Chapter 20 - Government Land Transactions

Chapter 20 - Government Land Transactions

37.2001 Eminent domain-Compensation.

(a) The Government may take any land, easement or right-of-way, or any other property interest in American Samoa, when required for public purposes. Where possible, the Governor shall consult with the Legislature about proposed condemnation projects, and shall obtain the advice of the Legislature on all such projects. Payment of just compensation shall be made, in accordance with the procedures described in 43.1001 through 43.1036, to those who may be deprived of their property by such taking.

(b) The public purpose for a parcel of land acquired by the Government under eminent domain must be specified in the proposed condemnation. If the subject land is not used for the stated public purpose within five years after condemnation it must be returned to the prior owner with all improvements.

37.2010 Authority to purchase property-Transfer of title.

The Government shall have the power and authority to purchase property for public purposes from the owners, and to compensate them by private agreement. When an agreement has been made for a purchase by the Government, a transfer of the title to the property shall be executed by the seller to the Government.

37.2020 Four-year lease.

No lease of real property owned or controlled by the Government may be entered into for a period longer than 4 years unless such lease contains a provision satisfactory to the lessor whereby the rentals or lease price is adjusted upward or downward at intervals to adjust for inflation. For this purpose, recognized indexes appropriate to measure increases in value of real property, maintained by federal government agencies, shall be made applicable by regulation adopted under the provision of the Administrative Procedure Act, 4.1001 et seq.

37.2025 Six-year lease.

No lease of real property owned or controlled by the Government may be entered into for a period longer than 6 years unless such lease contains a provision to adjust for inflation as provided in 37.2020, and, in addition, contains provisions satisfactory to the lessor which permit the rental to be renegotiated at the end of the third year, and annually thereafter, to adjust for changes in circumstances not related to inflation which increase or decrease the value of the leasehold. Changes in circumstances within the meaning of this section shall be those provided in regulations adopted under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, 4.1001 et seq., such as, but not limited to, governmental actions increasing or decreasing the value of the leases, it being the purpose of this section that such adjustments shall be approximately one-half of the increment or decrement resulting from such governmental actions.

37.2030 Ten-year lease.

No lease of real property owned or controlled by the government which extends for a period of 10 years or longer may be effective until it has been submitted to the Fono, and not disapproved by a concurrent resolution duly adopted within 30 days of its submission. A special session may be called for the purpose of considering such leases.

37.2040 Relocation and assistance.

(a) The Governor is authorized and empowered to promulgate such rules as are necessary to provide relocation payments and assistance and to otherwise enable the government to comply with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, Public Law 91-646, January 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1894.

(b) When federal funds are available for payment of financial assistance to persons displaced as a result of the acquisition of property for a federally assisted public improvement, and to the extent that the Legislature of American Samoa has provided matching funds for the federal funds, the Governor shall have authority to implement and administer all financial assistance in accordance with the provisions of the federal law and regulations.

37.2050 Highway-Establishment.

The public highway declared and proclaimed by Regulations No. 15 and No. 16, 1900, enacted 3 September 1900, by B. F. Tilley. Commander, U.S.N., Commandant, and amended by W. Evans, Captain, U.S.N., on 10 May 1921, extending from Blunt’s Point on the southern side of Pago Pago Harbor, toward Observatory Point and around the harbor to Breaker’s Point on the northern side of the harbor, along the shore at highwater mark, of a uniform width of 15 feet distant inland from the shore, the land included in the description being condemned and appropriated for public uses, is recognized as a public highway, and the rights of the government and the public thereto is asserted.

37.2051 Highway-Construction and repair-Interference.

(a) It shall be lawful for those employed by the government to enter upon the lands within the boundaries stated in 37.2050 and build or repair the highway thereon as from time to time directed, remove all rocks, trees or other obstructions and complete the formation or repair of the highway.

(b) Any person who obstructs or who in anyway aids or abets in the obstruction of, the building or repair of the highway established by 37.2050 shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $50, or imprisoned with or without hard labor, in the discretion of the court, for a term not exceeding 3 months, for each offense.

37.2052 Highway-Erection of private structures-Penalty.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to erect any fence, wharf, boathouse, building or structure of any kind whatsoever to seaward of the public highway established by 37.2050 without special permission of the Governor of American Samoa, to whom there must be presented a written application with plans of the structure intended to be erected.

(b) Any wharf, fence, building or other structure erected in contravention of this section must be removed upon the order of the Governor at the expense of the person erecting or causing the same to be erected, and in addition, any person so erecting, or causing the same to be erected, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced accordingly.