WomensLaw no es solamente para mujeres. Servimos y apoyamos a todos/as los/as sobrevivientes no importa su sexo o género.

Importante: Aun si las cortes están cerradas puede haber una forma para pedir una orden de protección y recursos de emergencia. Vea las Cortes y el COVID-19.

Información Legal: Guam

Guam: Restraining Orders

Ver por sección

Restraining Orders

Orders of Protection

Basic information

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Guam?

For purposes of getting a civil order of protection, domestic abuse means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

  • causing or attempting to cause you bodily injury or serious bodily injury (with or without a deadly weapon);
  • placing you in fear of imminent (immediate) serious bodily injury by physically menacing (threatening/intimidating) you; or
  • sexual abuse of a minor child.1

Note: The criminal definition of family violence under the law is slightly different. Therefore, these are the acts that are considered to be criminal family violence:   

  • attempting to cause or causing physical harm to another family or household member;
  • placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm; or
  • intentionally disrupting the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member by:
    • applying pressure to the throat or neck; or
    • blocking his/her nose or mouth.2

1 7 Guam Code § 40101; see also the petition for an order of protection
2 9 Guam Code § 30.10(a)

What types of orders of protection are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of orders of protection, a temporary order and a permanent order of protection.

A temporary order of protection can be given to you by a judge if s/he believes it is necessary to protect you or your minor children from abuse. The order can be issued ex parte (without the abuser being notified beforehand or being present in court) if the judge believes that notifying the abuser ahead of time would further endanger the safety and welfare of you and/or minor child/ren. However, if the abuser is already represented by an attorney, then the attorney may need to be notified beforehand.1 After you file your petition, the judge may ask you some questions at an ex parte hearing. (However, if you are not in court but rather your attorney is filing the papers for you, the judge can still issued the temporary order.) The order will last for up to 10 days until the case is set down for a “show cause hearing.”2 The temporary order must first be served (given) to the abuser before it takes effect.

After the abuser is served, s/he has the opportunity to appear at the “show cause hearing” where both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to tell your own sides of the story to a judge. The court can postpone the hearing for a reasonable period of time if the abuser wants to get an attorney. During the continuance, the judge can modify (change) the temporary order or continue it as-is (or, in some cases, even make it permanent). At the hearing, you will have to prove your allegations in the petition to be granted a permanent order of protection by the judge or you and the abuser may agree to have a “consent agreement” issued in which the abuser agrees to not abuse you and/or your children. The order can last for a period of time determined by the judge.2

1 MR 2.1.3(A)(1),(3); 7 Guam Code § 40104(a),(b)
2 MR 2.1.3(A)(4),(B)(4),(5)

What protections can I get in an order of protection?

A temporary ex parte order of protection and a permanent order of protection can do the following:

  • order the respondent to stop harassing, abusing, threatening, using or attempting to use physical force or cause bodily injury to the you and/or your minor child/ren
  • order the respondent to have no communication with you and/or your children, either directly or indirectly;
  • order the respondent to stay 500 feet away from you and/or the minor child/ren; and to stay away from your home, your place of employment, and your school;
  • award you temporary custody of your children (in a temporary order) or permanent custody (in a permanent order);
  • allow the respondent to have visitation or prohibit all visitation;
  • order the respondent to not interfere with your temporary custody of the minor child/ren and/or to not remove them from Guam;
  • if the home is jointly owned or leased by you and the abuser, giving you exclusive possession of the family home by evicting the respondent or, if you already left the home, you can be restored to the home (put back in);1
  • if the home is owned or leased solely by the respondent, the judge can still give you exclusive possession of the family home by evicting the respondent or, if you already left the home, you can be restored to the home (put back in) but only if the respondent has a legal duty to support you or your minor children who were living in the residence. (Note: Another possibility, if both parties agree, is that the judge can approve an agreement that would allow the respondent to remain in the home but to provide you with suitable, alternative housing);2
  • order the respondent to pay certain costs and fees, such as rent or mortgage payments, child support, medical and dental costs, court costs, or attorneys fees;
  • give you use of a vehicle or other personal possessions; and
  • order the abuser to temporarily or permanently surrender any kind of weapon or instrument that could cause harm or injury if it were in the possession of the respondent.1Note: If the judge finds “probable cause” to do so, the judge is supposed to require the respondent to immediately surrender all firearms and/or ammunition to the Marshal of the Court, or to another other law enforcement officer. “Probable cause” can come from the allegations you made in your petition and affidavit or from evidence presented at hearing. In addition, the judge can issue to the Marshal any search warrants that are necessary to obtain the weapons and ammunition.3

1 MR 2.1.4
2 7 Guam Code § 40105(a)(3)
3 MR 2.1.8(A)(1),(2)

Si el agresor vive en otro estado, ¿puedo conseguir una orden en su contra?

Si el/la agresor/a vive en un estado diferente al suyo, el/la juez/a podría no tener “jurisdicción personal” (poder) sobre ese/a agresor/a. Esto significa que es posible que el tribunal no pueda otorgar una orden en contra de él/ella.

Hay algunas formas en las que una corte puede tener jurisdicción personal sobre un/a agresor/a que es de otro estado:

  1. El/la agresor/a tiene una conexión sustancial a su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a viaja regularmente a su estado para visitarlo/a, por negocios, para ver la familia extendida, o el/la agresor/a vivía en su estado y huyó recientemente.
  2. Uno de los actos de maltrato “ocurrió” en su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a le envía mensajes amenazantes o le hace llamadas acosadoras desde otro estado pero usted lee los mensajes o contesta las llamadas mientras usted está en su estado. El/la juez/a puede decidir que el maltrato “ocurrió” mientras estaba en su estado. También puede ser posible que el/la agresor/a estaba en su estado cuando le maltrató pero desde entonces se fue del estado.
  3. Otra forma para que la corte adquiera jurisdicción es si usted presenta su petición en el estado donde usted está, y el/la agresor/a recibe notificación de la petición de la corte mientras él/ella está en ese estado.

Sin embargo, aunque nada de esto aplique a su situación, eso no necesariamente significa que usted no pueda conseguir una orden. A usted le pueden dar una orden por consentimiento o el/la juez/a puede encontrar otras circunstancias que permitan que la orden sea dada. Puede leer más sobre jurisdicción personal en nuestra sección de Asuntos Básicos del Sistema Judicial - Jurisdicción Personal.

Nota: Si el/la juez/a de su estado se niega a dar una orden, usted puede pedir una orden en la corte del estado donde vive el/la agresor/a. Sin embargo, recuerde que es probable que usted necesite presentar la petición en persona y asistir a varias citas en la corte, lo cual podría ser difícil si el estado de el/la agresor/a es lejos.

Who is eligible for an order of protection

Who can get an order of protection?

You can get an order of protection against a “family or household member” who has committed acts of domestic abuse against you. Family or household members include:

  1. a current or former spouse;
  2. a person with whom you live currently or have lived in the past (adult or minor);
  3. a person you are dating or have dated (adult or minor);
  4. a person with whom you have had a sexual relationship (adult or minor);
  5. a person to whom you are related by blood or adoption to the fourth degree of affinity (adult or minor);
  6. a person to whom you are related (or were related) by marriage (adult or minor);
  7. a person with whom you have a child in common (adult or minor); and
  8. a minor child of a person in a relationship described in (1) through (7) above.1

Note: You can file the petition for yourself, your minor child, or on behalf of another person as long as you have personal knowledge that this person has been abused. Also, an adult household member can file for an order on behalf of a minor child in the household.2

1 7 Guam Code § 40101(d)
2 7 Guam Code § 40103

Can I get an order or protection against a same-sex partner?

In Guam, you may apply for an order of protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can get an order of protection? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Guam?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

How much does it cost to get an order of protection? Do I need a lawyer?

It does not cost anything to file for an order of protection.1  

Many orders of protection cases are handled without a lawyer however it can often be helpful to have one represent you in court.  If you believe that the other side will have a lawyer, however, or if there are complicated issues to be raised in your case, it may be especially important to have a lawyer. 

If you want a lawyer for the hearing, call one as early as possible. For a list of legal organizations, go to our GU Finding a Lawyer page. 

1 M.R. 2.1.2(C); 19 Guam Code § 14104

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.

What if I do not qualify for an order of protection?

If you do not qualify for an order of protection due to your relationship to the other person or due to the nature of the acts that were committed against you, you may be able to file for a restraining order.  A restraining order may be issued between people who have no family or dating relationships, such as neighbors, or co-workers or for acts that may not be covered in the “domestic abuse” law, such as harassment or some acts of stalking.  These types of restraining orders follow longer injunction procedures rather than the quicker process for orders of protection.  For advice on your specific situation or to learn more about the restraining order/injunction process, please talk to a lawyer.  You can find legal referrals on our GU Finding a Lawyer page.   

In addition, there can be criminal laws that prohibit stalking and harassment-type behaviors or other actions that may not qualify you for an order of protection.  Go to our GU Crimes page for the definitions of some commonly-committed crimes.  If one of these crimes is being committed against you, and criminal charges are pressed against the abuser, a judge may be able to order him/her to stay away from you.

You can also visit our Safety Tips page for ways to increase your safety. 

Orders of protection also do not cover many types of emotional or mental abuse. If you’re being mentally or emotionally abused, please contact a domestic violence organization in your area. They can help you figure out your options and offer you support.  You can see our GU Advocates and Shelters for referrals.

Steps for getting an order of protection

Step 1: Go to the superior court and fill out the forms.

Go to the courthouse to fill out and file the appropriate forms.  ​To find the contact information for the superior court, go to our GU Courthouse Locations page. You can ask the court clerk for the forms but if you want to look at the forms ahead of time, go to our GU Download Court Forms page.  On the forms, you will be the “petitioner” and the abuser will be the “respondent.”  Write briefly about the most recent incidents of violence, using descriptive language - words like “slapping,” hitting,” “grabbing,” threatening,” etc. - that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible.

If you have trouble filling out the forms, you may want to ask an advocate at a local domestic violence organization or you can consult with an attorney.  To find help in your area, go to our GU Places that Help page.  

Remember to bring some form of personal identification (a driver’s license or other identification that includes your picture) in case you need to show it to the court clerk when you sign the forms.

Step 2: A judge will review your petition and can issue you a temporary order

After you finish filling out your application, bring it back to the court clerk. The clerk will forward it to the judge. The judge can issue you an order ex parte (without the abuser being notified beforehand or being present in court) if the judge believes that notifying the abuser ahead of time would further endanger the safety and welfare of you and/or minor child/ren. However, if the abuser is already represented by an attorney, then the attorney may need to be notified beforehand.1 After you file your petition, the judge may ask you some questions at an ex parte hearing. (However, if you are not in court but rather your attorney is filing the papers for you, the judge can still issued the temporary order.) The order will last for up to 10 days until the case is set down for a “show cause hearing.”2

1 MR 2.1.3(A)(1),(3)
2 MR 2.1.3(A)(4),(B)(4),(5)

Step 3: Service of process

The Marshals Division of the Superior Court of Guam will serve all orders of protection and “show cause orders” if the court requests it (or if you request it). You or your attorney will have to provide detailed information on the whereabouts of the respondent. If the respondent is incarcerated, the court may ask you about the date of his/her arrest to pass that information along to the marshal.1

1 M.R 2.1.5

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?

Step 4: The "show cause hearing" for a permanent order

All “show cause hearings” are supposed to be scheduled within 10 calendar days after your temporary order is issued and heard by the Family Violence Court judge.   If the respondent does not appear, s/he can possibly be held in contempt and/or the case can continue “by default.”   If the respondent does appear, s/he may ask for a continuance in order to find an attorney and the judge can postpone the hearing for a “reasonable” period of time.  During the continuance, your temporary order can be modified (changed) or can continue as-is (and a judge may possibly even make it permanent during this time).1

At the “show cause hearing,” you will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the things you alleged in your petition.  A preponderance of the evidence basically means that it is more likely than not that you are telling the truth - so, in other words, the judge can believe you 51% and believe the respondent 49% and you can still win.  If the judge grants you an order, it will indicate on the order how long it lasts for.  The law says that the judge can order it for “such periods as authorized by law.”  Another option is that there can be a consent agreement issued, where the respondent agrees to the order without having to go through a whole hearing or trial.2

If you will be representing yourself, see the Preparing Your Case page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused.  For legal help and representation, go to our GU Finding a Lawyer page. 

1 MR 2.1.3(B)(2)-(4)
2 MR 2.1.3(B)(5) 

After the hearing

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protection order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession.  There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Guam have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

These are some things you may want to consider after you have been granted an order of protection.  Depending on what you think is safest in your situation, you may do any or all of the following:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk how to correct the order before you leave.
  • Make several copies of the order of protection as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the order at your workplace, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks (if permitted by law) and your phone number.

You may also wish to make a safety plan. People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey orders of protection, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Tips.

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

Violations of an order of protection can be dealt with in the court that issued the order through civil contempt or through reporting it to the police.

If the abuser violates your order in the courthouse in front of the judge, the judge can certify that s/he saw or heard the act that violated the order and that it was, in fact, civil contempt. The judge can immediately punish the person by a fine up to $25.00, by imprisonment up to five days, or by both. If the judge does not see the act of contempt, then you would file a petition for contempt and the abuser would be served with notice of your petition and a hearing would be held. At the hearing, if the judge believes that s/he committed contempt, s/he can be found guilty of a petty misdemeanor, which can carry a penalty of up to 60 days imprisonment.1

Another way to report a violation of an order is to call the police. An intentional violation of an order of protection can be a misdemeanor crime and punishable by up to one year incarceration, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If the violation results in bodily injury or if it is a second conviction for violating the order, the minimum punishment is supposed to be 30 days in jail. If the violation results in serious bodily injury or it is a third conviction for violating the order, the minimum punishment is supposed to be one year in jail.2

1 M.R. 2.1.7; 7 Guam Code § 34101(b)
1 9 Guam Code § 30.40(a),(b)

Can I change, extend, or cancel the order of protection?

If you wish to change, extend, or cancel your order, you can file a Petition/Motion to Dismiss, Extend, or Modify Other Conditions of Order Of Protection. The court will set a date for a hearing and the abuser will be served with a copy of the motion and a request to be present. You must attend this hearing and tell the judge why the change, extension, or cancellation is necessary.

If you want to extend your restraining order, you must file the motion to extend the order before your original order expires. A judge may extend your order for one year but you can file for an extension more than once.1

1 MR 2.1.3(B)(5); 7 Guam Code § 40105(b)

What happens if I move? Is my order still effective?

Your order is good throughout Guam and the United States.  Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “full faith and credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.1  If you do move within Guam, it might be a good idea to call the clerk to change your address but be sure to tell the clerk that you need it to be kept confidential if the abuser does not know where you are living.

You may also want to call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith and Credit (1-800-903-0111 x 2) for information on enforcing your order in another state or territory.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265

Moving to Another State with an Order of Protection

If you are moving out of state or will be out of the state for any reason, your order of protection can still be enforceable.

General rules

Can I get my order of protection from Guam enforced in another state?

Yes. If you have a valid Guam order of protection that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid orders of protection granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories. See How do I know if my order of protection is good under federal law? to find out if your order of protection qualifies.

Each state must enforce out-of-state orders of protection in the same way it enforces its own orders. Meaning, if your abuser violates your out-of-state order of protection, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by “full faith and credit.”

 

How do I know if my order of protection is good under federal law?

An order of protection is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

 

I have a preliminary (ex parte) order. Can it be enforced in another state?

Yes. An ex parte preliminary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my order of protection is good under federal law?1

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte preliminary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your preliminary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court). However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b)(2)

Getting your order of protection enforced in another state

How do I get my order of protection enforced in another state?

Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your order of protection enforced in another state.

Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid order of protection is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.

Note: It is important to keep a copy of your order of protection with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

Do I need anything special to get my order of protection enforced in another state?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your order of protection. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Guam, a certified order usually has a stamped seal on it.

The copy you originally received may not be a certified copy. If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk’s office for a certified copy. Ask if there is a fee to get a certified copy.

Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to get your order of protection enforced in another state.

However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your order of protection, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.

To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help tab on the top of this page and then click Finding a Lawyer.

 

Do I need to tell the Court in Guam if I move?

Probably. If you won’t be getting mail at your old address, the court that gave you your protective order needs to have an up-to-date address for you. That’s because they may communicate with you by mail if anything happens to your protective order - for example, if your abuser asks the court to dismiss the order or if your order is changed in any way. If you will not be receiving mail at your old address, you must provide the Court with a new address where you can receive mail.

If you provide your new address to the Court, they should keep it confidential, but please double check this with the clerk of court. Ask whether your new address will be kept confidential to the public, including your abuser. Your new address could possibly be released to court officials in your new state or law enforcement officials. If you feel unsafe giving your new address, you might want to use the address of a friend you trust or a P.O. Box instead.

Enforcing custody provisions in another state

I was granted temporary custody with my order of protection. Will another state enforce this custody order?

Yes. Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in an order of protection can be enforced across state lines. Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1

1 18 USC 2266

Enforcing Your Out-Of-State Order in Guam

If you are planning to move to Guam or are going to be in Guam for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Guam

Can I get my protection order enforced in Guam? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Guam as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in GU?

No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Guam.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Guam, you may be able to get a new one issued in GU but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in GU. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Guam, visit our GU Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in GU?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 Guam can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here GU Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

Registering your out-of-state order in Guam

If I don’t have a hard copy of my out-of-state order, how can law enforcement enforce it?

To enforce an out-of-state order, law enforcement typically may rely on the National Crime Information Center Protection Order File (NCIC-POF). The NCIC-POF is a nationwide, electronic database that contains information about orders of protection that were issued in each state and territory in the U.S. The Protection Order File (POF) contains court orders that are issued to prevent acts of domestic violence, or to prevent someone from stalking, intimidating, or harassing another person. It contains orders issued by both civil and criminal state courts. The types of protection orders issued and the information contained in them vary from state to state.1

There is no way for the general public to access the NCIC-POF. That means you cannot confirm a protection order is in the registry or add a protection order to the registry without the help of a government agency that has access to it.

Typically, the state police or criminal justice agency in the state has the responsibility of reporting protection orders to NCIC. However, in some cases, the courts have taken on that role and they manage the protection order reporting process.2 NCIC–POF is used by law enforcement agencies when they need to verify and enforce an out-of-state protection order. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

However, not all states routinely enter protection orders into the NCIC. Instead, some states may enter the orders only in their own state protection order registry, which would not be accessible to law enforcement in other states. According to a 2016 report by the National Center for State Courts, more than 700,000 protection orders that were registered in state protection order databases were not registered in the federal NCIC Protection Order File.2 This means that if a law enforcement officer is trying to enforce a protection order from another state that is missing from the NCIC, the victim would likely need to show the officer a hard copy of the order to get it immediately enforced. If you no longer have a copy of your original order, you may want to contact the court that issued the order to ask them how you can get another copy sent to you.

1 National Center for Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit
2 See State Progress in Record Reporting for Firearm-Related Background Checks: Protection Order Submissions, prepared by the National Center for State Courts, April 2016

How do I register my protection order in Guam?

A certified copy of a protection or restraining order from another state can be filed with the Clerk of the superior court in Guam. It is then treated and filed like any order issued by a court in Guam. 1

You may want to call the clerk of court in Guam to find out what documentation they need so that you can file your order with the superior court.

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Guam for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our GU Advocates and Shelters page.

1 19 G.C.A. § 14105(a)

Do I have to register my protection order in GU in order to get it enforced?

No. Guam state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect. It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a Guam police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.

If you do choose to register it with the court, it will be given “full faith and credit” by the courts of Guam and enforced as if it were issued on Guam.1

1 19 G.C.A § 14105(b)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our GU Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe. While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a GU law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real. Meaning, it could take longer to get your order enforced.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Guam. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in GU, go to our GU Advocates and Shelters page. 

 

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in Guam.1

1 19 G.C.A. §14104