American Samoa Public Records
An unincorporated territory located in the South Pacific, American Samoa consists of five main islands and two coral atolls. American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, which is west of the Cook Islands and north of Tonga. The southernmost territory of the U.S., American Samoa has the highest rate of military enlistment of any U.S. state or territory, and tuna is its chief export. The government of the territory is defined under the Constitution of American Samoa, and its 57,000 residents are considered U.S. citizens, although they cannot vote in the presidential elections. American Samoa does make provisions for the sharing of its records with the public.
Table of Contents
American Samoa Public Records Laws
American Samoa does not have a specific public records act, but they are mentioned in the Territorial Code. In Title 04, Chapter 11 of the Annotated Code, Public Records are discussed as they relate to the executive branch of government. The language in the code has more to do with how records are to be kept than listing what is and isn’t available.
It is stated that such things as land titles, land transfers, court grants, native leases, corporations, and registers of the government should be kept as “public records”. The code also states that these items shall be open and available for public inspection. No exempt items are listed.
American Samoa Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks
Background checks in American Samoa are available from the Commission of Police, Department of Public Safety. They no longer have an active website, but you can write to them with a request for information at: Commissioner of Police, P.O. Box 53, Apia, AS 00917.
American Samoa Jail and Inmate Records
Corrections in American Samoa is administered by the Department of Public Safety. They used to have a website, but it is no longer active. There is one correctional facility on the main island called the Tafuna Correctional Facility Authority. The phone number to call the department for questions about inmates or other services is 684-699-1911.
American Samoa Court Records
American Samoa does not have a federal court like many of the other territories. They have a High Court of American Samoa and a local district court, located in the capital of Pago Pago. Neither has a website, but you can get a great deal of information about the American Samoa courts and laws from the American Samoa Bar Association website. There is a database search available on this website and a link to court information so that you can make a records request in person to the clerk of the court.
American Samoa Vital Records
Most vital records in American Samoa are administered by the Department of Homeland Security (ASDHS), Office of Vital Statistics. There is no website for this agency. All records require the person requesting them to establish eligibility. This means that you are either listed on the record or are an immediate relative, legal guardian, or legal representative. The method for applying and dates available depend on the type of certificate that you are requesting.
· Birth Certificates – Birth certificates are available from 1890 to present. Your request for this, along with a money order for $5 and proof of eligibility should be sent to: American Samoa Government, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Vital Statistics, P.O. Box 6894, Pago Pago, AS 96799.
· Death Certificates – Death certificates are available from 1900 to present. Your request for this, along with a money order for $5 and proof of eligibility should be sent to: American Samoa Government, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Vital Statistics in American Samoa.
· Marriage Certificates – Marriage certificates do not give a date from which they are available. Your request for this, along with a money order for $5 and proof of eligibility should be sent to: American Samoa Government, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Vital Statistics in Amercian Samoa.
· Divorce Certificates – Divorce certificates do not give a date from which they are available. Your request for this, along with a money order for $5 and proof of eligibility should be sent to: High Court of American Samoa, American Samoa Government, Pago Pago, AS 96799.