The High Court of American Samoa lacks statutory guidelines for name change proceedings. However, in the past the court has granted legal name changes to petitioners who have petitioned the court for a change of name, given that the change of name is not sought for any fraudulent purpose or infringes upon the rights of others (See Application of Amataga CA No. 85-95. (Trial Div. 1995)).
To obtain a legal name change in American Samoa, the applicant should petition the High Court of American Samoa (P.O. Box 309, Pago Pago, AS 96799) for a hearing on the matter. The petition should include the current legal name of the applicant, the new proposed name, the residence of the applicant, the applicant’s place of birth, and the reason for the name change. Upon being granted a hearing, the court suggests that the applicant provide a record demonstrating that their immediate family (including any children) and the matai have been notified of the proceeding and are in agreement with the objective or at least have had reasonable opportunity to present any opposition to the name change. The court further supports publishing a notice of the proceeding in a newspaper with general circulation in order to afford a degree of notice to those who may be negatively affected by a change of name. (See Application of Mase CA No. 97-02. (Trial Div. 2004)). The court order for the legal name change must be filed with the Office of Vital Statistics, (P.O. Box 6894, Pago Pago, AS 96799).