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Pipili v. Ah Sue,

FA`ANUNUMI ENE PIPILI, Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

JOHN AH SUE and TALO AH SUE, Defendants.

 

High Court of American SamoaPRIVATE

Trial Division

 

CA No. 163-96

 

May 2, 1997

 

[1]  T.C.R.C.P. Rule 15(a) allows a party to amend his pleadings once, as a matter of course, any time before a permitted responsive pleading is served.

 

[2] A T.C.R.C.P. Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss is not a responsive pleading for the purposes of T.C.R.C.P. Rule 15(a).

 

[3] Failure to allege the jurisdictional amount in the complaint does not subject it to dismissal where the complaint is amended to include this allegation prior to the filing of a responsive pleading by the defendant.

 

Before RICHMOND, Chief Justice, AFUOLA, Associate Judge, and LOGOAI, Associate Judge.

 

Counsel: For Plaintiffs, Marie A. Lafaele

              For Defendants, Afoa L. Su`esu`e Lutu

 

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS


Defendants move to dismiss the plaintiff's original complaint for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim pursuant to T.C.R.C.P. Rule 12(b).  [1ASR3d64]

 

Defendants argue that the High Court lacks jurisdiction in this matter due to plaintiff's initial failure to plead the jurisdictional amount.  Plaintiff, however, has since filed an amended complaint pleading the jurisdictional amount.  The amended complaint was filed after the motion to dismiss but before the defendant's answer. 

 

[1-3] T.C.R.C.P. Rule 15(a) allows a party to amend his pleadings once, as a matter of course, any time before a permitted responsive pleading is served.  A Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss, such as the one now before us, is not a responsive pleading for purposes of Rule 15(a).  See Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice & Procedure, Civil 2d ' 1483.  Defendants' argument regarding plaintiff's initial failure to state the jurisdictional amount is therefore moot.  Further, we do not find that the amendment is made in bad faith.

 

Defendants also argue that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.  However, we find that the plaintiff's amended complaint sufficiently states a claim.

 

For the reasons set forth above defendants’ motion to dismiss is denied.

 

It is so Ordered.

 

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