In determining residency in the Territory, spouses may treat themselves separately from one another. The following rules shall determine residency for Territory and district purposes:
(a) The residency of a person is that place in which his habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention to return.
(b) A person does not gain residency in any district into which he comes without the present intention of establishing his permanent dwelling place within that district.
(c) If a person resides with his family in one place, and does business in another, the former is his place of residence; but any person having a family, who establishes his dwelling place other than with his family, with the intention of remaining there shall be considered a resident where he has established his dwelling place.
(d) The mere intention to acquire a new residence without physical presence at that place does not establish residency, neither does mere physical presence without the con-current present intention to establish that place as his residence.
(e) A person does not gain or lose a residency solely by reason of his presence or absence while employed in the service of the United States or of this Territory, or while a student of an institution of learning, or while kept in an institution or asylum, or while confined in prison.
(f) The status of a person’s primary matai obligations is a factor in determining district residency. However, matai obligations alone may not sustain a finding of district residency absent other evidence which, in connection with evidence of matai obligations, is sufficient to sustain the intent of this section.
(g) A person loses his residence in this Territory if he votes in an election held elsewhere by absentee ballot or in person.
(h) The term of residence is computed by including the day on which the person’s residence commences and by excluding the day of election.
(i) In case of question, final determination of residence shall be made by the election officer subject to appeal to the board of registration under sections 6.0201 through 6.0203, 6.0225, and 6.0230 through 6.0233.History: 1977, PL 15-42 § 1;amd 1980, PL 16-72 § 4; amd 2002, PL 27-29.
Amendments: 1980 Amended (list sentence to delete references to “wife” and husband”. added subsection (f).
Requires more than intention to establish residency: must be physical presence at new place. Dole v. Attorney General, ASR (1978).
Under statute providing that a person “does not gain residency in a district without the present intention of establishing his permanent dwelling place within that district, “voter who had moved from one district to another eight years earlier upon inheriting a house, but (1) whose family, church, and business were in the district of his former residence; (2) who had continued to serve matai title and participate actively in aumaga within district of former residence; 93) who had always voted in the former district and never in the district wherein his house was located; and (4) who in the two most recent elections had been a successful candidate for the Legislature from the district of his former residence, had not established residency in the new district by mere physical presence. A.S.C.A. § 6.0212. Scanlan v. Reed, 9 A.S.R.2d 54 (1988).
A voter who is physically present in a new place of residence, but fails to gain legal residence in that district because he lacks the intention of establishing his permanent dwelling place there, retains his previous legal residence and may vote there. ASCA § 6.0212. Scanlan v. Reed, 9 A.S.R.2d 54 (1988).
One who votes in a foreign election thereby loses his legal residence in American Samoa. A.S.C.A. § 6.0212 (g). Tuika v. Chief Election Officer, 9 A.S.R.2d 57 (1988).
One who loses his legal residence in American Samoa by voting in a foreign election, but who returns to American Samoa with the intention to remain permanently, thereby reacquires his legal residence in American Samoa. A.S.C.A. § 6.0212 (a). Tuika v. Chief Election Officer, 9 A.S.R.2d 57 (1988).