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Faamuli v. Leiato

American Samoa (USA)
Type of court
National - higher court
Nov 29, 1957
Court name
High Court
Seat of court
Pago Pago
Reference number
No. 17-1957
Land & soil

The plaintiff requested an order for the defendants to remove their crops from the communal lands of the plaintiff. The land had in a previous court order been found to be communal family lands meaning that non-family members did not have the right to use the lands without permission. The plaintiff also claimed that the plantations of the defendants caused contamination of the water supply used by people in the area.


The court was of the opinion that there was no satisfactory evidence of contamination of the water supply. However, the judgment did not depend on the issue of contamination, as the defendants did not have the right to use the communal law in any case without permission from the plaintiff.



With the exception of two of the defendants who were found to be members of the family owning the land, the defendants were asked to remove the plantations within nine months. The time frame was give as not to destroy the crops, but enable the defendants to remove them safely. The background of this was to ensure food safety since the import of food from foreign countries was not reliable.

Full text
Faamuli v. Leiato.pdf