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43.1301 Definitions.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 43.1301]

As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Applicant” means the entity or entities requesting the court’s issuance of an injunction in their favor.

(b) “Entity” means an individual, group of individuals, joint venture, partnership, corporation, trust, or other group, association, or thing cognizable under law.

(c) “lnjunction” means a court order which commands a party to take, conduct or effectuate, or prohibits a party from taking, conducting, or effectuating, specific action or activity.

(d) “Opposing party” means the entity or entities who have been or are requested to be enjoined.

(e) “Party” An entity which may sue or be sued in the court issuing the injunction is a party, if that entity is subject to the personal jurisdiction of that court at the time the injunction is served upon that entity, regardless of whether prior to the issuance of the injunction, that entity has been served with summons, or complaint, or otherwise notified of a potential or pending action.

(f) “Permanent injunction” means an injunction issued only after a full and final trial on the merits. A permanent injunction is in force and effect during the time period specified by the court at the time of issuance, or if no time period is specified then continuously until terminated by court order.

(g) “Preliminary injunction” means an injunction issued only after a noticed hearing in a court of competent jurisdiction on whether there is sufficient grounds for its issuance. A preliminary injunction is in force and effect continuously until such time as:

(1) the court issuing the preliminary injunction, or a superior court by court order, terminates the preliminary injunction; or

(2) a court of competent jurisdiction issues a permanent injunction in the same case in which the preliminary injunction was issued; or

(3) a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full and final trial on the merits, determines that a permanent injunction should not issue against the opposing party.

(h) “Sa‘o” means head matai or ulu of a Samoan family, for the purpose of this act, the traditionally recognized and registered sa’o or head matai in a Samoan family in American Samoa.

(i) “Samoan family” for the purpose of this act, means a unit of Samoan people bound together by tradition and blood heritage including blood relationship to the head matai title or sa’o of said family in American Samoa.

(j) “Sufficient grounds for the issuance of a preliminary injunction” means:

(1) there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant will prevail at trial on the merits and that a permanent injunction will be issued against the opposing party; and

(2) great or irreparable injury will result to the applicant before a full and final trial can be fairly held on whether a permanent injunction should issue.

(k) “Sufficient grounds for the issuance of a temporary restraining order” means:

(1) there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant will prevail at the hearing for a preliminary injunction;

(2) great or irreparable injury will result to the applicant before a hearing can be reasonably held on whether a preliminary injunction should issue; and

(3) the applicant:

(A) has informed the opposing party, or his attorney of the place and time the application for a temporary restraining order is to be made;

(B) has, in good faith, attempted to inform the opposing party, or his attorney of the place and time the application for a temporary rest raining order is to be made; or

(C) will probably incur substantial irreparable injury, loss, or damage, if required, prior to the issuance of the temporary restraining order, to inform the opposing party of the place and time the application is to be made.

(1) “Temporary restraining order” means an injunction prohibiting a party from taking, conducting, or effectuating, specific action or activity, issued after a court of competent jurisdiction determines that there is sufficient grounds for its issuance. A temporary restraining order is in force and effect only from the time of service upon the opposing party until:

(1) a court of competent jurisdiction issues a preliminary injunction embracing the subject action or activity;

(2) a court of competent jurisdiction, after hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should issue, determines that a preliminary injunction, embracing the subject action or activity should not issue; or

(3) 15 days from the date of issuance elapses, except that:

(A) the 15-day limitation may be extended by court order up to a total of 20 days upon a finding of good cause for that extension;

(B) the 15-day limitation may be extended as to an opposing party that stipulates, up to the end of the period to which stipulated, by and as to that opposing party.

History: 1981, PL 17-6.

Case Notes:

Subsection (j)(2): Irreparable injury demonstrated when injury is to traditional decision making process of Samoan family in land dispute. Talili v. Momosca, 3 A.S.R.2d 36(1986).

Plaintiff established sufficient grounds and was granted a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant from interfering with attempts to repair damage to plaintiff's home, where plaintiff's claim to reside on family lands was based on the fact that the matai and family had permitted her to use and occupy the homesite for ten years, while defendant's claim was based on the more tenuous ground that her immediate family exclusively owned the communal land in issue. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.1301(g),(j). Uli v. Talaeai, 16 A.S.R.2d 14 (1990).

Preliminary injunction was granted where plaintiff showed he was likely to prevail on the merits at trial and would suffer great injury before then if defendant was not enjoined from continuing construction of a house on land whose ownership was disputed. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Utu v. Paolo, 16 A.S.R.2d 113 (1990).

Sufficient grounds for issuing a preliminary injunction requires showing (1) a substantial likelihood that the applicant will prevail at the trial on the merits and that a permanent injunction will be issued; and (2) great or irreparable injury to the applicant before a full and final trial can be held regarding a permanent injunction. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Lefiti v. Tauanu'u, 24 A.S.R.2d 68 (1993).

A party seeking a preliminary injunction bears the burden of showing that great or irreparable injury will occur before a full and final trial can be held on whether a permanent injunction should issue. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j)(2). Timu v. McMoore, 24 A.S.R.2d 84 (1993).

Where plaintiff family member admitted that he had other living quarters, refusal of court to issue a preliminary injunction forbidding senior matai of family to interfere with ongoing construction on family land would not be likely to cause irreparable injury. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Mailo v. Nua, 5 A.S.R.2d 59 (1987).

Preliminary injunction may issue only if petitioner shows "sufficient grounds" after a hearing inter parties duly noticed. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(g). Gaoa v. Tulifua, 13 A.S.R.2d 30 (1989).

To have sufficient grounds for issuing a preliminary injunction, a court must find that petitioner has a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits at trial and without such injunction will suffer great or irreparable injury before a full trial. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Gaoa v. Tulifua, 13 A.S.R.2d 30 (1989).

Indignity and sense of hurt felt by petitioners with respect to respondents' construction on disputed land was not "irreparable injury" within meaning of the preliminary injunction statute. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Gaoa v. Tulifua, 13 A.S.R.2d 30 (1989).

Sufficient grounds for issuing a preliminary injunction consist of (1) a substantial likelihood that the applicants will prevail at trial on the merits, and (2) great or irreparable harm to the applicant. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Talauega v. Mulipola, 22 A.S.R.2d 7 (1992).

Plaintiff established sufficient grounds and was granted a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant from interfering with attempts to repair damage to plaintiff's home, where plaintiff's claim to reside on family lands was based on the fact that the matai and family had permitted her to use and occupy the homesite for ten years, while defendant's claim was based on the more tenuous ground that her immediate family exclusively owned the communal land in issue. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.1301(g),(j). Uli v. Talaeai, 16 A.S.R.2d 14 (1990).

Where plaintiff family member admitted that he had other living quarters, refusal of court to issue a preliminary injunction forbidding senior matai of family to interfere with ongoing construction on family land would not be likely to cause irreparable injury. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j). Mailo v. Nua, 5 A.S.R. 2d 59 (1987).

To issue a preliminary injunction a court must find that the applicant has a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits at trial, and without such injunction will suffer great injury before a full trial. A.S.C.A. § 43.1301(j)(1)-(2). Leaana v. Laban (Mem.), 12 A.S.R.2d 93 (1989).