AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT, Plaintiff
CCJS MAFATAGA TAMA, Defendants.
High Court of American Samoa
PHC No. 11776
October 24, 2003
 Health permits for selling prepared food to the public are valid for a period of one year, in accordance with A.S.C.A. § 25.0504; a Department of Health official cannot recover a fee for issuing a health permit nor issue one for a period less than one year.
Before KRUSE, Chief Justice.
Counsel: For Plaintiff, Martin McCarthy, Assistant Attorney General
For Defendants, Glen Levi, pro se
The Defendants are a youth organization of the CCJS Church of Fagatogo. A public health officer cited them for roadside barbecue fund-raising (selling prepared food to the public) without a health permit, in violation of A.S.C.A. § 25.0501. In fact, the Defendants had a health permit issued by the Department of Health, which had on its face expired. The permit issued to the Defendants was for three months. Additionally, a fee for the issuance thereof was assessed for the permit.
The Defendants take exception with the citation arguing that the law requires that the duration of a health permit shall be for one year, and not three months. See A.S.C.A. § 25.0504. They further take exception with the permitting scheme they were subjected to as an unauthorized money-making ruse.1
 The Defendants are absolutely right. A.S.C.A. § 25.0504 provides that a health permit “shall be valid for one year from the day of issuance” (emphasis added). Furthermore, “[n]o fee or charge may be made for issuing a permit.” Id. The issuing official acted not only without authority but in clear contravention of the statute.2
1 It was not exactly clear on the evidence where the permit fees were
2 The permit cites to “Section 25.0601” as authority for issuing a three-
With the government’s complicity in the Defendants’ situation, the citation will be dismissed.
It is so ordered.
month permit. A review of § 25.0601 reveals that this enactment has
absolutely nothing to do with authorizing three-month permits.
Moreover, the statutory permit-issuing authority is the “Director of
Health.” See A.S.C.A. § 25.0501. Here, the official signing off on the
permit in question gives his title as “Chief Environmental Health