Buy cheap gay porn.

AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT and BRENNAN ISAAKO v.NTV ELECTRONICS, MANAGER NING TAN

 

AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT and BRENNAN ISAAKO
for AASU and AOLOAU CATHOLIC CHOIR, Plaintiffs,
v.
NTV ELECTRONICS, MANAGER NING TAN,
KENNY AND HELEN YOUNG, and PROGRESSIVE
INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
__________________________________
NTV ELECTRONICS and MANAGER NING TAN,
Cross-Claimants/Cross-Defendants,
v.
OXFORD/PROGRESSIVE GROUP, et al.,
Cross-Defendants/Cross-Claimants.
__________________________________
High Court of American Samoa
Trial Division
CA No. 74-00
300
December 24, 2002

 

[1] Although the rules of the courts of American Samoa are based on,
and in many instances identical to, federal court rules, American Samoa
courts are not bound to interpret their own rules in conformity with every
judicial gloss that has been written on the federal rules.
[2] The common practice of American Samoa courts is to consider their
orders—which often contain a recitation of the facts, procedural history,
and legal reasoning—as judgments for purposes of filing post-judgment
motions.
[3] The new trial motion and appellate deadlines may begin to run
despite the fact that no written judgment has issued.
[4] Where the court issues a judgment separate from its order, such is
made clear in the court’s order, and the time to move for a new trial, and
to appeal, begins running when the separate judgment is entered into the
docket.
[5] Where court clerk stamped order amending judgment and docketed
the same as court’s amended judgment pursuant to longstanding practice
of court, such filing did not violate T.C.R.C.P. 58 or T.C.R.C.P. 54(a)
and motion for reconsideration filed fourteen days later was properly
considered tardy and dismissed.
Before RICHMOND, Associate Justice, and LOGOAI, Chief Associate
Judge.
Counsel: For Cross-Claimants NTV Electronics and Manager Ning Tan,
Paul F. Miller
For Cross-Defendants Oxford/Progressive Group, Roy J.D.
Hall, Jr.
ORDER DISMISSING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
On March 18, 2002, this court issued its opinion and order in favor of
cross-claimants NTV Electronics and Manger Ning Tan (“crossclaimants”).
On September 16, 2002, we granted the motion for
reconsideration by cross-defendant Oxford/Progressive Group
(“Progressive”), and ordered entry of judgment in Progressive’s favor.
Cross-claimants filed a motion for reconsideration with respect to that
second decision on September 30, 2002, 14 days after the new judgment
had been entered. Progressive now moves to dismiss that motion
301
because it was filed more than 10 days after the judgment was
announced. A.S.C.A. § 43.0802. We agree.
Discussion
Cross-claimants argue in opposition to the motion to dismiss that in
making our decision of September 16, we did not set forth the judgment
in a separate document as required by T.C.R.C.P. 58.1 They argue that
therefore the time to file their motion did not begin to toll; indeed, under
their theory, it has yet to start. Furthermore, they assert that the
judgment did not conform with the requirements of T.C.R.C.P. 54(a).2
The scope of these requirements are issues of first impression.
Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 58, on which our Rule 58 is based, the Supreme
Court has said the separate-document requirement must be
“mechanically applied.” United States v. Indrelunas, 411 U.S. 216, 221-
222 (1973). Yet the Supreme Court and various federal courts of appeal
have retreated somewhat from such a strict application. See, e.g.,
Bankers Trust Co. v. Mallis, 435 U.S. 381, 386-388 (1978) (separate
document not needed when parties waive the requirement); Hollywood v.
Santa Maria, 886 F.2d. 1228, 1231-32 (9th Cir. 1989) (separate
document not needed for order denying motion for new trial); United
States v. Clearfield State Bank, 497 F.2d 256, 258-59 (10th Cir. 1974)
(separate document only necessary when uncertain whether final
judgment has entered). The softening of this requirement is justified as
long as the result ensures that the purpose of the rule is effectuated: “to
eliminate uncertainty as to whether and when a judgment has been
rendered and entered.” 11 CHARLES ALAN WRIGHT, ARTHUR R. MILLER,
& MARY KAY KANE, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 2781 (2d
ed. 1995); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 58 (advisory committee’s note to
1963 Amendment).
[1] While T.C.R.C.P. 58 is virtually identical to the federal equivalent,
“this court is not bound to interpret its own rules in conformity with
every judicial gloss that has been written on the federal rules[.]” Wray v.
Wray, 5 A.S.R.2d 34, 45 (Trial Div. 1987). This is especially so since, at
the federal level, Congress promulgates the rules whereas in American
1 Rule 58 states in part, “Every judgment shall be set forth on a separate
document. A judgment is effective only when so set forth and when
entered as provided in 23 HCR.” (emphasis added)
2 Rule 54(a) states, “Definition; Form. ‘Judgment’ as used in these rules
includes a decree and any order from which an appeal lies. A judgment
shall not contain a recital of pleadings or the record of prior
proceedings.”
302
Samoa, the High Court “makes its own rules.” Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Jue,
8 A.S.R.2d 120, 123 (Trial Div. 1988). Thus, the problem sometimes
arises where “verbatim importation” of the federal rules is “inappropriate
or impossible.” Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Falefatu, 17 A.S.R.2d 114, 120
(Trial Div. 1990). This being one of those situations, we will follow the
spirit, and not the letter, of the federal rules.
[2] The problems that plagued the federal system are not, and never
were, problems in American Samoa. For some time, it has been the
common practice of this court to consider its orders—which often
contain a recitation of the facts, procedural history, and legal
reasoning—as judgments. The clerk stamps a date on the order, which is
then entered in the docket. It is the ordinary understanding among those
who practice law here that our order is the judgment for purposes of
filing all post-judgment motions. If we were to accept cross-claimants’
argument, then every case denying post-judgment relief because the
motion was untimely filed would have been wrongly decided. Such a
result is absurd.
[3] The most striking example of the non-application of the separate
document requirement can be found in Judicial Memorandum No. 2-87,
4 A.S.R.2d 172, 173 (1987). There, Chief Justice Rees, joined by then
Associate Justice Kruse, declared that even though a judgment must be
in writing to be effective (citing T.C.R.C.P. 58), under H.C.R. 23, the
date of entry of the judgment for all purposes, including filing a postjudgment
motion, is the day a written judgment is filed or an oral
judgment is pronounced from the bench, whether or not the clerk dockets
the result. Id. at 173-74. This judicial declaration reconciled the
procedural requirements under H.C.R. 23 and A.S.C.A. § 43.0802 for
filing a new trial motion within 10 days after a judgment is announced.
Thus, the new trial motion and appellate deadlines may begin to run
despite the fact that no written judgment has issued, let alone a separate
one.
[4] We acknowledge that, from time to time, we may issue a judgment
on a separate document. In those cases, we make it clear in our order
that a judgment will enter separately. In that limited situation, the time
to move for a new trial and to appeal does begin to run when that
separate document is entered into the docket. Otherwise, we usually
declare that judgment will enter as set out in the order. This is how the
order on the first motion for reconsideration was styled in this case.
The order entered on September 16, 2002, as the judgment in this action
reads:
303
We grant Progressive’s motion for reconsideration, set aside
the judgment in favor of NTV and Tan, and reverse our
original decision. NTV and Tan take nothing against
Progressive. A new judgment shall enter accordingly.
[5] The wording of the written judgment set forth in this order is
unequivocal. It satisfied any legitimate concerns about the certainty of
whether and when the judgment was issued and entered. The judgment
was clearly announced for the procedural filing purposes of post-trial
motions. Therefore, the time for filing a motion for reconsideration or a
new trial began to run the day the judgment in the order was entered, and
the deadline expired well before cross-claimants filed their motion.
Finally, T.C.R.C.P. 58 is to be read in conjunction with T.C.R.C.P.
54(a). For the same reasons we hold Rule 58 inapplicable in this case,
we hold cross-complainants’ reference to Rule 54(a) unpersuasive. Rule
54, like Rule 58, is intended to clarify whether and when a judgment has
entered. Because, however, local practice differs from the federal level,
we will also not needlessly incorporate the strict requirements of Rule
54(a). We further note that the judgment paragraph contained in the
order of September 16, 2002, does not recite any pleadings, but of
necessity refers to prior proceedings. It stands alone from the discussion
of the issues and, as a practical matter, does not of itself violate the spirit
of Rule 54(a)—or Rule 58. Cf. Dev. Bank of Am. Samoa v. Ilalio, 5
A.S.R.2d 110, 112-113 (Trial Div. 1987) (Opinion which was divided
into sentences, paragraphs, and general areas of discussion was sufficient
to conform with T.C.R.C.P. 52 which requires findings of facts to be
stated separately from legal conclusions).
Order
Cross-claimants’ motion for reconsideration is dismissed.
It is so ordered.