43.0502 How served-Notice.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 43.0502]

(a) After the complaint or petition has been filed with the court in which the matter is pending, notice shall be published once each month for 2 consecutive months in some newspaper or publication of general circulation, posted in the front of the court house in the village of Fagatogo, for the same period, and mailed by registered United States mail to the defendant at his last known address. If at any time there is no newspaper or other publication of general circulation in American Samoa available, and such fact is so found by the court, notice by posting and mails shall be sufficient.

(b) The notice shall contain and inform the defendant of the following:

(1) the name of the plaintiff:

(2) the name of the court wherein the action is brought and that the petition is on file in the court:

(3) a statement in general terms of the cause or causes of action, and, if it is for money, the amount, and that unless the defendant appears and defends within 2 months and 10 days from the date of the first publication, which date shall be published as a part of the notice, a default will be entered against him and judgment or decree rendered thereon.

History: 1962, PL 7-36.

Case Notes:

Notice by publication must be calculated to afford due process and may require publication in multiple languages and in newspapers in jurisdiction outside American Samoa. Memorandum of the Justices, 2 ASR2d 33 (1986).

When personal service cannot be made upon a respondent in a divorce action within American Samoa, a petitioner may apply for an order authorizing issuance of a notice for service by publication, supported by an affidavit or another acceptable, verified statement of nonresidency or unknown residency. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.0501-43.0504; T.C.R.C.P. 4(e). Pula v. Pula, 24 A.S.R.2d 151 (1993).

When a petitioner files an affidavit that personal service cannot be made upon a respondent in a divorce action within American Samoa, due to nonresidency or unknown residency, service of process may be made by publication or registered mailing. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.0501-43.0504; T.C.R.C.P. 4(e), 12(a). Pula v. Pula, 24 A.S.R.2d 93 (1993).

Requirements of statute providing for notice by publication to defendant in legal proceeding must be complied with before action against defendant can proceed to trial. A.S.C.A. § 43.0502. In re A Minor Child, 7 A.S.R.2d 24 (1988).

To be genuinely calculated to give notice, service by publication on a person believed to reside in Western Samoa should ordinarily be in a Western Samoa newspaper in the Samoan language, and notice in Samoan should also be mailed to the party at his last known address. A.S.C.A. § 43.0502. In re A Minor Child, 7 A.S.R.2d 125 (1988).

Territorial statute allowing service on absent defendants by publication requires three forms of notice: publication in a newspaper, posting in front of the court house, and mailing by registered mail at his last known address. A.S.C.A. § 43.0502(a). In re Three Minor Children, 10 A.S.R.2d 57 (1989).