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Legal battle continues over ASTCA Telephone Directory project

Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In a legal dispute spanning over eight years, John Newton has attempted to prosecute a formal complaint against the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) for alleged breaches of a telephone directory project contract. All the details of the proceedings, including all the documents that make up the case history are available online at 

Mr. Newton, facing obstacles from the project's inception, highlights issues with contract drafting by ASTCA, and unmet assurances. As the legal battle continued, concerns emerged regarding ASTCA’s commitment to fulfilling contractual obligations and its desire to even have a telephone directory.

Newton details years of incomplete data submissions and unsuccessful appeals for assistance from ASTCA executives. Despite efforts to collaborate, including the appointment of a new CEO in 2013, the project faced setbacks, leading to a formal complaint.

The court's dismissal of evidence and declaration of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as unenforceable has prompted John to pursue an appeal. Challenges in the appeal process, including outdated information and delays, and the availability of qualified justices to sit on the appeals panel add complexity to the legal battle, according to Newton.

Allegations of discrimination during the trial proceedings and in the Court’s opinions raise questions about the fairness of the American Samoa courts.

Read the Court’s opinion on Posting your comments is welcomed said Newton.

Currently, Newton is unable to find a local attorney to handle the appeal and suggested if you are interested in representing the Plaintiff in this appeal, please contact him using the contact form on

During the ASTCA Senate budget hearing in September 2023, Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean asked the ASTCA CEO Chuck Leota if they were working on compiling a new phonebook directory.

He replied, “We are close to concluding a lawsuit with the publisher of the previous directory and a new phone book is being planned.

“In the meantime, ASTCA 411 service for phone numbers is in operation.”

Tuaolo then asked Leota if ASTCA charges 50 cents per call request for a phone number, to which he replied a resounding “yes”.