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
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
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
If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?
According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:
- the petition you file;
- the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
- the registration of an order in a different state.1
1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)