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Legal Information: Guam

Restraining Orders

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October 31, 2023

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. A victim advocate is allowed to help you prepare your petition for an abuse protection order1 or you can consult with an attorney. To find help in your area, go to our GU Places that Help 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.

Remember to bring some form of personal identification, such as 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. You cannot be charge a fee to file for an order of protection.2

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

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 a temporary ex parte, which means 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

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 ten days until the case is set down for a “show cause hearing.”2

You can have a victim advocate in court with you during the hearing.3

1 MR 2.1.3.(A)(1), (A)(3)
2 MR 2.1.3.(A)(4), (B)(4), (B)(5)
3 7 Guam Code § 40103(b)

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

You cannot be charged a fee by a public agency for service of process.2

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?

1 MR 2.1.5.
2 7 Guam Code § 40103(d)

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

All “show cause hearings” are supposed to be scheduled within ten calendar days after your temporary order is issued. If the respondent does not appear, s/he can possibly be held in contempt or the case can be continued.  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 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 that you are a victim of domestic violence, as you alleged in your petition. 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

You can have a victim advocate in court with you during the hearing and you can talk to that advocate during the trial to help you make decisions that need to be made.3 To find an advocate, go to our GU Advocates and Shelters page. If you will be representing yourself, see the At the Hearing 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. 

If you are afraid to go to court, you can request that the court allow you to “appear” in court by telephone, video conference, or by another two-way electronic communication device. In making this decision as to whether to allow it, the judge should consider whether your safety or welfare would be threatened if testimony were required to be provided in person at a proceeding. The same protections also apply to a witness who is called to court to testify.4

1 MR 2.1.3.(B)(2)-(4)
2 MR 2.1.3.(B)(5) 
3 7 Guam Code § 40103(b)
4 7 Guam Code § 40103(c)