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Chapter 12 - Preliminary Examination and Commencement of Action

Chapter 12 - Preliminary Examination and Commencement of Action

46.1220 Prosecution of complaints.


All criminal prosecutions shall be brought in the name of the “Government of American Samoa”. The Attorney General shall prosecute all criminal cases before the High Court. The prosecution of misdemeanors may be initiated by complaint or by criminal information. The prosecution of felonies may be initiated only by criminal information.

46.1221 Summons.


(a) When a complaint is laid before the Chief Justice, Associate Justice or an Associate Judge, of the commission of a public offense triable in American Samoa, the justice or judge may, in lieu of issuing a warrant of arrest and commitment, issue a summons commanding and directing the defendant to appear before a specified court at a time certain in the future to answer to the charge. The offense charged must be stated in the summons.

(b) If the defendant fails to appear before the court specified, in response to the summons, the justice or judge may issue a warrant of arrest and commitment in the manner provided in this title.