Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - American Samoa

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Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0361

A decree vesting legal custody of a child in an individual, institution, or agency other than the bureau is in force for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date it was entered. The decree is reviewed by the court no later than 6 months after it is entered.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0362

The persons who may attend a hearing include the following:

  • A parent, guardian, custodian, or next friend of any child adjudicated under this chapter
  • Any person affected by a decree in a proceeding under this chapter

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0361

The individual, institution, or agency vested with the legal custody of a child may petition the court for renewal of the decree. The court, after notice and hearing, may renew the decree for an additional period, as the court may determine, if it finds the renewal to be in the best interests of the child. The findings of the court and the reasons for them shall be entered with the order renewing or denying renewal of the decree.

Permanency Options

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0354; 45.0355

The court may order any of the following:

  • Placement of the child in the legal custody of one or both parents, with or without protective supervision
  • Placement of the child in the legal custody of a relative or other suitable person, with or without protective supervision
  • Placement of the child in the legal custody of a child placement agency
  • Termination of all parental rights of one or both parents when it finds that the best interests and welfare of the child so require