18 Apr 2006

American Samoa High Court allows Senate petition against McDonald's beach restaurant

9:41 am on 18 April 2006

American Samoa's High Court has denied a motion by the American Samoa government and the owners of McDonald's American Samoa to dismiss the Senate's petition to invalidate the Utulei Beach lease between the government and McDonald's.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse ruled that the Senate has standing to sue and has allowed the Senate's petition to proceed to a hearing.

The court's ruling is a partial victory for the Senate which had filed the petition after getting no response to its request to Governor Togiola Tulafono to have the McDonald's lease submitted to the Fono for review and approval.

The court's ruling comes as McDonald's seeks a land use permit to begin construction of a restaurant on the beachfront.