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Legal Information: Guam

Statutes: Guam

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Statutes: Guam

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Current through P.L. 34–139 (December 12, 2018). To read individual laws, you can search the Guam statutes on the Guam Courts website.

Title 7. Civil Procedure and Judiciary

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Division 3. Special Proceedings

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Chapter 34. Contempt of Court

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

34101. What is Contempt of Court

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) The following acts or omissions are contempt of court:
1. Disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent behavior toward the judge while holding the court, tending to interrupt the due course of a trial or other judicial proceeding;
2. A breach of the peace, boisterous conduct, or violent disturbance, tending to interrupt the due course of a trial or other judicial proceeding;
3. Misbehavior in office, or other wilful neglect or violation of duty by an attorney, counsel, clerk, commissioner, or other person, appointed or elected to perform a judicial or ministerial service;
4. Abuse of the process or proceedings of the court, or falsely pretending to act under authority of an order or process of the court;
5. Disobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the court;
6. Assuming to be an officer, attorney, or counselor of a court, and acting as such, without authority;
7. Rescuing a person or property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of such court;
8. Unlawfully detaining a witness, or a party to an action, while going to, remaining at, or returning from the court where the action is on the calendar for trial;
9. Any other unlawful interference with the process or proceedings of a court;
10. Disobedience of a subpoena duly served, or refusing to be sworn or answer as a witness;
11. Disobedience by an inferior tribunal, magistrate, or officer, of the lawful judgment, order, or process of the Supreme Court, or proceeding in an action or special proceeding contrary to law, after such action or special proceeding is removed from the jurisdiction of such inferior tribunal, magistrate, or officer.
(b) Any person found guilty of a contempt of court pursuant to § 34102(a) is punishable by a fine not exceeding $25 or by imprisonment not exceeding five days or by both. Any person found guilty of a contempt of court pursuant to § 34102(b) is subject to the same penalties as a person found guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

Chapter 40. Protection from Abuse

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

40101. Definitions.

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

As used in this Chapter:

(a) Abuse means the occurrence of one (1) or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(1) attempting to cause or intentionally or knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon;

(2) placing by physical menace another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or

(3) sexually abusing minor children.

(b) Adult means any person eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(c) Court means the Superior Court.

(d) Family or household members means:

(1) Current or former spouses;

(2) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;

(3) Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated;

(4) Adults or minors who are engaged in or who have engaged in a sexual relationship;

(5) Adults or minors who are related by blood or adoption to the fourth (4th) degree of affinity;

(6) Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage;

(7) Persons who have a child in common; or

(8) Minor children of persons described in paragraphs (1) through (7) above.

40103. Commencement of Proceedings

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A person may seek relief under this Chapter for himself or herself or on behalf of another person if he has personal knowledge that such person has been abused or any parent or adult household member may seek relief under this Chapter on behalf of minor children by filing a petition with the court alleging abuse by the defendant.

40104. Hearing

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Within 10 days of the filing of a petition under this Chapter, a hearing shall be held at which the plaintiff must prove the allegation of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence. The court shall advise the defendant of his right to be represented by counsel.
(b) The court may enter such temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor children from abuse upon good cause shown in an ex parte proceeding. Immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or minor children shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section.
(c) If a hearing under subsection (a) is continued, the court may make or extend such temporary orders under subsection (b) as it deems necessary.

40105. Relief.

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) The court shall be empowered to grant protection by appropriate order or approve any consent agreement to bring about a cessation of abuse of the plaintiff or minor children, which are not limited to but may include:
(1) directing the defendant to refrain from abusing the plaintiff or minor children;
(2) granting possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant or restoring possession to the plaintiff when the residence or household is jointly owned or leased by the parties;
(3) when the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff or minor children living in the residence or household and the defendant is the sole owner or lessee, granting possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant to restoring possession to the plaintiff or by consent agreement allowing the defendant to provide suitable, alternative housing; or
(4) awarding temporary custody or establishing temporary visitation rights with regard to minor children.
(b) Any protection order or approved consent agreement shall be for a fixed period of time as the court deems appropriate. The court may amend its order or agreement at any time upon subsequent petition or motion filed by either party.
(c) No order or agreement under this Chapter shall in any manner affect title to any real property.

Title 8. Criminal Procedure

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Chapter 161. Compensation for Damages from Criminal Activities

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

161.50. Eligibility for Compensation

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) In the event any person is injured or killed by any act or omission of any other person coming within the criminal jurisdiction of Guam after September 30, 1980, which act or omission is within the description of the crimes enumerated in Section 161.55, the Commission may, in its discretion, upon an application, order the payment of compensation in accordance with this Chapter:

(1) to or for the benefit of the victim;

(2) to any person responsible for the maintenance of the victim, where that person has suffered pecuniary loss or incurred expenses as a result of the victim’s injury or death;

(3) in the case of the death of the victim, to or for the benefit of any one (1) or more of the dependents of the deceased victim; or

(4) to a parent of an adult deceased victim, or to an adult son or daughter of a deceased victim, where the parent or adult son or daughter has incurred expenses on account of hospital, medical, funeral and burial expenses as a result of the victim’s injury and death.

(b) For the purposes of this Chapter, a person shall be deemed to have intentionally committed an act or omission, notwithstanding that by reason of age, insanity, drunkenness or otherwise, he or she was legally incapable of forming a criminal intent.

(c) In determining whether to make an order under this Section, the Commission may consider any circumstances it determines to be relevant, and the Commission shall consider the behavior of the victim, and whether, because of provocation or otherwise, the victim bears any share of responsibility for the crime that caused his or her injury or death, and the Commission shall reduce the amount of compensation in accordance with its assessment of the degree of such responsibility attributable to the victim.

(d) An order may be made under this Section whether or not any person is prosecuted for or convicted of a crime arising out of an act or omission described in Subsection (a) of this Section; provided, that an arrest has been made or such act or omission has been reported to the police without undue delay. No order may be made under this Section unless the Commission finds that:

(1) the act or omission did occur; and

(2) the injury or death of the victim resulted from the act or omission.

(e) Upon application from either the Attorney General or the Chief of Police, the Commission may suspend proceedings under this Chapter for such period as it deems desirable on the ground that a prosecution for a crime arising out of the act or omission has been commenced or is imminent, or that release of the investigation report would be detrimental to the public interest.

(f) If a resident of Guam is a victim of a crime as defined in Section 161.55 of this Chapter, but the crime occurred outside the boundaries of Guam, the resident has the same rights under the provisions of this Chapter as if the crime had occurred within Guam upon a showing that the state, territory, country or political subdivision of a country in which the crime occurred does not have a crime victim’s compensation law which covers the injury or death suffered by the resident.

161.55. Violent Crimes

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) The crimes to which this Chapter applies are the following:

(1) Aggravated Murder (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 16.30);

(2) Murder (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 16.40);

(3) Manslaughter (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 16.50);

(4) Aggravated Assault (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 19.20);

(5) Assault (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 19.30);

(6) Kidnapping (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 22.20);

(7) Felonious Restraints (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 22.20);

(8) Child Stealing (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 22.40);

(9) Custodial Interference (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 22.50);

(10) Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 25.15);

(11) Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 25.20);

(12) Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 25.25);

(13) Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 25.30);

(14) Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 25.35);

(15) Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and Controlled Substances (Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18102);

(16) Conviction Involving a Child (Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18109), provided a child under the age of sixteen (16) was injured as a result of an accident in which the vehicle operated by the person charged with the above violation was involved;

(17) Vehicular Negligence with Injury to a Person Other than the Driver (Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18110);

(18) Vehicular Homicide (Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18111);

(19) Drinking While Driving a Motor Vehicle upon any Highway (Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18119), provided a person other than the driver was injured as a result of such drinking and driving;

(20) Stalking (Criminal and Correctional Code, § 19.70); and

(21) Family Violence (Third Degree Felony and Misdemeanor) and Violation of a Court Order (Misdemeanor) (Criminal and Correctional Code, Chapter 30).

(b) For the purpose of this Chapter, the operation of a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft that results in an injury or death shall not constitute a crime, unless the injuries were intentionally inflicted through the use of such vehicle, boat or aircraft or unless the conduct constitutes a violation of Title 16, Guam Code Annotated, § 18101, et seq. (The Safe Streets Act).

(c) Any fine imposed pursuant to Section 80.50 of this Title for conviction of any crimes specified in Subsections (a) (1) through (14) and (20) and (21) of this Section shall be paid into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund established by Section 161.90 of this Chapter.

161.60. Award of Compensation

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

The Commission may order, only from available balances in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, the payment of compensation under this Chapter for:

(a) expenses actually and reasonably incurred as a result of the injury or death of the victim;

(b) loss to the victim of earning power as a result of total or partial incapacity;

(c) pecuniary loss to the dependents of the deceased victim;

(d) pain and suffering to the victim; and

(e) any other pecuniary loss directly resulting from the injury or death of the victim which the Commission determines to be reasonable and proper.

161.70. Recovery from Offender

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Whenever any person is convicted of an offense that includes any crime enumerated in Section 161.55 of this Chapter and an order for the payment of compensation is or has been made under this Chapter for injury or death resulting from the act or omission constituting such offense, the Commission may institute a derivative action in the Superior Court against the person or against any person liable at law on his or her behalf, in the name of the victim or such of his or her dependents as have been awarded compensation under this Chapter, for such damages as may be recoverable at common law by the victim or such dependents without reference to the payment of compensation. The court shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine and render judgment in any such action. The time of the occurrence of the act or omission until conviction of the offense and, thereafter, as long as the offender is in confinement for conviction of the offense, shall not constitute any part of the time limited for the commencement of the action by the Commission under the applicable statute of limitations. Any recovery in the action shall belong to the government of Guam; provided, that the Commission shall amend its order of compensation to provide for the payment of any portion of the recovery in excess of the amount of compensation prescribed in the order to any of the persons entitled to receive compensation under Section 161.50 of this Chapter in such proportions and upon such terms as the Commission shall deem appropriate.

161.71. Fines Imposed on Offenders

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Whenever a fine is imposed upon an offender and such fine is to be deposited into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, and such fine is not to be deposited into the fund within one hundred eighty (180) days of the imposition of sentence, the Commission may institute a civil action in Superior Court against the offender to recover the amount of such fine, provided, however, the offender is not in the process of seeking judicial review of such conviction. The statutes of limitation for commencing such civil action shall be tolled while the offender is absent from Guam or incarcerated in any facility whatsoever. Any recovery from the offender, excluding costs and attorney fees, shall be deposited into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

161.75. Eligibility for Compensation

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

In the event a private citizen incurs injury or property damage in preventing the commission of a crime within Guam, in apprehending a person who has committed a crime within Guam, or in materially assisting a peace officer who is engaged in the prevention or attempted prevention of such a crime or the apprehension or attempted apprehension of such a person, the Commission may, in its discretion, upon an application, order the payment of compensation in accordance with this Chapter:

(a) to or for the benefit of the private citizen; or

(b) to any person responsible for the maintenance of the private citizen, where that person has suffered pecuniary loss or incurred expenses as a result of the private citizen’s injury.

161.80. Award of Compensation

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

The Commission may order the payment of compensation under this Chapter for:

(a) expenses actually and reasonably incurred as a result of the injury of the private citizen;

(b) pain and suffering to the private citizen;

(c) loss to the private citizen of earning power as a result of total or partial incapacity; and

(d) pecuniary loss to the private citizen directly resulting from damage to his or her property.

161.85. Terms of Order

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, any order for the payment of compensation under this Chapter may be made on such terms as the Commission deems appropriate. Without limiting the generality of the preceding sentence, the order may provide for apportionment of the compensation, for the holding of the compensation or any part thereof in trust, for the payment of the compensation in a lump sum or periodic installments, and for the payment of compensation for hospital, medical, funeral and burial expenses directly to the person who has provided such services. All such orders shall contain words clearly informing the claimant that all awards and orders for payments under this Chapter are subject to the making of an appropriation by I Liheslatura to pay the claim, except as otherwise provided in Section 161.95 of this Chapter.

161.90. Limitations Upon Award of Compensation

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) No order for the payment of compensation shall be made under this Chapter unless the application has been made within eighteen (18) months after the date of injury, death or property damage.

(b) Compensation for medical expenses may be awarded up to the amount of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) and compensation for all other purposes allowed under this Chapter shall not exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

161.95. Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund; When Payment Authorized

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) There is hereby established a Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (Fund), separate and apart from other funds of the government of Guam, from which the Commission may make payments as provided in Subsection (b) of this Section. The Attorney General shall be the certifying officer of the Fund, and all payments therefrom shall be paid by the Attorney General upon order of the Commission. These funds shall not be transferred or used without the written approval of the Attorney General of Guam.

(b) The Commission shall have the authority to seek and accept on behalf of, and in the name of, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund from any government or agency thereof, or any person, natural or legal, advisory services, grants-in-aid, gifts, donations or money and other property for the benefit of the Fund; provided, however, that any such grants-in-aid, gifts, donations or other assistance shall not involve any obligation on the part of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

(c) Where the Commission has made an award pursuant to this Chapter, the Commission shall make such payments from the Fund to or on behalf of the victim, or to or for the benefit of one (1) or more of the dependents of a deceased victim, or to or for the benefit of other persons who have suffered pecuniary loss or incurred expenses on account of hospital, medical, funeral and burial expenses as a result of the victim’s injury or death. Payments made pursuant to this Section shall not exceed the total amount of the award.

(d) The Attorney General shall transmit semi-annually to I Maga’lahen Guåhan and to I Liheslaturan Guåhan a report of the Commission’s activities under this Chapter, including the name of each applicant, a brief description of the facts in each case, and the amount, if any, of compensation awarded. Such reports shall be due no later than January 30 and June 30 of each year. The Attorney General shall transmit the report, together with a tabulation of the total amount of compensation awarded.

Title 9. Crimes and Corrections

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Chapter 1. Preliminary Provisions; Definitions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Article 1. Preliminary Provisions; Construction

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

1.18. Classes of Crimes

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) An offense defined by this Code or by any other statute of this Territory, for which a sentence of imprisonment is authorized, constitutes a crime. Crimes are classified as felonies, misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors.

(b) A crime is a felony if it is so designated in this Code or if persons convicted thereof may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term which, apart from an extended term, is in excess of one year.

(c) A crime is a misdemeanor if it is so designated in this Code or in a statute other than this Code enacted subsequent thereto.

(d) Any offense declared by law to constitute a crime, without specification of the grade thereof or of the sentence authorized upon conviction, is a misdemeanor.

(e) A crime is a petty misdemeanor if it is so designated in this Code or in a statute other than this Code enacted subsequent thereto or if it is defined by a statute other than this Code which now provides that person convicted thereof may be sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum term of less than one year.

(f) An offense defined by this Code or by any other statute of this Territory constitutes a violation if it is so designated in this Code or in the law defining the offense or if no other sentence than a fine, or fine and forfeiture or other civil penalty is authorized upon conviction. A violation does not constitute a crime and conviction of a violation shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a criminal offense.

(g) An offense defined by any statute of this Territory other than this Code shall be classified as provided in this Section and the sentence that may be imposed upon conviction thereof shall hereafter be governed by this Code.

1.19. Felonies Defined and Classified

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Felonies defined by this Code are classified, for the purpose of sentence, into three degrees, as follows:

(1) felonies of the first degree;
(2) felonies of the second degree;
(3) felonies of the third degree.

Any crime declared to be a felony, without specification of degree, is of the third degree.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a felony defined by any statute of this Territory other than this Code shall constitute for the purpose of sentence a felony of the third degree.

Chapter 19. Assault, Reckless Endangering, Terrorizing

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

19.69. Definitions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Unless otherwise indicated, as used in § 19.70:

(a) Harasses or harassment means a knowing and willful course of conduct, whether physical, verbal, written, electronic, telephonic, via or by use of a computer, computer network, computer system, telephone network, data network, text message, instant message, or otherwise, directed at a specific person which alarms, annoys, or distresses the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. Such course of conduct must be of a nature to cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must cause substantial emotional distress.

(b) Course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing continuity of purpose. Constitutionally and statutorily protected activity, including, but not limited to, picketing as a result of a labor dispute, is not included in this definition.

(c) Credible threat means any threat, physical or verbal, overtly or subtly manifested, constituting a threat with the intent and apparent ability to carry out the threat with the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her immediate family. Such threatening advance must be against the life of, or a threat to cause bodily injury to, the person threatened or to a member of his or her immediate family.

(d) Computer means any electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high-speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and includes all computer equipment connected or related to such a device in a computer system or computer network, but shall not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a portable hand-held calculator, or other similar device.

(e) Computer network means two (2) or more computers or computer systems interconnected by communication lines, including microwave, electronic, or any other form of communication.

(f) Computer system means a set of interconnected computer equipment intended to operate as a cohesive system.

19.70. Stalking

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of simple stalking if he or she willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly, follows or harasses another person or who makes a credible threat with intent to place that person or a member of his or her immediate family in fear of death or bodily injury.

(b) A person is guilty of advanced stalking if he or she violates Subsection (a) of this Section when there is a temporary restraining order or an injunction or both or any other court order in effect prohibiting the behavior described in that Subsection against the same party.

(c) A person is guilty of advanced stalking if he or she violates Subsection (a) of this Section a second or subsequent time against the same victim, within seven (7) years of a prior conviction under that Subsection, and involving an harassment or a credible threat of violence, as defined in § 19.69 of this Chapter.

(d) Simple stalking is a felony of the third degree.

(e) Advanced stalking is a felony of the second degree.

(f) This Section shall not apply to conduct which occurs during labor picketing.

Chapter 22. Kidnapping and Related Offenses

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

22.40. Child Stealing; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of child stealing when he takes or keeps a child who is less than fourteen (14) years old and who is not his natural or adopted child with intent to conceal that child from his parent, legal guardian or other person having that child in his care or custody or under his control.

(b) This Section shall not apply to a relative of a child who believes that taking or keeping that child is necessary to protect him from physical or emotional harm.

(c) Child stealing is a felony of the third degree.

22.50. Custodial Interference; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree if:
(1) being a relative of the person, he knowingly takes or entices a person less than eighteen (18) years old from his lawful custody knowing that he has no right to do so and during the taking, subjects the person to serious bodily injury.

(b) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree if:
(1) not being a relative of the person, he knowingly takes or entices a person less than eighteen (18) years old from his lawful custodian, knowing that he has no right to do so; or
(2) he knowingly takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or other person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or an institution.

(c) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the third degree if
(1) being a parent of a child and with knowledge of court order relating to the custody of that child, violates the court order and takes or keeps the child with intent to conceal him from his legal guardian or other person having that child in his care or custody or under his control.

Chapter 30. Family Violence

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

30.10. Definitions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

As used in this Chapter:

(a) Family violence means the occurrence of one (1) or more of the following acts by a family or household member, but does not include acts of self-defense or defense of others:

(1) Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury to another family or household member;
(2) Placing a family or household member in fear of bodily injury.

(b) Family or household members include:

(1) Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
(2) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
(3) Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated;
(4) Adults or minors who are engaged in or who have engaged in a sexual relationship;
(5) Adults or minors who are related by blood or adoption to the fourth degree of affinity;
(6) Adults or minors who are related or formerly related by marriage;
(7) Persons who have a child in common; and
(8) Minor children of a person in a relationship described in paragraphs (1) through (7) above.

(c) Bodily injury as used in this Chapter, has the same meaning as that provided in subsection (b) of § 16.10 of this title;
(d) Attempt as used in this Chapter, has the same meaning as that provided in § 13.10 of this title;
(e) Peace officer means any person so defined in 8 GCA § 5.55;
(f) Victim means any natural person against whom a crime, as defined under the laws of Guam, has been committed or attempted to be committed;
(g) Witness means any natural person,

(1) having knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of facts relating to any crime, or
(2) whose declaration under oath is received or has been received as evidence for any purpose, or
(3) who has reported any crime to any peace officer, or
(4) who has been served with a subpoena issued under the authority of any court in Guam, or
(5) who would be believed by any reasonable person to be an individual described in subparagraphs (1) through (4), above, inclusive;

(h) Prosecuting attorney as used in this Chapter means the Attorney General of Guam and those persons employed by the Attorney General’s office specifically designated by the Attorney General.

30.20. Family violence

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly commits an act of family violence, as defined in § 30.10 of this Chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor, or of a third degree felony, and shall be sentenced as follows:

(1) for the first offense, the court shall impose a sentence of no less than forty-eight (48) hours imprisonment;
(2) for the second offense, the court shall impose a sentence of no less than thirty (30) days imprisonment; and
(3) for the third offense, the offense shall be classified as a third degree felony and the court shall impose a sentence of no less than one (1) year imprisonment. The person, upon conviction, shall be termed a “repeat offender” and may be subject to extended terms pursuant to § 80.38 of Article 2, Chapter 80 of this Title.

(b) Upon a written, noticed motion prior to commencement of trial, the defendant may move that a felony charge filed pursuant to this § 30.20, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), be reduced to a misdemeanor. Whether any charge, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), shall proceed as a misdemeanor or a felony rests within the discretion of the court.
(c) In determining whether a felony charge filed pursuant to this § 30.20, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), should be reduced to a misdemeanor, the court shall consider the following factors, among others:

(1) the extent or seriousness of the victim’s injuries;
(2) the defendant’s history of violence against the same victim whether charged or uncharged;
(3) the use of a gun or other weapon by the defendant;
(4) the defendant’s prior criminal history;
(5) the victim’s attitude and conduct regarding the incident;
(6) the involvement of alcohol or other substance, and the defendant’s history of substance abuse as reflected in the defendant’s criminal history and other sources; and
(7) the defendant’s history of and amenability to counseling.

(d) If the court, after a hearing, finds substantial evidence that a victim suffered serious bodily injury, as defined in Subsection (c) of § 16.10, Chapter 16 of this Title, no felony charged filed under this § 30.20 shall be reduced to a misdemeanor unless the court finds that due to unusual circumstances a reduction of the charge is manifestly in the interest of justice.
(e) The fact that an alleged criminal act involved family violence, as defined in § 30.10 of this Chapter, shall not preclude the prosecuting attorney from charging and prosecuting the defendant for any other violations of law, subject to the provisions set forth in § 1.22 of Article 1, Chapter 1 of this Title;
(f) In any case in which a person is convicted of violating this § 30.20 and probation is granted, the court shall require participation in an education and treatment program as a condition of probation unless, considering all the facts and the circumstances, the court finds participation in an education and treatment program inappropriate for the defendant.
(g) If probation is granted, or the imposition of a sentence is suspended, for any person convicted under Subsection (a) of this § 30.20 who previously has been convicted under such Subsection (a) for an offense that occurred within seven (7) years of the offense of the second conviction, it shall be a condition of such probation or suspended sentence that he or she be punished by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days, and that he or she participate in, for no less than one (1) year, and successfully complete an education and treatment program, as designated by the court
(h) Probation shall not be granted for any person convicted under Subsection (a) of this § 30.20 who previously has been convicted of two (2) or more violations of such Subsection (a) for offenses that occurred within seven (7) years of the most recent conviction. The person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year, and shall participate in, for no less than one (1) year, and successfully complete an education and treatment program, as designated by the court.

30.21. Conditions of Release

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Should a person, charged with a crime involving family violence or a violation of a court order, be released, the court may impose the following conditions of release:

(1) an order enjoining the person from threatening to commit or committing acts of family violence against the alleged victim or other family or household member;

(2) an order prohibiting the person from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the alleged victim, either directly or indirectly;

(3) an order directing the person to vacate the residence;

(4) an order directing the person to stay away from the alleged victim and any other family or household member, the residence, school, place of employment or any other specified place frequented by the alleged victim or any other family or household member;

(5) an order prohibiting the person from using or possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the Court;

(6) an order prohibiting the person from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances;

(7) an order granting the alleged victim possession and use of the automobile and other essential personal effects;

(8) any other order required to protect the safety of the alleged victim and to ensure the appearance of the person in Court.

(b) If conditions of release are imposed, the Court shall:
(1) issue a written order for conditional release; and
(2) immediately distribute a copy of the order to the Guam Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General, Prosecution Division.

(c) The Court shall provide a copy of the conditions to the arrested or charged person and his/her counsel upon his or her release. Failure to provide the person with a copy of the conditions of release does not invalidate the conditions if the arrested or charged person has notice of the conditions.

(d) If conditions of release are imposed without a hearing, the arrested or charged person may request a prompt hearing before the Court to review the conditions. Upon such a request, the Court shall hold a prompt hearing to review the conditions.

(e) When a person who is arrested for or charged with a crime involving family violence or a violation of a court order is released from custody, the Office of the Attorney General shall:
(1) use all reasonable means to immediately notify the victim of the alleged crime of the release; and
(2) furnish the victim of the alleged crime, at no cost, a certified copy of any conditions of release.

30.30. Powers and duties of peace officers to arrest for crimes involving family violence; determination of primary aggressor; required report

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) If a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed a felony or misdemeanor involving family violence, the peace officer shall presume that arresting and charging the person is the appropriate response.
(b) If a peace officer receives complaints of family violence from two (2) or more opposing persons, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine who was the primary aggressor. If the officer determines that one (1) person was the primary aggressor, the officer need not arrest the other person believed to have committed family violence but the peace officer shall document to the best of his or her ability the evidence concerning the actions of each participant in the incident.
(c) In determining whether a person is the primary aggressor the officer shall consider:

(1) Prior complaints of family violence;
(2) The relative severity of the injuries inflicted on each person;
(3) The likelihood of future injury to each person;
(4) Whether one of the persons acted in self-defense;
(5) The use or threatened use of a weapon; and
(6) The use or threatened use of physical force.

(d) A peace officer shall not:

(1) Threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate the possible arrest of all parties to discourage requests for intervention by peace officers by any party; or,
(2) Base the decision to arrest or not to arrest on:

(A) The specific consent or request of the victim; or,
(B) The officer’s perception of the willingness of a victim of or witness to the family violence to testify or otherwise participate in a judicial proceeding.

(e) In addition to any other report required, a peace officer who does not make an arrest after investigating a complaint of family violence or who arrests two (2) or more persons for a crime involving family violence must submit a written report setting forth the grounds for not arresting or for arresting both parties.

30.31. Mandatory Confinement

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

When a peace officer makes an arrest for family violence the arrestee shall be confined until the magistrate’s hearing, unless released earlier by the Office of the Attorney General.

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

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(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.

30.40. Violation of a court order

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Any knowing violation of any of the following court orders shall be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of no less than forty-eight (48) hours and not more than one (1) year, and by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000):

(1) an order enjoining a person from threatening to commit or committing acts of family violence against, or from harassing, annoying, or molesting, a family or household member, or any person named in the order;
(2) an order removing or excluding a person from the family dwelling or from the dwelling of another, or from any habitable property, as defined in Subsection (b) of § 34.10, Chapter 34 of this Title;
(3) an order requiring a person to stay away from the residence, dwelling, school, day care center, place of employment, or any other specified place or from a specified person, within five hundred feet (500’) of the specified place or specified person;
(4) an order prohibiting a person from possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the court; or
(5) an order in a criminal case prohibiting the defendant from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with a victim or specified witness, either directly or indirectly.

(b) In the event of a conviction for a second violation of under Subsection (a) of this § 30.40, or of a conviction for a violation under Subsection (a) which results in bodily injury, as defined in Subsection (b) of § 16.10, Chapter 16 of this Title, the defendant shall be imprisoned for at least thirty (30) days.
(c) In the event of a conviction for a third violation under Subsection (a) of this § 30.40, or of a conviction for a violation under Subsection (a) of this § 30.40 which results in bodily injury as defined in Subsection (b) § 16.10, Chapter 16 of this Title, after a prior conviction of a violation under Subsection (a) of this § 30.40, occurring within two (2) years of the prior conviction, committed against the same victim or the victim’s family, the defendant shall be imprisoned for no less than one (1) year.
(d) When a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person has violated one (1) of the orders of the court specified in Subsection (a) of this § 30.40 and verifies the existence of the order, the peace officer shall presume that arresting and charging the person is the appropriate response.
(e) An admission by the defendant that he or she had knowledge of the court order shall be admissible in court notwithstanding the corpus delicti rule.

30.50. Authority of peace officer to seize weapons

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

For a crime involving family violence, a peace officer:

(a) Shall, incident to an arrest, seize all weapons that are alleged to have been involved or threatened to be used in the commission of a crime.

(b) May seize a weapon that is in the plain view of the officer or was discovered pursuant to consensual search, as necessary for the protection of the officer or other persons.

30.60. Disclosure of family violence shelter

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Any person who knowingly publishes, disseminates, or otherwise discloses the location of any family violence shelter or any place designated as a family violence shelter with the intent to harass, annoy, harm, or injure in any way another person, or to thwart or interfere in any manner with the orderly administration or operation of the shelter, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) For purposes of this § 30.60, family violence shelter means a confidential location which provides emergency services on a 24-hour basis for victims of family violence, and their families.

30.90. Establishment and Requirement of the Domestic Abuse Response Team ("DART")

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) The Chief of Police shall establish, asan integral division of the Guam Police Department, the Domestic Abuse Response Team (‘DART’) unit consisting of peace officers, social workers, victim advocates or other persons who completed the Family Violence Training Program, or specifically trained in counseling, crisis intervention or in the treatment of domestic or family violence victims. Such teams may be dispatched, along with a peace officer, to the scene of a reported incident of domestic or family violence.

(b) The Chief of Police shall establish and maintain a continuation education and training program consistent with the Family Violence Training Program for peace officers and those involved and participating in DART.

30.100. Maintenance of systematic records

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) Law enforcement agencies shall maintain a complete and systematic record of all protection orders with respect to family violence incidents, including orders which have not yet been served, restraining orders, and proofs of service in effect. This shall be used to inform law enforcement officers responding to family violence calls of the existence, terms, and effective dates of protection orders in effect.

(b) The terms and conditions of the protection under order remain enforceable, notwithstanding the acts of the parities, and may be changed only by order of the court.

(c) Upon request, law enforcement agencies shall serve the court orders specified in § 30.40 of this Chapter upon the party to be restrained at the scene of a family violence incident or at any time the party is in custody.

Chapter 31. Offenses Against the Family

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

31.30. Child Abuse; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of child abuse when:

(1) he subjects a child to cruel mistreatment; or

(2) having a child in his care or custody or under his control, he:
(A) deserts that child with intent to abandon him;
(B) subjects that child to cruel mistreatment; or
(C) unreasonably causes or permits the physical or, emotional health of that child to be endangered.

(b) Child abuse is a felony of the third degree when it is committed under circumstances likely to result in death or serious bodily injury. Otherwise, it is a misdemeanor.

31.40. Abuse of An Incompetent; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person is guilty of abuse of an incompetent when:

(1) he subjects an incompetent to cruel mistreatment; or

(2) having an incompetent in his care of custody or under his control, he:
(A) deserts that incompetent with intent to abandon him;
(B) subjects that incompetent to cruel mistreatment; or
(C) unreasonably causes or permits the physical or emotional health of that incompetent to be endangered.

(b) As used in this Section, incompetent means a person who is unable to care for himself because of old age, or because of physical or mental illness, disease or defect.

(c) Abuse of an incompetent is a felony of the third degree when it is committed under circumstances likely to result in death or serious bodily injury. Otherwise, it is a misdemeanor.

Chapter 46. Impersonation; Identity Theft; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Article 1. Forgery and Fraudulent Practices

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

46.80 Impersonation; Identity Theft; Defined & Punished

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A person commits an offense when that person:

(1) impersonates another or assumes a false identity and does an act in such assumed character or false identity to obtain a benefit for oneself or another, or to injure or defraud another;

(2) pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity with intent to obtain a benefit for oneself or for another, or to injure or defraud another;

(3) impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services;

(4) possesses or obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person, without the authorization of that person, and uses or attempts to use that information, or assists another person in using the information, for any unlawful purpose, including to:

(A) fraudulently obtain, or attempt to obtain, money, credit, goods, services, anything of value, or medical information in the name of another person;

(B) injure or defraud, or attempt to injure or defraud, another person;

(C) avoid, or attempt to avoid, the payment of debt or other legal obligation; or

(D) avoid, or attempt to avoid, prosecution for a crime in the name of the other person without the consent of that person.

(b) As used in this Section, personal identifying information means the name, address, telephone number, driver’s license or driver’s license number, social security card or social security number, passport or passport number, official government of Guam or other state identification card or number, mother’s maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, credit card or credit card number, or a debit card or debit card number, or any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to assume the identity of a person. The list in this Subsection is not exhaustive.

(c) An offense under this Section is a felony of the second degree if the benefit obtained, or the injury or fraud perpetrated on another, or the payment sought to be avoided, if any, is at least Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00); otherwise, it is a felony of the third degree.

(d) A person found guilty of violating any provisions of this Section shall, in addition to any other punishment, be ordered to make restitution for financial loss sustained by a victim as a result of such violation. Financial loss may include any costs incurred by such victim in correcting the credit history of such victim, or any costs incurred in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt or other obligation of such victim, including lost wages and attorney’s fees.

(e) In any case in which a person obtains personal identifying information of another person without the authorization of that person, and uses that information to commit a crime in addition to a violation of Subsection (a), and is convicted of that crime, the court records shall reflect that the person whose identity was falsely used to commit the crime did not commit the crime.

Title 10. Health and Safety

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Division 3. Public Safety

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Chapter 60. Firearms

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

60108. Same: Restrictions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) No identification card shall issue unless the Department is satisfied that the applicant may lawfully possess, use, carry, concealed or otherwise, own or acquire the type of firearm stated in the application and upon the face of the identification card.

(b) No person shall be issued an identification card:

(1) Who has been convicted by any court of the United States, a state, territory, possession, trust territory or political subdivision thereof of any felony; or
(2) Who is an alien, except temporary permits may be issued to aliens for use only at target ranges operated by persons possessing permits therefore and who are citizens, or only for use at authorized sporting events, and except for official representatives of foreign governments in their official capacities, and except for aliens “lawfully admitted for permanent residence,” which shall mean the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed, as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act § 101(a)(20), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(20). Proof of permanent residence shall be evidenced by presentation of an Alien Registration Card (also known as alien registration certificate, Form I–551 or Green Card); or
(3) Who is presently charged by information or indictment with any crime stated in (b)(1) above; or
(4) Who has been adjudicated incompetent, has been committed to any mental institution; or
(5) Who is under the age of eighteen (18) years; or
(6) Who has been convicted of any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act or any misdemeanor where personal injury or use of firearms was an element or factor of the offense unless the Chief of Police has determined that the offense was committed more than ten (10) years previously and that the applicant would not endanger the public safety by receiving an identification card; or
(7) Who, in the determination of the Chief of Police appears to suffer from a physical or mental disease or defect which would adversely affect the safe use of the firearm applied for, unless the person obtains a certificate from a licensed physician stating that the physical or mental disease or defect would not adversely affect his safe operation of the firearm or the public safety.

(c) An applicant for an identification card shall apply therefore on a form supplied by the Department and shall provide such information as may be necessary to afford the Department reasonable opportunity to ascertain the facts required to appear upon the card and facts relevant to the applicant’s eligibility for a card, and facts necessary to determine whether the applicant may carry a concealed weapon if such permission is sought. The applicant is required to submit to a national criminal background check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to process such background checks.

A fingerprint card, or electronic fingerprint data, if so utilized, shall be transmitted to Guam’s State Identification Bureau as classified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for processing of fingerprints.

(d) If the application is not denied, the identification card shall issue within thirty (30) days, except where application has been made to carry a concealed weapon, in which case the card shall issue within sixty (60) days.

(e) For purposes of this Chapter, the term concealed when used in connection with any firearm whatsoever shall mean a firearm which is carried on a person or within a vehicle in such a manner that it cannot be seen by the naked eye, but would be available for use by the person concealing or attempting to conceal the firearm or any other person aware of the firearm’s existence. A firearm is not concealed when it is within a locked portion of any vehicle, unloaded, with the ammunition stored outside of the firearm or any clip or ammunition storage chamber attached to the firearm, and outside of the immediate reach of the person so placing the weapon or any other person knowing of its existence. A firearm is concealed if, among other things, it is hidden beneath any article of clothing so that only the shape is visible, but not the firearm itself.

Title 19. Personal Relations

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Division 1. Persons & Personal Relations

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Chapter 14. Civil Orders for Protection

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

14101. Definitions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Terms used in this Chapter shall have the same meaning as set forth in 9 GCA Chapter 30.

14102. Effect of Action by Petitioner or Respondent on Order

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) If a respondent is excluded from the residence of a petitioner or ordered to stay away from the petitioner, any communication initiated by the petitioner does not waive or nullify a restraining order.

(b) The preceding sentence shall be printed on each such order.

14103. Denial of Relief Prohibited

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

The Court shall not deny a petitioner injunctive relief for protection from family violence solely because of a lapse of time between an act of family violence and the filing of the petition.

14104. Court Costs and Fees

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Fees for filing and service of process must not be charged for any proceeding seeking injunctive relief for protection from family violence.

14105. Registration and Enforcement of Foreign Orders for Protection; Duties of Court Clerk.

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A certified copy of an order for protection or restraining order issued in another state may be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court. The Clerk shall act upon the order in the same manner as the clerk acts upon an order for protection or restraining order issued by the Superior Court.

(b) Any valid protection order related to abuse, or domestic or family violence, issued by a court of another state, tribe, territory or commonwealth of the United States, and filed in accordance with Subsection (a) shall be afforded full faith and credit by the courts of Guam and enforced as if it were issued on Guam, pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2265.

(c) The Clerk of the Superior Court shall:

(1) maintain a registry in which to enter certified orders for protection or restraining orders issued in other states that are received for filing; and

(2) at the request of a court of another state or at the request of a person who is affected by or has a legitimate interest in an order for protection, certify and forward a copy of the order to that court or person at no cost to the requesting party.

Chapter 8. Dissolution of Marriage

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Article 2. Dissolution of Marriage

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

8204. Adultery

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with a person other than the offender’s husband or wife.

8205. Extreme Cruelty

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Extreme cruelty is the wrongful infliction of grievous bodily injury, or grievous mental suffering, upon the other by one party to the marriage.

8206. Desertion

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Willful desertion is the voluntary separation of one of the married parties from the other with the intent to desert.

8207. Desertion, How Manifested

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Persistent refusal to have reasonable matrimonial intercourse as husband and wife, when health or physical condition does not make such refusal reasonably necessary, or the refusal of either party to dwell in the same house with the other party when there is not just cause for such refusal, is desertion.

8208. Fraud, Desertion

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

When one party is induced by the stratagem or fraud of the other party to leave the family dwelling place, or to be absent, and during such absence the offending party departs with intent to desert the other, it is desertion by the party committing the stratagem or fraud, and not by the other.

8209. Absence, Cruelty; Not Desertion

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Departure or absence of one party from the family dwelling place, caused by cruelty or by threats of bodily harm from which danger would be reasonably apprehended from the other is not desertion by the absent party, but it is desertion by the other party.

8210. Separation by Consent; Not Desertion

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Separation by consent, with or without the understanding that one of the parties will apply for a dissolution of marriage, is not desertion.

8211. Desertion Generally

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Absence or separation, proper in itself, becomes desertion whenever the intent to desert is fixed during such absence or separation.

8212. Consent Revocable

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Consent to separation is a revocable act, and if one of the parties afterwards, in good faith, seeks a reconciliation and restoration, but the other refuses it, such refusal is desertion.

8213. Desertion, Cured, Generally

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

If one party deserts the other, and before the expiration of the statutory period required to make the desertion a cause of dissolution of marriage, returns and offers in good faith to fulfill the marriage contract, and solicits condonation, the desertion is cured. If the other party refuses such offer and condonation, the refusal shall be deemed and treated as desertion by such party from the time of refusal.

8214. Husband's Home

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

The husband may choose any reasonable place or mode of living, and if the wife does not conform thereto, it is desertion.

8215. Husband, Decent Residence

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

If the place or mode of living selected by the husband is unreasonable and grossly unfit, and the wife does not conform thereto, it is desertion on the part of the husband from the time her reasonable objections are made known to him.

8216. Willful Neglect

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Willful neglect is the neglect of the husband to provide for his wife the common necessaries of life, he having the ability to do so; or it is the failure to do so by reason of idleness, profligacy, or dissipation.

8217. Habitual Intemperance

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Habitual intemperance is that degree of intemperance from the use of intoxicating drinks which disqualifies the person a great portion of the time from properly attending to business, or which reasonably inflict a course of great mental anguish upon the innocent party.

8218. Same, One Year

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Willful desertion, willful neglect, or habitual intemperance must continue for one (1) year before any is a ground for dissolution of marriage.

8219. Irreconcilable Differences

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Irreconcilable differences are those grounds which are determined by the Court to be substantial reasons for not continuing the marriage and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.

Article 3. Causes for Denying Dissolution of Marriage

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

8318. Residence of Parties

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) A divorce or dissolution of marriage may be granted if one (1) of the parties has been a resident of Guam for at least ninety (90) days immediately preceding the filing of a complaint for divorce, or dissolution of marriage. For purposes of this Section, a person shall be deemed a resident if one (1) of the parties has been assigned with the U.S. Military to a unit on Guam or a ship home-ported in Guam for at least ninety (90) days immediately preceding the filing of a complaint for divorce or dissolution of marriage or if one (1) of the parties is physically present in Guam for at least ninety (90) days immediately preceding the filing of a complaint for divorce or dissolution of marriage. Physical presence by one of the parties in Guam for a period of ninety (90) days prior to filing of the action for divorce or dissolution of marriage shall give rise to a conclusive presumption of compliance with this Section.

(b) If both parties consent in writing to a divorce or dissolution of their marriage, a divorce or dissolution may be granted if one of the parties has resided in Guam for at least seven (7) days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.

Article 4. General Provisions

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

8402. Alimony, Permanent Support

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

When an action for dissolution of marriage is pending, the court may, in its discretion, require the husband or wife, as the case may be, to pay as alimony any money necessary to enable the wife, or husband, to support herself and her children, or to support himself and his children, or prosecute or defend the action. When the husband or wife willfully deserts the wife or husband, or when the husband or wife has any cause of action for dissolution of marriage as provided in § 8203 of this Title, he or she may, without applying for dissolution of marriage, maintain in the Superior Court an action against her or him for permanent support and maintenance of himself or herself or of himself and children or of herself and children. When the husband willfully fails to provide for the wife, she may, without applying for dissolution of marriage, maintain in the Superior Court an action against him for permanent support and maintenance of herself or of herself and children.

During the pendency of any such action the court may, in its discretion, require the husband or wife, as the case may be, to pay as alimony any money necessary for the prosecution of the action and for support and maintenance, and execution may issue therefor in the discretion of the court. The court, in granting the husband or wife permanent support and maintenance of himself or herself, or of himself and children or herself and children, in any such action, shall make the same disposition of the community property and of the homestead, if any, as would have been made if the marriage had been dissolved by the decree of a court of competent jurisdiction. The final judgment in such action may be enforced by the court by such order or orders as in its discretion it may from time to time deem necessary, and such order or orders may be varied, altered, or revoked at the discretion of the court.

8404. Criteria and Procedure in Awarding Custody

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

In actions for divorce, separation, annulment, separate maintenance, or any other proceeding where there is at issue a dispute as to the custody of a minor child, the court may, during the minority of the child, make such order for the custody of such minor child as may seem necessary or proper. In awarding the custody, the court is to be guided by the following standards, considerations and procedures:

(a) Custody should be awarded to either parent according to the best interest of the child.

(b) Custody may be awarded to persons other than the father or mother whenever such award serves the best interest of the child. Any person who has had de facto custody of the child in a stable and wholesome home and is a fit and proper person shall prima facie be entitled to an award of custody.

(c) If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason, so as to form an intelligent preference, his wishes as to custody shall be considered and be given due weight by the court.

(d) Whenever good cause appears therefor, the court may require an investigation and report concerning the care, welfare and custody of any minor child of the parties. When so directed by the court, professional personnel of the Department of Public Health and Social Services shall assist the court by making investigations and reports which shall be made available to all interested parties and counsel before hearing, and such reports may be received in evidence if no objection is made and, if objection is made, may be received in evidence provided the person or persons responsible for such report are available for cross-examination as to any matter which has been investigated.

(e) The court may hear the testimony of any person or expert produced by any party or upon the court’s own motion, whose skill, insight, knowledge or experience is such that his testimony is relevant to a just and reasonable determination of what is to the best physical, mental, moral and spiritual well-being of the child whose custody is at issue.

(f) Any custody award shall be subject to modification or change whenever the best interests of the child require or justify such modification or change, and whenever practicable, the same person who made the original order shall hear the motion or petition for modification of the prior award.

(g) Reasonable visitation rights shall be awarded to parents and grandparents and to any other person interested in the welfare of the child in the discretion of the court, unless it is shown that such rights of visitation are detrimental to the best interests of the child.

(h) It is legislative policy that children spend as much time with each of their parents as possible, when the parents are not living together. Therefore, in determining visitation of minor children on Guam with non-custodial parents living on Guam, the court shall, to the greatest degree possible, order visitation for minor children (pendente lite and permanently) with non-custodial parents such that the children spend more or less equal amounts of time with the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent during non-working, non-sleeping, non-school time, subject to the following:

(1) The proposed visitation is not found by the court, on evidence presented, to be injurious to the welfare of the child;

(2) The non-custodial parent is willing to accept such visitation;

(3) The non-custodial parent is not found by the Court to be an unfit person to have such visitation;

(4) The visitation is not found by the Court to interfere with the child’s schooling;

(5) Unless the Court finds that it is not in the best interests of the child, non-custodial parents or the children’s grandparents shall be given consideration in providing child-care for their minor children or grandchildren, when visitation orders are prepared;

(6) In determining visitation rights under this subsection (h), the court shall take into account the employment of each parent and the time the child spends in school or in extracurricular activities;

(7) Based on proof presented, the court may take into account other factors respecting visitation which would affect the welfare of the minor child or children;

(8) The court may also take into account the time a child spends with each parent and the expense incident thereto in awarding child support;

(9) The court may make such orders as are appropriate in carrying out the provisions of this subsection (h);

(10) This subsection (h) shall be effective only as to actions or motions filed after its effective date, and shall not apply to any actions or motions filed prior to its effective date. In addition, enactment of this subsection (h) shall not, in and of itself, constitute a change in circumstances as to warrant the re-opening of custody proceedings for which orders had been entered prior to such enactment.

(i) It is legislative policy that children should not be exposed to family violence because, even when they are not themselves physically assaulted, they suffer deep and lasting emotional effects from exposure to family violence; and

(j) The Court may award visitation or custody to a parent who committed family violence only if the Court finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of family violence can be made; and

(k) In every proceeding in which there is at issue the modification of an order for custody or visitation of a child, the finding that family violence has occurred since the last custody or visitation determination constitutes a finding of a change of circumstances; and

(l) In a custody or visitation order, a Court may:
(1) order an exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;

(2) order visitation supervised by another person or agency;

(3) order perpetrator(s) of family violence to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the Court, a program of intervention for perpetrators or other designated counseling as a condition of the visitation;

(4) order either parent or other party to a custody or visitation order to abstain from consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants during the visitation and for twenty-four (24) hours preceding the visitation;

(5) order perpetrator(s) of family violence to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation, or to pay for the services of a guardian ad litem appointed by the court;

(6) prohibit overnight visitation;

(7) require a bond from perpetrator(s) of family violence for the return and safety of the child; or

(8) impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of a child, a victim of family violence, or other family or household member.

(m) Whether or not visitation is allowed, the Court may order the address of a child or a victim to be kept confidential.

(n) If the Court allows a family or household member to supervise visitation, the Court may establish conditions to be followed during visitation.

(o) In addition to other factors that the Court must consider in a proceeding in which the custody of a child, or visitation by a parent is at issue and in which the Court has made a finding that family violence has occurred:

(1) the court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child(ren) and of a parent or guardian who is the victim of family violence; and

(2) the court shall consider the perpetrator’s history of causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another family or household member; or placing a family or household member in fear of bodily injury.

(p) If a parent or guardian is absent or relocates because of an act of family violence by the other parent, the absence or relocation is not a factor that weighs against the parent or guardian in determining custody or visitation, so long as the child(ren) are not removed from Guam without prior Court authorization.

(2) Mediation.

(a) Unless otherwise provided by law, the Court, in cases pursuant to this Section may order the parties to be referred to Mediation with respect to custody and visitation in accordance with the standards set forth in Part 1 of this Section and rules and regulations established and promulgated by the Supreme Court of Guam.

(b) The Supreme Court of Guam shall establish and promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this Section, and mediators shall be selected and compensated in accordance with rules and regulations established by the Court. The rules and regulations promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to this Section shall be submitted to I Liheslaturan Guåhan for approval. Said rules and regulations shall be deemed approved unless otherwise acted upon by I Liheslaturan Guåhan within ninety (90) days of receipt.

(c) Mediation should be accessible to all parties regardless of financial status, and the Judicial Council of Guam is authorized to enact fees to implement the provisions of this Section.

8404.1. Specialized Visitation Center for Victims of Family Violence

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

(a) The Court shall provide or contract for at least one (1) visitation center for victims of family violence and their children to allow Court-ordered visitation in a manner that protects the safety of all family members. Other governmental agencies shall cooperate with the Court and other organization in providing the visitation centers.

(b) A visitation center must provide:

(1) a secure setting and specialized procedures for supervised visitation and the transfer of children for visitation;

(2) supervision by a person trained in security and the avoidance of family violence; and

(3) educational and recreational equipment to facilitate positive family interaction.

Court Rules.

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Local Rules of the Superior Court of Guam.

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Miscellaneous Rules

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Family Violence Orders of Protection

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

MR 2.1. Family Violence Orders of Protection

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

SOURCE: Rule 14 adopted by Sup. Ct. of Guam Prom. Order No. 06–003 (Mar. 31, 2006). Renumbered by Compiler to follow section number designations for the Rules of the Superior Court of Guam. Promulgation Order No. 06–006–04 (Jan. 11, 2008) adopted forms to be used with these Rules, effective immediately.

AUTHORITY: These rules shall govern the Order of Protection process in the Superior Court, for all persons as defined under 9 GCA § 30.10(b), and 7 GCA § 40101(d), who seek an order of the Court for exigent and immediate relief from abuse or the threat of abuse by a family or household member.

MR 2.1.2. Petition

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A. Petition for Order of Protection.

(1) A Petition for an Order of Protection shall be filed with the Clerk of Court at the Courts and Ministerial Division of the Superior Court of Guam.

(2) The new designation for a Petition of an Order of Protection shall be “Protective Order—PO Case #00–0000.” Plaintiff shall be the “Petitioner.” Defendant shall be the “Respondent.”

(3) All petitions must be made under oath, and contain detailed facts and information to assist the Court in making a determination of the basis for the petition.

B. Separate Actions. Petitions for an Order of Protection may be filed separately, filed concurrently with another case, or subsequent to another existing case. All cases involving the same parties shall be automatically consolidated by the Clerk of Court for assignment.

C. Costs. Petitions for an Order of Protection shall be filed without cost. This fee exemption applies only to these Petitions for Orders of Protection. The fee exemption is not available for any concurrent or subsequent filing of a related domestic, child custody, or child support action. Fees must be paid for related domestic, child custody, or child support actions, even if filed at the same time as the Petition for Order of Protection.

SOURCE: 19 GCA § 14104.

D. Clerk Office Open. The Clerk’s Office shall be open and available to assist any person seeking an Order of Protection Monday through Friday at the hours of 11:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. If the Court is not open for regular business hours, or on the weekend, a petition may be heard by the magistrate judge, or any judge available on duty.

MR 2.1.3. Hearings and Notice

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A. Ex Parte Application for Temporary Order of Protection.

(1) An ex parte application for an Order of Protection shall be heard each day pursuant to these Rules. A Rule 9 declaration of notice is required only in cases where Respondent is represented by counsel. Notice is not required to be served on a pro se Respondent if such notice would further endanger the safety and welfare of the Petitioner and/or minor child/ren. The Clerk of Court will transmit the petition for immediate review and hearing at such times designated by the Ex Parte judge, or any available judge should the Ex Parte judge not be available.

(2) An ex parte application for an Order of Protection and a request for a Show Cause hearing shall be filed together with a Petition and Affidavit for Temporary Order of Protection subscribed under oath by the Petitioner.

(3) The Judge after review of the Petition and Affidavit may require the Petitioner to respond to any questions from the Court at the Ex Parte hearing. If the Petitioner is not present at the Ex Parte hearing and is instead represented by an attorney, the Court may accept the Affidavit of the Petitioner as establishing grounds for issuance of the Temporary Order of Protection.

SOURCE: 19 GCA § 14101.

(4) Upon grant of the Temporary Order of Protection, the Clerk of Court shall set the matter for a Show Cause Hearing no later than ten (10) days calendar from date of the issuance of the Temporary Order of Protection by the judge.

Sources: 7 GCA § 40105(b) and § 20301.

B. Final Orders of Protection/Show Cause Hearing.

(1) All Petitions for an Order of Protection shall be heard by the Family Violence Court judge. If the parties have a pending domestic case assigned to a Family Court judge, the Show Cause hearing should be scheduled before the Family Court judge.

(2) All Show Cause hearings shall be heard no later than ten (10) days calendar after issuance of the Temporary Order of Protection, and shall be calendared before the Family Violence Court judge at such times as designated by the Court.

(3) The Respondent shall be ordered to appear before the Court at the times and dates specified in the Temporary Order of Protection. Failure to appear may subject the Respondent to contempt charges. If the Respondent fails to appear at the hearing after being properly served and noticed, the case may proceed by default.

(4) The Court shall inform the Respondent of his right to seek assistance of an attorney at his own expense. If the Respondent desires to obtain assistance of an attorney, the Court may continue the Show Cause hearing for a reasonable period to afford the Respondent an opportunity to obtain counsel. A Temporary Order of Protection may be modified, may continue as a temporary order, or may be made permanent as deemed appropriate by the Court.

(5) After taking testimony and evidence at the Show Cause hearing, and upon a showing of proof by a preponderance of the evidence as to the truth of the allegations in the Petition, the Judge may issue an Order of Protection for such periods as authorized by law, or may approve any consent agreement to bring about cessation of abuse of the plaintiff or minor child/ren. Upon motion of the Petitioner and in the sound discretion of the Family Violence Court judge, the Order for Protection pursuant to Title 7GCA § 40105(b) may be extended for additional periods of one (1) year.

(6) Mutual restraining orders, either stipulated to by the parties or issued by the court, are prohibited unless:

(a) based on a cross or counter petition or complaint, or

(b) the court has made specific findings that each party was entitled to such an order, including detailed findings of fact indicating that both spouses acted primarily as aggressors and that neither acted primarily in self defense.

SOURCE: 18 USC § 2265(c).

MR 2.1.4. Relief

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A. Temporary Order of Protection. A court may grant the following temporary relief at the ex parte hearing:

(1) Enjoining and restraining the Respondent from harassing, abusing, threatening, using or attempting to use physical force or cause bodily injury to the Petitioner and the minor child/ren, or communicating directly or indirectly with the Petitioner or the minor(s);

(2) Enjoining the Respondent from coming within five hundred (500) feet of the Petitioner, Petitioner’s residence, place of employment, school, or the minor child/ren until otherwise permitted by the Court;

(3) Restraining the Respondent from interfering with the Petitioner’s temporary custody of the minor child/ren, or removing them from Guam;

(4) Granting exclusive possession of the family residence to the Petitioner by evicting the Respondent or restoring possession to the Petitioner when the residence or household is jointly owned or leased by the parties;

(5) Granting the Petitioner use of a vehicle or other personal possession, or ordering payment of certain costs, fees, rent or mortgage payments, child support, medical and dental costs, court costs, or attorneys fees;

(6) Awarding temporary custody, providing for or prohibiting visitation with the child/ren;

(7) Ordering the temporary or permanent surrender of any kind of weapon, or instrument that could inflict harm or injury in the possession of the Respondent.

SOURCES: 7 GCA § 40105; and 19 GCA § 8404.

B. Order of Protection. A court may grant the following permanent relief:

(1) Enjoining and restraining the Respondent from harassing, abusing, threatening, using or attempting to use physical force or cause bodily injury to the Petitioner and the minor child/ren, or communicating directly or indirectly with the Petitioner or the minor(s);

(2) Enjoining the Respondent from coming within five hundred (500) feet of the Petitioner, Petitioner’s residence, place of employment, school, or the minor child/ren until otherwise permitted by the Court;

(3) Restraining the Respondent from interfering with the Petitioner’s custody of the minor child/ren, or removing them from Guam;

(4) Granting exclusive possession of the family residence to the Petitioner by evicting the Respondent or restoring possession to the Petitioner when the residence or household is jointly owned or leased by the parties;

(5) Granting the Petitioner use of a vehicle or other personal possession, or ordering payment of certain costs, fees, rent or mortgage payments, child support, medical and dental costs, court costs, or attorneys fees;

(6) Awarding permanent custody, providing for or prohibiting visitation with the child/ren;

(7) Ordering the temporary or permanent surrender of any kind of weapon, or instrument that could inflict harm or injury in the possession of the Respondent.

SOURCES: 7 GCA § 40105; 19 GCA § 8404, and 9 GCA § 30.32.

MR 2.1.5. Service of Orders

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Service of Orders of Protection and Show Cause Orders. The Marshals Division of the Superior Court of Guam will serve all Orders of Protection and Show Cause Orders upon order of the Court, or at the request of the Petitioner. The Petitioner or his/her attorney should provide complete and detailed information on the whereabouts of the Respondent(s). If the Respondent is incarcerated the Petitioner should notify the Marshal of the date of arrest.

MR 2.1.7. Contempt

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A. Civil Contempt.

(1) Upon violation of a protective order, or a court-approved consent agreement of the parties, the Court may hold the Respondent in contempt, as follows:

(a) If the judge certifies that he or she saw or heard conduct constituting contempt and it was committed in the actual presence of the court, and any person found guilty of such contempt may be punished summarily by a fine not exceeding $25.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding five days or by both. The order of contempt shall recite the facts and shall be signed by the judge and entered of record.

(b) Other than as provided by subsection (a), contempt shall be prosecuted on notice and a hearing. Any person found guilty of contempt, other than as provided by subsection (a), may be subject to the same penalty as a person found guilty of a petty misdemeanor, which is, a definite term set by the court not to exceed sixty (60) days imprisonment.

SOURCES: 7 GCA §§ 40109, 34101(a) and (b); 9 GCA § 80.34.

Local Rules Super Ct., Rule 2.1.7, GU ST SUPER CT Rule 2.1.7

MR 2.1.8. Firearms

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

A. Surrender of Firearms and/or Ammunition.

(1) The Court shall require a Respondent subject to an Order of Protection to immediately surrender all firearms and/or ammunition to the Marshal of the Court, or other law enforcement officers.

(2) The Court may issue to the Marshal such search warrants as are necessary to effect the federal statute, the Gun Control Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). The Court may find probable cause determination based on the allegations contained in the Petition and Affidavit of the Petitioner, or evidence presented at hearing.

(3) Any firearms and/or ammunition seized by the Marshals shall comply with Standard Operating Procedures of the Superior Court of Guam Marshal Division for the seizure, storage and return of all firearms and/or ammunition seized in all protection from abuse cases. Any firearm seized by any other law enforcement officer shall comply with that department’s standard operating procedure for the seizure, storage and return of all firearms and/or ammunition seized.

SOURCE: 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9).

B. Federal Firearm Prohibition. An Order for Protection must meet the requirements to satisfy the requirements of a “Qualifying Protection Order” under the federal firearm prohibitions:

(1) the Respondent must have received notice of the hearing,

(2) the Respondent must have had an opportunity to participate in the hearing,

(3) include a finding that the Respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the Petitioner or child; or by its terms, explicitly prohibit the actual, attempted, or threatened use of physical force against the Petitioner or child.

SOURCE: 18 USC § 922(g)(8).

C. Release of Firearms and/or Ammunition.

(1) Any firearm and/or ammunition that has been surrendered pursuant to Rule 14.8(A) shall not be released to a Respondent who is subject to an Order of Protection as set forth in Rule 14.8(B), until the Respondent obtains a court order granting such release.

(2) The Respondent or other registered owner may request, by motion to the assigned judge, for the release of any firearm and/or ammunition surrendered pursuant to Rule 14.8(A). Such motion shall be made after the expiration of the Order for Protection.

(3) At the hearing, the judge shall consider the following:

(a) Has the Order for Protection has been extended or made permanent

(b) Is the Respondent is subject to any court order that precludes the ownership or possession of firearms and/or ammunition;

(c) The ownership and registration status of the firearm and/or ammunition;

(d) Any other factor which, in the sound discretion of the court will justify the release or other disposition of the firearm(s) or ammunition, including but not limited to, the grounds for Respondent’s request for release, possible danger for the victim(s), and employment purposes.

(4) No firearm shall be released by any Judiciary marshal pursuant to this rule unless the Respondent complies with the applicable statutes regarding registration, Chapter 60 of Title 10 of the GCA.

(5) The Judiciary shall not be held liable for alleged damage or deterioration due to the storage, transportation of any firearm that was surrendered to a marshal pursuant to Rule 14.8(A).

Small Claims

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

MR 5.1.4. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
February 10, 2020

Any person having a claim of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars or less may apply for relief through the Small Claims Division. Counterclaims or cross-claims may also be filed for up to ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars. If a bona-fide counterclaim or cross-claim is in excess of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars, the matter shall be handled as a regular civil or other case. Any person having a claim against him or her for more than five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars may make a timely application to the court for transfer of the matter out of the Small Claims Division to be handled as a regular civil or other case within the Superior Court of Guam, which motion, if timely made, shall be granted as a matter of right.