The American Samoa Legislature has endorsed an administration bill that would increase the jurisdiction of the District Court.
Among other things, the bill clarifies the arrest warrant powers of a
District Court judge and allows for varying terms of detention as a condition of probation for misdemeanors.
Under current law, the High Court hears all civil claims in excess of five thousand US dollars but the bill increases that to $15,000.
The bill also clarifies the authority of a District Court judge to issue arrest warrants.
And it would change the amount of jail time a defendant could receive for a misdemeanor, such as for public peace disturbance, driving under the influence and third-degree assault.