30 Jul 2018

US moves to fill American Samoa justice position

8:20 am on 30 July 2018

The US Department of Interior is moving to fill the Associate Justice position on the High Court of American Samoa in the hope it will resolve a backlog of cases there.

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond has been on medical leave and a District Court Judge has acted in the position for more than a year.

The Chief Justice and the Associate Justice are appointed by the US Interior Secretary and both are federal employees with salaries paid by the US Department.

American Samoa governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, said he had been informed that the Associate Justice position was now being advertised.

Lolo said he hoped members of the American Samoa Bar Association would take advantage of the opportunity.

He said he appreciated the action to fill the post, given the growing backlog of cases at the High Court requiring adjudication.

The position is currently only advertised through a federal website which showed the salary is set at just over $US125,000 annually.