37.0210 Registration required-Notice of contents.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 37.0210]

(a) No instrument shall be effectual to pass the title to any land or any interest therein, or to render such land liable as security for the payment of any debt or obligation until such instrument has been duly registered with the Territorial Registrar.

(b) Due registration of an instrument relating to land or an interest therein shall be notice of the contents of such instrument to all persons thereafter dealing with such land or interest therein.

History: 1962, PL 7-31 1968 PL 10-68; readopted 1980 PL 16-88 §§ 1, 2, 1982 PL 17-31 §§ 1, 2.

Case Notes:

At the time plaintiff grantee received and registered deed. title to the property described therein passed to plaintiff and grantor lost all interest therein, and defendant grantees of adjoining land owned by the same grantor as had sold land to plaintiff would be held to have had notice of the contents of plaintiff’s duly registered deed at the time defendants accepted delivery of their own deed, and defendants’ deed, which passed to them a small portion of the land already passed to plaintiff, had no effect on plaintiffs ownership of the property described in plaintiffs deed Moon v Falemalama 4 ASR 836 (1975).

Where the record is unclear as to whether a deed has been duly registered, the appellate court will remand the issue to the trial court for further evidentiary findings. A.S.C.A. § 37.0210(a). Vaimaona v. Tuitasi, 18 A.S.R.2d 88 (1991).

Final step in the statutory procedure for alienation of communal land is recordation of the transaction with the Territorial Registrar; when a buyer and seller comply with all the statutory provisions for alienation of land, including this recordation provision, the buyer becomes the owner of whatever interest the seller had in the land. A.S.C.A. § 37.0210. Vaimaona v. Tuitasi (Mem.), 13 A.S.R.2d 76 (1989).

Territorial statute providing for the registration of instruments, as opposed to the registration of title itself, does not specify posting or any other particular from of notice prior to registration. A.S.C.A. § 37.0210. Vaimaona v. Tuitasi (Mem.), 13 A.S.R.2d 76 (1989).

Though registration of an instrument of conveyance is a necessary condition of the effectiveness of that instrument to pass title, it may not in all cases be sufficient; registration of the instrument gives notice to people dealing with the land “thereafter” but does not necessarily affect the interests of persons who dealt with the land before. A.S.C.A. § 37.0210. Vaimaona v. Tuitasi, 18 A.S.R.2d 88 (1991).

Land registration statute does not require that posting of notices be evidenced by an affidavit or by any other particular form of notice. A.S.C.A. §§ 37.0101 et seq. Vaimaona v. Tuitasi (Mem.), 13 A.S.R.2d 76 (1989).

Matai cannot alienate land without complying with certain statutory procedures, including the approval of the Governor of American Samoa. A.S.C.A. §§ 37.0201 et seq. Sivia v. Alaimalo, 13 A.S.R.2d 95 (1989).