ACEO: Togatalima Laiafi Papalii    Email: t.papalii@mjca.gov.ws


To facilitate mediation between disputing parties on customary land and matai title matters, as well as maintain and update the Matai Register.

This division is set out to offer mediation services to disputing matters and register new and approved matai titles as well as issuing approved beer licenses.


This is an Alternative Dispute Resolution that is available outside of Court. Mediation has two (2) outcomes,
1). Settle – where parties have reached an agreement and request to withdraw case or;
2). Proceed to Court – where parties did not reach an agreement and wish to proceed matter to court. It is from this outcome that takes parties or the person to paying the following fees for instance; Objection/Hearing/Filling petition etc.

Matai registration

Fee: Matai Publication = $ 100.00

Intention to Appoint

Takes place before a Matai bestowal (saofa’i) where the family has agreed to appoint a family member to the matai title (intend appointment) and wish to advertise it in the newspaper to make sure there are no objections before the bestowal takes place.

  • When you apply for an intention to appoint, you are required to write a letter to the Registrar of the Lands and Titles Court requesting for your name to be advertised. In the letter, you must clearly state your reasons and the letter must be signed by matais of your family to confirm that the appointment is agreed by your family.
  • The appointment is published and advertised for the period of three (3) months. After the advertisement period, the office will check for objections before proceed to the registration of the new matai title.

Matai publication after ‘Saofa’i’ Matai title bestowal

  • Must bring into the office Confirmation of matai bestowal (Pepa Saofa’i) having complete all details that is required on the form
  • ID should accompany the pepa saofa’i to confirm age and the person

Matai Certificate (1 day)

The matai title must be registered for the matai certificate to be issued. A matai title cannot automatically be registered after matai bestowal it must go through publication. When you request for a matai certificate you must;

  • Come into the office to put forward your request
    • The office will need to check the matai registry for registration; If YES
    • Prepare certificate right away;
    • If NO, clearly mean there is objection
  • Must pay $20.00 and issue Matai Certificate.

De-register matai title (5 working days)

If you wish to remove or de-register your matai title you must;

  • Write to the Registrar of the Lands and Titles Court to put forward your request and explain you reasons;
  • You (the writer) will be asked to come into the office for confirmation;
  • Registrar will grant the approval for the matai title to be de-registered given that the requirements have been satisfied.
  • Note: there is no fee is required for this request

Confirmation of Matai for Beer license

This division provides proof that the matai/matais that signed and give consent for beer license are legally registered.

  • Must submit a form from Ministry of Revenue requesting for confirmation of matai
  • Must pay a fee of $50.00.

Interim Order

Interim orders are temporary orders issued by the President (Section 49/81) and Registrar (Section 50/81):

  1. Stop building of house or any development on disputed customary land
  2. Burial of an individual on customary land;


About MJCA

Ministry of Justice, Courts and Administration

Mulinuu, Samoa

P.O. Box 49


Upolu Numbers:

  • phone : (685) 22671 - 74
  • Fax : (685) 21050

Savaii Numbers:

  • Phone : (685) 53514
  • Fax : (685) 53513
Please address all correspondences to the Chief Executive Officer / Registrar of the Courts.

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