Simi; American Samoa v.






SIMI of Iliili, Defendant


High Court of American Samoa


Criminal Jurisdiction, Appellate Division


No. 1-1949


January 29, 1949




            Appeal from District Court conviction for trespass (CAS 882) .Appellate Jurisdiction of the High Court, Chief Justice Morrow, reversed conviction holding that prosecution's sole evidence was hearsay and could not be admitted.


            Conviction reversed.


Evidence--Hearsay-Excluded Testimony


Where all prosecuting witnesses testified that they had heard that accused trespassed upon land of another, but none had personal knowledge of trespass, accused must be acquitted since such testimony is hearsay and inadmissible.




ARTHUR A. MORROW, Chief Justice; MALEPEAI, District Judge.




Heard at Illiili Thursday, January 29, 1949.


Simi appearing pro se.


The facts sufficiently appear in the opinion.


MORROW, Chief Justice.


            Simi was convicted in District Court No. 4 of trespass, a violation of Sec. 882 of the Code and sentenced to pay a fine. He appealed. The High Court heard the case de noyo at Iliili on January 27, 1949.


            The testimony of the prosecution's witnesses, viz. Sagia, and Fosi, does not warrant a conviction. The alleged trespass consisted of entering upon the land of Sagia and planting thereon coconuts and bananas. Not a single [2ASR644] prosecuting witness had any knowledge that any such trespass was committed by the defendant and each such witness so admitted on the stand. Each prosecuting witness admitted that he relied upon a hearsay statement made by a Faifeau to the effect that the defendant had committed the alleged trespass. Such hearsay testimony was not admissible and cannot be considered by the court.


            There being no evidence to warrant a conviction, Simi is found not guilty and is discharged.