1. Jurisdiction
a. General Provisions
b. Personal Jurisdiction
c. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
d. Issues Related to Federal Jurisdiction
e. Bankruptcy
f. Admiralty
g. Right of Action
h. Cause of Action
i. Rules of Civil Procedure Generally
j. Affidavits
2. Service of Process
a. General Provisions
b. By Publication
c. By Posting
d. Under the JIFSA
e. Pleadings
3. Pleadings
a. General Provisions - click for more -
“A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief...shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief to which he deems himself entitled.” T.C.R.C.P. 8(a). Under T.C.R.C.P. 8(a), a plaintiff must allege enough facts to sustain a claim; additionally, the plaintiff’s complaint (composed of such claims) must be plausible.   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

b. Liberal Construction - click for more -
The court is not constrained to view complaints penned by an attorney as laxly as the court would one authored by a pro se litigant.   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

In a T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) challenge, the court's mandate to liberally construe pleadings to do substantial justice, T.C.R.C.P. 8(f), does not mandate the court take everything alleged in a pleading's claim for relief as true. For instance, a pleading's   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Seemingly-cursory facts in a civil, pro se complaint are afforded more liberal construction than pleadings drafted by an attorney.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

The supposed “no set of facts” pleading standard articulated in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-6 (1957), “a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief,” is a misunderstood passage that cannot be interpreted literally.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

c. Amending Pleadings - click for more -
When the court authorizes a pleading be amended pursuant to T.C.R.C.P. 15(a), the amended pleading relates back to the date the original pleading was first filed, as if the amended pleading were filed the day the original pleading was.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

d. Rule 11 Sanctions
e. Plausibility Standard - click for more -
Where a plaintiff’s complaint is muddled with “naked assertions” the court need not consider those assertions true, and where the claims are so distorted that they permit the court at most to infer the mere “possibility of misconduct;” the Complaint fails the plausibility standard and is subject to dismissal under T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6).   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

“A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief...shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief to which he deems himself entitled.” T.C.R.C.P. 8(a). Under T.C.R.C.P. 8(a), a plaintiff must allege enough facts to sustain a claim; additionally, the plaintiff’s complaint (composed of such claims) must be plausible.   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

The test employed when determining the plausibility of a complaint is two-fold. First, the court must accept all allegations contained in a complaint as true provided the facts are not merely legal conclusions veiled as facts (“naked assertions”). Accordingly, if the facts are “naked assertions,” the court need not consider those facts as true. Secondly, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) motion. The second prong is “context specific” and the court draws from its own experience and common sense when making this determination. Therefore, when the court looks upon the well-pleaded facts and those facts permit the court to infer only the possibility of misconduct, and nothing more, the complaint fails because it alleges but does not show its pleader is entitled to relief.   - Vergara v. Am. Samoa Gov’t, CA No. 86-11, slip op. (Trial Div. Feb. 9, 2012) (order on def.’s mot. to dismiss)

It is unsettled whether this older ruling is still applicable in the wake of the plausibility standard in pleadings: parents of a deceased minor child can maintain a survival action against another all the way to final judgment if the parents, a reasonable time after final judgment, probate their child’s estate.   - 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)

The plausibility standard which applies to claims also applies to defenses. Parties may move to strike defenses which offend the particularity standard.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

To survive a motion to strike a defense premised on the plausibility standard, well pleaded facts must accompany a defense. A defense listed with no factual allegations of any kind cannot withstand the particularity standard as such a listing is a “naked assertion.”   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Well pleaded facts are considered true, but well-pleaded facts are still subject to the court's scrutiny: if, when drawing upon the court's   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

The plausibility standard mandates a plaintiff allege enough plausible facts to sustain a claim to satisfy T.C.R.C.P. 8(a) and survive a T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) challenge.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Pleadings subject to the plausibility standard, and challenged under T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6), are evaluated under a two-part test. First, the court must accept all allegations contained in a complaint as true provided the facts are not merely legal conclusions veiled as facts (   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

A nakedly-asserted defense can be struck from a responsive pleading; a party so affected can move to amend the responsive pleading to include well pleaded facts justifying the defense.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Once a court renders a sentence in a criminal case, for which no appeal is taken, that criminal case ends. The criminal is then subject to the jurisdictional purview of the executive branch’s Corrections Division. A.S.C.A. § 46.2303.   - Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Noa, CR No. 96-10, slip op. (Trial Div. July 10, 2012) (order dismissing motion)

4. Pretrial Motions
a. Motion to Dismiss
a. General Provisions
b. Court’s Discretion
c. Compared to Summary Judgment Motion - click for more -
Where a party seeking relief alleges well-pleaded facts that would satisfy the elements of a contract breach, then a T.C.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) defense preserved in a defending party’s answer cannot inure at trial and is subject to adjudication and disposal via summary judgment.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

d. Time for Filing Motion
b. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
a. Generally
b. Compared to Summary Judgment Motion
c. Motion for More Definite Statement
d. Motion to Strike
a. Generally - click for more -
To survive a motion to strike a defense premised on the plausibility standard, well pleaded facts must accompany a defense. A defense listed with no factual allegations of any kind cannot withstand the particularity standard as such a listing is a “naked assertion.”   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

A nakedly-asserted defense can be struck from a responsive pleading; a party so affected can move to amend the responsive pleading to include well pleaded facts justifying the defense.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

The plausibility standard which applies to claims also applies to defenses. Parties may move to strike defenses which offend the particularity standard.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

b. Relation to Controversy
c. Unduly Prejudicial
e. Dismissal of Actions
a. Generally
b. Voluntary Dismissal by Plaintiff
c. Voluntary Dismissal by Court
d. Failure to Prosecute
e. Time for Filing Motion
f. Costs of Previously Dismissed Action
f. Continuances
5. Parties & Claims
a. General Provisions
b. Joinder
c. Class Actions
d. Substitution of Parties
e. Interpleader
f. Intervention
g. Consolidation
h. Counterclaims
i. Cross-claims
j. Third Party Practice - 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)

k. Bifurcated Proceedings
6. Discovery
a. General Provisions
b. Depositions
c. Interrogatories
d. Productions of Documents & Things
e. Physical and Mental Examinations
f. Requests for Admission
g. Sanctions
h. Protective Orders
7. Summary Judgment
a. Standard - click for more -
An admission in pleadings is considered a fact for summary judgment proceedings.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

To make a prima facie showing for summary judgment, the party moving for summary judgment can use admissions in the record; affidavits are not always necessary.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

A court must resolve any factual issues in a controversy in favor of the nonmoving party, but conclusory, non-specific allegations are not sufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment, and missing facts will not be presumed.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

When the moving party sets out a prima facie case for summary judgment, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Summary judgment is proper where the record shows there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

b. Opposition to Motion
c. Compared to 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
d. Compared to Motion for Default Judgment
e. Compared to Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
f. Within Court’s Discretion - click for more -
A statute of limitations defense that could not inure at trial is subject to adjudication and disposal via summary judgment.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

g. By Affidavit
h. Notice and Hearing
i. Summary Judgment Denied
j. Summary Judgment Granted - click for more -
Where a party moving for summary judgment rightly indicates that the record and law cannot substantiate a non-moving party’s laches defense, and the non-moving party was notified of the summary judgment motion and provides deficient or unsupported averments in support of his laches defense, then that laches defense is properly subject to disposal via summary judgment.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

k. Appropriate Issues for Summary Judgment - click for more -
Where a party moving for summary judgment rightly indicates that the record and law cannot substantiate a non-moving party’s laches defense, and the non-moving party was notified of the summary judgment motion and provides deficient or unsupported averments in support of his laches defense, then that laches defense is properly subject to disposal via summary judgment.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

l. Standard of Review
m. Grounds for Appeal
8. Injunctions
a. General Provisions
b. Preliminary Injunctions
c. Injunctions Granted
d. Injunctions Denied
e. Substantial Likelihood of Success
f. Irreparable Injury
g. Permanent Injunctions
h. Compared to Stay Pending Appeal
9. Equitable Remedies
a. General Provisions
b. Estoppel, Unclean Hands
c. Laches - click for more -
A contract-breach claim that is not violative of this Territory’s statute of limitations is also not subject to dismissal via laches.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Laches is an equitable principle, which will bar a claim for relief subject to (1) the laches' elements being met, and (2) a court’s discretion.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

Laches is composed of two elements: (1) a party-seeking-relief's unreasonable delay in asserting his rights; and (2) an undue prejudice stemming from such delay affecting the other party.   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

d. Tolling
e. Subrogation
f. Constructive Trusts
10. Judgments
a. Enforcement of Judgments
b. Validity of Judgments
c. Orders in Aid of Judgment
d. Declaratory Judgments
e. Default Judgments
f. Interlocutory & Collateral Orders
g. Res Judicata & Collateral Estoppel
h. Merger
11. Post Judgment Motions & Appeals
a. Motion for New Trial or Reconsideration
a. General Provisions
b. Time for Filing
c. Particularity Requirement
d. Grounds for New Trial or Reconsideration
b. Relief from Judgment or Order - Rule 60 Motion
c. Stay of Proceedings
a. General Provisions
b. Likelihood of Appellate Success
c. Irreparable Harm/Balance of Equities
d. Public Interest
d. Appellate Jurisdiction
e. Petition for Rehearing
f. Appellate Procedures
a. Generally
b. Notice of Appeal
c. Appellate Briefs
d. Appellate Motions
e. Failure to Raise Issue Below
f. Transcripts
g. Costs of Appeal
h. Findings of Law – De Novo Review
i. Findings of Fact – Clearly Erroneous
j. Credibility of Evidence and Witnesses
k. Administrative Agency Decisions
l. Abuse of Discretion
m. Harmless and Reversible Error
12. Conflict of Laws
a. Law of the Forum
b. Foreign Courts and Judgments
13. Garnishment
14. Alternative Dispute Resolution
a. Compulsory Arbitration
b. Voluntary Arbitration
c. Mediation
d. Condemnation Proceedings
e. Appeal of Arbitrator’s Decision
15. Initial Matters - click for more -
The current Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are controlling (when practicable) in this Territory. A.S.C.A. § 43.0201(a).   - Pac. Grading Corp. v. Constr. Servs. of Samoa, CA No. 43-02, slip op. (Trial Div. May 3, 2012) (order granting ASG’s mot. for summ. j.)

a. Jurisdiction Generally - click for more -
Collateral issues concerning the Corrections Division or the Warden’s acting outside its/his scope of authority or violating constitutional or statutory rights can be addressed by the High Court’s Trial Division in a civil action. A.S.C.A. § 3.0208(a)(7)-(8).   - Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Noa, CR No. 96-10, slip op. (Trial Div. July 10, 2012) (order dismissing motion)

A sentenced defendant cannot tack a civil motion for a special writ concerning his imprisonment onto his criminal case; the defendant must file a civil action or seek redress with the Corrections Division.   - Am. Samoa Gov’t v. Noa, CR No. 96-10, slip op. (Trial Div. July 10, 2012) (order dismissing motion)

b. Issues Related to Federal Jurisdiction
c. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
d. Personal Jurisdiction
e. General Provisions
f. Bankruptcy
g. Admiralty
h. Right of Action
i. Cause of Action
j. Rules of Civil Procedure Generally
k. Affidavits