Fruean; Tuaolo v.

 

PUNEFUOLEMOTU M. TUAOLO,  Appellant,

 

v.

 

MANAIA E. T. VAIVAO FRUEAN, Appellee.

 

----------------------

 

SAELUA FAATE`A, Appellant,

 

v.

 

MANAIA E. T. VAIVAO FRUEAN, Appellee.

 

High Court of American Samoa

Appellate Division

 

AP No. 06-95

AP No. 07-95

 

July 8, 1997

 

[1] A rehearing is not a matter of right, but is a privilege granted at the discretion of the appellate court.

 

[2] The decision of an appellate court will stand unless the petitioner can present an argument demonstrating that the appellate court "overlooked or misapprehended" particular "points of law or fact."

 

Before: KRUSE, Chief Justice, GOODWIN,* Acting Associate Justice, WALLACE,** Acting Associate Justice, and SAGAPOLUTELE, Associate Judge.

 

Counsel: For Appellant, Punefuolemotu M. Tuaolo, Tautai A.F Faalevao

              For Appellant Saelua Faate`a, Albert Mailo

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

 

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR REHEARING

 

[1ASR3d41]

 

Introduction

 

This controversy began when appellant Punefuolemotu M. Tuaolo ("Punefu") filed a claim to the matai title "Tuaolo" of the village of Pago Pago.  In response to Punefu's action, appellant Saelua Faate`a ("Tutuvanu") and appellee Manaia E.T. Vaivao Fruean ("Vaivao") filed counterclaims.  After a trial on the merits, the trial court awarded the title to Vaivao.  Punefu and Tutuvanu appealed the trial court's decision, alleging (1) that the trial court's decision was clearly erroneous, and (2) that an appearance of partiality among the sitting associate judges impermissibly tainted the trial court's proceedings. 

 

On June 16, 1997, this court issued an opinion and order that rejected appellants' contentions and affirmed the decision of the trial court.  On June 27, 1997, Punefu filed a petition for rehearing.

 

Discussion

 

[1-2] "A rehearing is not a matter of right, but is a privilege granted at the discretion of the appellate court."  Fanene v. Fanene, 30 A.S.R. 2d 115, 116 (1996).  The decision of an appellate court will stand unless the petitioner can present an argument demonstrating that the appellate court "overlooked or misapprehended" particular "points of law or fact."  A.C.R. 40.

 

In the instant case, Punefu's petition for rehearing primarily rehashes the same arguments that he presented in the initial appeal--arguments that we concluded were unpersuasive.  See Toleafoa v. American Samoa Gov't, 26 A.S.R.2d 71, 72 (App. Div. 1994); see also Soli Corp. v. Amerika Samoa Bank, 25 A.S.R.2d 94, 95 (App. Div. 1993).  We find nothing in the petition for rehearing that exposes "demonstrable mistake" in our June 16, 1997, Opinion and Order.  Toleafoa at 72.

 

Accordingly, the petition for rehearing is DENIED.

 

It is so Ordered.

 

**********

 



* Honorable Alfred T. Goodwin, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, serving by designation of the Secretary of the Interior

** Honorable J. Clifford Wallace, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, serving by designation of the Secretary of the Interior.