Chapter 03 - Procedure in Lands and Titles Division

Chapter 03 - Procedure in Lands and Titles Division

43.0301 Presence of judges and assessors required for exercise of jurisdiction.

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, the Land and Titles Division shall not exercise any jurisdiction conferred upon it unless there is present the presiding judge, 2 associate judges and 2 assessors. Where, by reason of the absence of the minimum number of persons referred to above, it is necessary to adjourn the sitting of the Land and Titles Division or the hearing of any case, the presiding judge, or in his absence, the clerk of the High Court may adjourn or further adjourn such sitting or the hearing of such case to such future day as the presiding judge or the clerk shall think fit.

43.0302 Certificate of irreconcilable dispute.

(a) Before any action relating to controversies over communal land or matai titles may be commenced in the Land and Titles Division, each party shall file with his complaint a certificate signed and attested by the Secretary of Samoan Affairs or his deputy, in which the Secretary or his deputy affirms and states:

(1) that on at least 2 occasions, the parties have appeared personally before him and 2 persons designated by him, without an attorney or counsel, and that an attempt was made to resolve the controversy;

(2) that all parties to the controversy received at least 20 days notice for each of the 2 required appearances;

(3) the date and hour of the beginning and conclusion of each appearance;

(4) the findings and conclusions of the Secretary or his deputy and the 2 designees with respect to the controversy heard before them, including a statement of the reason why the controversy could not be resolved.

(b) The certification mentioned in subsection (a) may not be required prior to the issuance of a temporary restraining order issued by the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice to prevent the occurring of irreparable damage.

43.0303 Orders prior to proceedings-Effect-Modification.

(a) If the Chief Justice or Associate Justice is satisfied that a dispute which is within the jurisdiction of the Land and Titles Division has arisen between Samoans and is likely to be the subject matter of proceedings under this chapter, he may, at any time before the commencement of proceedings, make such order as to him may seem just to restrain any Samoans from:

(1) remaining in possession of or entering upon any Samoan land;

(2) holding or using any Samoan name or title;

(3) exercising any right or doing any act, matter or thing concerning or affecting any Samoan land or any Samoan name or title.

(b) Any order under subsection (a) may be made ex parte or otherwise and shall remain in full force and effect until the final judgment of the Land and Titles Division. The presiding judge may, at any time after the commencement of proceedings and upon the application of any party affected by such order, modify, vary or rescind the same.

43.0304 Interlocutory orders.

In any proceeding, a justice may, pending final determination of the matter by the Land and Titles Division, make such interim orders as he thinks appropriate. The associate judges sitting in matai title disputes shall refer all requests for ex parte or interim orders to the Chief Justice or Associate Justice for appropriate action, unless the associate judges are in unanimous agreement thereon from entry of judgment and a trial de novo shall be held thereon.

43.0305 Status of orders.

Any order made under 43.0303 or 43.0304 shall be deemed to be an order of the Land and Titles Division and shall be enforceable accordingly.