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:
- a current or former spouse;
- a person with whom you live currently or have lived in the past (adult or minor);
- a person you are dating or have dated (adult or minor);
- a person with whom you have had a sexual relationship (adult or minor);
- a person to whom you are related by blood or adoption to the fourth degree of affinity (adult or minor);
- a person to whom you are related (or were related) by marriage (adult or minor);
- a person with whom you have a child in common (adult or minor); and
- 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.