(a) The Court may appoint 1 or more referees to hear any case or matter under the Court’s jurisdiction, except where a jury trial has been requested. Referees serve at the pleasure of the Court, unless otherwise provided by law.
(b) A person need not be licensed to practice law in the Territory of American Samoa to be appointed a referee. However, if the Court appoints a referee who is not licensed to practice law, the Court shall instruct the referee as to appropriate juvenile law and procedure.
(c) Referees shall conduct hearings in the manner provided for the hearing of cases by the Court. Prior to any hearing, except those at which the child is advised of his rights and either admits or denies the allegations of the petition, the referee shall inform the parties that they have the right to a hearing before the Court in the first instance and that they may waive that right, but that by waiving that right, they are bound by the findings and recommendations of the referee except as provided in subsection (e).
(d) At the conclusion of a hearing, the referee shall:
(1) transmit promptly to the Court all papers relating to the case together with his findings and recommendations in writing;
(2) advise the parties before him of his findings and recommendations; and
(3) advise the parties of their right to review of the findings and recommendations by the court.
(e) A request for review shall be filed within 5 days after the conclusion of the hearing and shall clearly set forth the grounds relied upon. The review shall be solely upon the record of the hearing before the referee. If review is not requested, the findings and recommendations of the referee becomes the decree of the Court when confirmed by order of the Court. The judge may, on his motion, order a hearing of any case before a referee.History: 1980, PL 16-11 § 1.
Research Guide: CRS 19-1-110.