Chapter 03 - Village Government

Chapter 03 - Village Government

5.0301 Appointment of pulennus.

(a) Biennially, on or before 31 December of each even-numbered year, the Governor shall appoint from the ranks of chiefs resident in each village a chief to be known as the pulenuu, to serve a 2-year term commencing 1 January.

(b) In making such appointment, the Governor shall take into consideration any nominations made by the Village Council, and the recommendations of the District Governor and the County Chief. Nomination by the Village Council shall be referred to the County Chief and the District Governor, who shall submit the same to the Governor together with their recommendations.

5.0302 Duties of pulenuu.

The pulenuu shall:

(1) be responsible for the welfare and good order of the people of his village;

(2) preside at the Village Council meetings and report all proceedings to the County Chief within 10 days after each meeting;

(3) report to the County Chief as to the order of the people of his village, the sanitary condition of the village, the state of the roads, and all matters to which the Village Council is required to attend, when requested to do so by the county chief;

(4) convene the Village Council;

(5) be responsible for the enforcement of all village regulations; and

(6) keep the records required by law.

5.0303 Village council—Composition—Time of meetings.

The Village Council shall consist of all chiefs and heads of families resident in the village, and shall meet once each month on a day chosen by it, and at the call of the pulenuu.

5.0304 Village Council meetings—Rules.

The following rules shall apply at Village Council meetings:

(a) All present at the meeting may speak before the council.

(b) If any person causes any trouble in the meeting, or if there is any dispute as to who shall speak first, then the presiding chief shall direct and name the one who may speak first, and he shall point out the times when his counselors may speak.

(c) All persons attending the meeting must obey the presiding chief in matters concerning the council. If anyone is disobedient and is not orderly at the meetings, or does not show respect to the rulings of the presiding chief, or is turbulent or obstinate, the presiding chief may order the disturber to leave the council meeting. If he refuses to leave, the presiding chief shall call a policeman to take the offender from the council meeting, and shall report him to the police for punishment in accordance with law.

5.0305 Village regulations—Penalties— Enforcement.

(a) The village council of each village may enact village regulations concerning the cleanliness of the village, planting of the lands, making and cleaning of roads, and any other matters of a strictly local nature.

(b) Regulations enacted by a village council may not take effect until they have been approved by the Department of Samoan Affairs and have been proclaimed publicly and posted in writing by the pulenuu.

(c) The village council shall provide in the regulations the penalty to be imposed upon persons found guilty of violating the regulations. Penalties shall be limited to reasonable village work not to exceed 25 hours, or fines of money or property not to exceed $25 in amount or value, or both.

(d) No village regulation may conflict with the Constitution or laws of the United States or with the Constitution or laws of American Samoa.

(e) Neither the pulenuu or the village council may inflict punishment upon any offender. Any offender shall be taken before the proper court, and tried and punished in accordance with the law.

5.0306 Village police.

The Governor may appoint one or more suitable persons in each village to act as village police officers. The Governor shall take into consideration any recommendations made by the Village Council, the County Chief and the District Governor. The village police shall be under the immediate supervision of the pulenuu.

5.0307 Village records and reports.

The pulenuu shall record in a book all matters discussed by the village council in all meetings. Each pulenuu shall report the resolutions passed at meetings, and also his general work, to the county chief, who shall transmit them to the Governor through the Office of Samoan Affairs. Such reports shall be made at the beginning of each month.

5.0308 Village boundaries.

A village includes the lands adjoining it.