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Tualo v. Tutogi,

MALIUGA TUAOLO of Pago Pago, Objector

 

v.

 

TUTOGI of Pago Pago, Applicant

 

[Matai Name: "Tuaolo" of Pago Pago]

 

High Court of American Samoa

Civil Jurisdiction, Trial Division

 

No. 194-1964

 

October 1, 1964

 

__________

 

            Application to be registered as holder of matai title "Tuaolo", to which there was one objector. Trial Division of the High Court, Chief Justice Morrow, found objector most qualified for matai title in accordance with four issues required by statute to be considered by court.

              Objector registered.

 

1. Matai Titles-Determination of Matai-wish of Family-Candidate favored by Family

Under Samoan custom, individual unanimously selected by family to hold matai title is candidate for title.

2. Matai Issues-Determination of Matai-Hereditary Right

Blood daughter prevails over grandson on issue of hereditary right to matai title under Samoan custom. (CAS 6.0107 0)

3. Matai Titles-Determination of Matai Wish of Family-Candidate Favored by Family

Where majority of family favor objector as title holder, and only applicant and her children prefer applicant, objector prevails on issue of wish of majority of family in determination of matai under Samoan custom, (CAS 6.0107.)

4. Matai Titles-Determination of Matai-Prevailing Candidate--Three Out of Four Considerations

Where objector prevails in three out of four considerations in determination of matai title holder, he is entitled to matai title.

__________

 

Heard before MORROW, Chief Justice, LETULIGASENOA, Associate Judge, and MASANIAI, Temporary Associate Judge, at Fagatogo on October 1, 1964.

 

Lolo, Counsel for Tuaolo, Maliuga.

Otto Galeai, Counsel for Tutogi. [4ASR489]

 

FINDINGS

 

            Upon consideration of the evidence and arguments of counsel in the above-entitled case the Court finds as follows:

            1. Tutogi filed an application to be registered as the holder of the matai name Tuaolo, attached to the Village of Pago Pago, on March 16, 1964.

            [1] 2. Maliuga Tuaolo filed an objection to the proposed registration on April 10, 1964, claiming that Tutogi had never been selected by the Tuaolo Family to hold the title Tuaolo but that he was the one who was unanimously selected by the Family to hold the title. He thereby became a candidate for the title.

            3. Each of the candidates has the qualifications for eligibility to hold a matai title, as prescribed by Section 6.0101 of the A. S. Code, 1961 Edition, except that Tutogi was not chosen by her family for the title.

            [2] 4. Tutogi prevails over Maliuga Tuaolo on the issue of hereditary right, she being the blood daughter of Tuaolo Maliuga with one-half Tuaolo blood, while the objector is the grandson of Tuaolo Maliuga with one-fourth Tuaolo blood. See Section 6.0107 (First) of the A. S. Code, 1961 Edition.

            [3] 5. Maliuga Tuaolo prevails over Tutogi on the issue of the "wish of the majority or plurality of the family as customary in that family," all the clans in the Tuaolo Family wishing the objector to hold the title, while only Tutogi and her blood children wish her to hold the title. See Sec. 6.0107 (Second) of the A. S. Code, 1961 Edition.

            6. Maliuga Tuaolo prevails over Tutogi on the issue of forcefulness, character, personality, and knowledge of Samoan customs." See Sec. 6.0107 (Third), A. S. Code, 1961 Edition.

            [4] 7. Maliuga Tuaolo prevails over Tutogi on the issue of the "value of the holder of the matai title to the family, [4ASR490] the village, and the country." See Sec. 6.0107 (Fourth), A. S. Code, 1961 Edition. Applying the law as prescribed by Sec. 6.0107 of the A. S. Code, 1961 Edition, to the foregoing findings, the Court further finds that Maliuga Tuaolo is entitled to be registered as the holder of the matai name Tuaolo attached to the Village of Pago Pago.

 

 DECREE

 

            Accordingly, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that Maliuga Tuaolo shall be registered as the holder of the matai name Tuaolo attached to the Village of Pago Pago. The Registrar of Titles will be advised of this decree.

            Costs in the sum of $8.50 are hereby assessed against Tutogi, the same to be paid within two weeks.

 

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