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Legal Information: Guam

Statutes: Guam

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Updated: 
December 10, 2020

30.32. Duties of Peace Officers to Victim of Family Violence; Required Notice to Victim.

(a) Peace officers shall respond to every request for assistance or protection, from or on behalf of a victim of alleged family violence, whether or not an order has been issued against the alleged abuser.
(b) A high priority shall be assigned to calls involving alleged incidents of abuse or violations of orders relative to family violence. Every law enforcement agency shall develop and implement a comprehensive inter-agency and intra-agency or departmental family violence policy and protocol to include:

(1) the number of children in the family and/or household exposed to family violence; and
(2) referral to Child Protective Services for coordination and referral for assessment for appropriate counseling services.

(c) If the peace officer has reason to believe that a person is a victim of family violence, the officer shall use all reasonable means to prevent further family violence and to ensure the victim’s safety including:

(1) taking the action necessary to provide for the safety of the victim and any family or household member;
(2) exercising arrest powers pursuant to this Chapter;
(3) confiscating any weapon involved in the alleged family violence incident and the firearms identification card of any person(s) arrested;
(4) promptly filling out and filing a family violence report;
(5) arranging for transportation for the victim to a safe place or shelter;
(6) arranging transportation for the victim to the nearest hospital or medical facility for treatment of injuries;
(7) accompanying the victim to a previous residence to remove essential personal belongings;
(8) supervising the Court-ordered removal of an abuser from a residence shared with a victim; and
(9) giving the victim immediate and adequate written notice of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of family violence.

(d) As part of the notice to the victim, the required written notice shall be given as follows:

“You have the right to request a peace officer’s assistance for your safety. You may also request that the peace officer assist you in obtaining your essential personal effects, and arranging transportation to a safe place, including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter, a family member’s or a friend’s residence, or a similar place of safety. If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer assist you in obtaining medical treatment. If you would like to speak with a victim’s assistance representative, one will be contacted for you.”

The above paragraph shall be read to all victims of family violence by the responding officer. Furthermore, the written notice shall advise the victim that victim advocates at the Office of the Attorney General are available to provide assistance to all victims, and can provide information about other support services in the community. The advocates’ address and current telephone numbers shall be displayed prominently on the written notice.
In addition, a responding officer shall give written notice to every victim of family violence that full legal services are available at no cost from the Guam Legal Services Corporation and from the Public Defender Service Corporation. The addresses and current telephone numbers of both offices shall be displayed prominently on the written notice. Full legal services could include the following orders:

(1) an order enjoining your abuser from threatening to commit or committing further acts of family violence;
(2) an order prohibiting your abuser from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with you, directly or indirectly;
(3) an order removing your abuser from your residence;
(4) an order directing your abuser to stay away from you and any other family or household members, your residence, school, place of employment or any other specified place frequented by you and another family or household member;
(5) an order prohibiting your abuser from using or possessing any kind of weapon, instrument or thing to inflict bodily harm or injury;
(6) an order granting you possession and use of the automobile and other essential personal effects;
(7) an order granting custody of your child or children;
(8) an order denying your abuser visitation;
(9) an order specifying arrangements for visitation, including requiring supervised visitation; and
(10) an order requiring your abuser to pay certain costs and fees, such as rent or mortgage payments, child support payments, medical expenses, expenses for shelter, court costs and attorney’s fees.

The written notice may be revised from time to time to include contact information for other providers of victim support services, so long as those services are provided at no cost to the victim.
(e) The written notice:

(1) must not include the addresses of shelters; and
(2) must be provided in a language the victim can understand.