46.2402 Procedure on appeals.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 46.2402]

The following procedure shall apply to appeals taken to the appellate division of the High Court:

(a) Before filing a notice of appeal, a motion for a new trial shall be filed within 10 days after the announcement of the judgment or sentence.

(b) A notice of appeal shall be filed within 10 days after the denial of a motion for a new trial.

(c) The appellant shall cause the record on appeal to be filed with the appellate division and the appeal to be docketed there within 30 days from the date the notice of appeal is filed.

History: 1962, PL 7-36; 1966, PL 10-42; 1967, PL 10-17; 1968, PL 10-62.

Case Notes:

American Samoa procedure for appeals from Trial Division to Appellate Division of the High Court incorporates United States Federal Rules provisions as to time and procedure. RCAS 3.0502. Fanene v. Government, 4 ASR 957 (1968).

The ten-day time limit to file a motion for a new trial is mandatory and jurisdictional; errors of law not raised within ten days of judgment or sentence are waived, at least insofar as they concern the right to appeal. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.0802(a), 46.2402(a). American Samoa Government v. Falefatu, 17 A.S.R.2d 114 (1990).

In some cases, such as when an illegal sentence was pronounced on a defendant unrepresented by counsel or when the circumstances surrounding an error of law made it impossible for counsel to call it to the Court's attention within ten days, a statutory ten-day limit might amount to an unconstitutional denial of liberty without due process of law. U.S. Const. Amends. V, XIV; Revised Const. of American Samoa Art. I, § 2; A.S.C.A. § 46.2402(a). American Samoa Government v. Falefatu, 17 A.S.R.2d 114 (1990).

A motion for a new trial in a criminal case "shall be filed within 10 days after the announcement of judgment or sentence." A.S.C.A. § 46.2402(a). American Samoa Government v. Falefatu, 17 A.S.R.2d 114 (1990).

The formal style or caption of a motion for a new trial is not essential to fulfill the statutory requirement; nor must the motion specifically request a new trial rather than some lesser or different form of relief, as long as the asserted errors are susceptible of such relief. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.0802(a), 46.2402(a). American Samoa Government v. Falefatu, 17 A.S.R.2d 114 (1990).