The American Samoa Department of Commerce has petitioned the High Court for an injunction preventing local businessman Avamua Dave Haleck clearing family land.
The area in question is known as the Tafuna Lowland Rainforest and Avamua wants to develop the area.
The government wants Avamua to obtain a land use permit first.
But it is highly unlikely he will get one as the Project Notification Review System Board, which issues land use permits, has voted to impose a temporary moratorium on all development in the rainforest until a plan is drawn up to guide future use of the land.
Avamua has given the American Samoa Government a deadline of April the 21st to make full payment for the purchase of the Tafuna Lowland Rainforest.
Otherwise, Avamua says he will move forward with clearing the property for development.