9 Sep 2008

American Samoa politicians consider increasing jurisdiction of District Court

3:16 pm on 9 September 2008

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.