciary of American Samoa,” Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation, October 28, 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judiciary_of_American_Samoa.
  3. “Administrative Divisions of American Samoa,” Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation, September 1, 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_divisions_of_American_Samoa.
  4. 116th Congress of the United States, American Samoa, U.S. Census Bureau.