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1. Judicial Review
2. Justiciable Case or Controversy
a. Standing - click for more -
Jus tertii is a legal classification concept, wherein a third party asserts the right of another in a lawsuit most often used (to ill-effect) in property actions and constitutional challenges.   - The Estate of Rufo Alvear, Jr. v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 09-12, slip op. (Trial Div. April 10, 2012) (order denying application)

b. Ripeness
c. Mootness
d. Political Questions
e. Advisory Opinions
3. Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation
a. General Provisions - click for more -
Constitutional statutory authority is always paramount to administrative rule authority.    - Vaela’a v. Sunia, 1 A.S.R.3d 134 (Trial Div. 1997)

The District Court is bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s pronouncements concerning the parameters of protection afforded individuals under the Fourth Amendment.   - Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Miscoi, UTC Nos. 286246 & 286247, slip op. (Dist. Ct. Mar. 4, 2012)

b. Legislative Intent
c. Statutory Construction
d. Conflict of Laws
4. Separation of Powers
5. Full Faith and Credit
6. Due Process - click for more -
An action for damages premised under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 & 1985 cannot lie against the American Samoa Government as the government is not a “person” within the meaning of those federal statutes.   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

Violations of a right specifically protected under the substantive component of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are complete when the government official undertakes the wrongful action; consequently, claims for such violations are actionable under Section 1983.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to prevent government from abusing its power, or employing it as an instrument of oppression.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

The Fifth Amendment protects civil detainees in the custody of the United States from conditions that amount to punishment. Immigration detainees are civil detainees and should receive the same level of due process protection as pre-trial criminal detainees.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that only the most egregious official conduct can be said to be arbitrary in the constitutional sense. A government official whose action “shocks the conscience” violates substantive due process. Thus, in a due process challenge to executive action, the threshold question is whether behavior of the governmental officer is so egregious, so outrageous, that it may fairly be said to shock the contemporary conscience. Government officials who use force with the intent to harm an individual is an action that may be deemed shocking.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

A constitutional right applies to an unincorporated territory on its own force if: (1) the right is fundamental as applied to the states and (2) its application to the territory would not be impracticable or anomalous to the culture and customs of American Samoa.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

Due process, in general, is a constitutionally protected fundamental right.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

Due process, as the U.S. Constitution protects it, is neither impracticable nor anomalous in the way that it is applied to the Territory. Due process is well observed and protected in the Territory.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

American Samoa is indeed a territory contemplated under Section 1983.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

Due process of law in American Samoa is a right whose protection not only comes from the Revised Constitution of American Samoa; it is also protected under the U.S. Constitution.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

Congress intended to expand the applicability of Section 1983 to enable the people in the territories to redress deprivations of constitutionally protected due process rights irrespective of whether such rights spring from the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

Where the conduct concerned involves that of a person acting under color of territorial law, the issue of whether Section 1983 is a right of action available to the people in American Samoa depends on whether: (1) due process in American Samoa is protected under the U.S. Constitution; and (2) American Samoa is a territory that is contemplated under Section 1983. If both are true, then Section 1983 is a right of action that is available to the people in American Samoa.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

The viability of a Section 1983 claim in American Samoa is not premised on determining whether due process of law in the Territory is protected under the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment or whether American Samoa’s constitution preempts both. One need only look at the statute’s plain language to realize that the source of the constitutionally protected right is inconsequential for determining whether Section 1983 applies to a territory. It is enough that due process, as applied to the Territory, is a right protected under the U.S. Constitution and that the Territory is a territory contemplated under Section 1983.   - Bartolome v. JKL, Inc., CA No. 30-08, slip op. (Trial Div. Jun. 21, 2012) (order granting in part and denying in part def.’s mot. for summ. j.)

7. Individual Rights
a. Generally
b. Equal Protection
c. Freedom of Speech, Press, and Religion
d. Takings and Just Compensation
e. Cruel and Unusual Punishment
f. Discrimination
8. Contracts
9. Habeas Corpus