American Samoa

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At a Glance (as of 2013)

Percentage of territorial funding: 100%
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
State commission: none
Branch of government: executive

Structure & Funding of Indigent Defense Services

The American Samoa Office of Public Defender (ASOPD) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the government. The governor appoints ASOPD’s chief defender with advice and consent of the territorial legislature to a term of four years.


The chief and assistant public defenders have salary parity with their counterparts in the Office of the Attorney General. There is only one district court in Pago Pago on the main island of Tutuila that serves the five islands and two atolls that comprise American Samoa.

Statutory Authority

A.S.C.A. § 4.0320 (public defender); A.S.C.A. § 46.1001 (right to counsel)

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.