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jurisdiction in child custody disputes.

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Guam  Law Regarding Jurisdiction in
Child Custody Disputes

7 GCA, Chapter 39

UNIFORM CHILD-CUSTODY JURISDICTION

AND ENFORCEMENT ACT

ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 39101. SHORT TITLE.

SECTION 39102. DEFINITIONS.

SECTION 39103. PROCEEDINGS GOVERNED BY OTHER LAW.

SECTION 39104. APPLICATION TO INDIAN TRIBES.

SECTION 39105. INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION OF ACT

SECTION 39106. EFFECT OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION.

SECTION 39107. PRIORITY.

SECTION 39108. NOTICE TO PERSONS OUTSIDE TERRITORY .

SECTION 39109. APPEARANCE AND LIMITED IMMUNITY.

SECTION 39110. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN COURTS.

SECTION 39111. TAKING TESTIMONY IN ANOTHER STATE.

SECTION 39112. COOPERATION BETWEEN COURTS; PRESERVATION OF RECORDS.

ARTICLE 2 - JURISDICTION

SECTION 39201. INITIAL CHILD-CUSTODY JURISDICTION.

SECTION 39202. EXCLUSIVE, CONTINUING JURISDICTION.

SECTION 39203. JURISDICTION TO MODIFY DETERMINATION.

SECTION 39204. TEMPORARY EMERGENCY JURISDICTION.

SECTION 39205. NOTICE; OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD; JOINDER.

SECTION 39206. SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS.

SECTION 39207. INCONVENIENT FORUM.

SECTION 39208. JURISDICTION DECLINED BY REASON OF CONDUCT.

SECTION 39209. INFORMATION TO BE SUBMITTED TO COURT.

SECTION 39210. APPEARANCE OF PARTIES AND CHILD.

ARTICLE 3 - ENFORCEMENT

SECTION 39301. DEFINITIONS.

SECTION 39302. ENFORCEMENT UNDER HAGUE CONVENTION.

SECTION 39303. DUTY TO ENFORCE.

SECTION 39304. TEMPORARY VISITATION.

SECTION 39305. REGISTRATION OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION.

SECTION 39306. ENFORCEMENT OF REGISTERED DETERMINATION.

SECTION 39307. SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS.

SECTION 39308. EXPEDITED ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION.

SECTION 39309. SERVICE OF PETITION AND ORDER.

SECTION 39310. HEARING AND ORDER.

SECTION 39311. WARRANT TO TAKE PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF CHILD.

SECTION 39312. COSTS, FEES, AND EXPENSES.

SECTION 39313. RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT.

SECTION 39314. APPEALS.

SECTION 39315. ROLE OF PROSECUTOR OR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

SECTION 39316. ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.

SECTION 39317. COSTS AND EXPENSES.

ARTICLE 4 - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

SECTION 39401. APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION.

SECTION 39402. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.

SECTION 39403. TRANSITIONAL PROVISION.

ARTICLE 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 39101. SHORT TITLE.  This Act may be cited as the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. (top)

SECTION 39102. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) "Abandoned" means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

(2) "Child" means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

(3) "Child-custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) "Child-custody proceeding" means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Article 3.

(5) "Commencement" means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) "Court" means an entity authorized under the law of a State or Territory to establish, enforce, or modify a child-custody determination.

(7) " Home State " means the State or Territory in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the State or Territory in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

(8) "Initial determination" means the first child-custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) "Issuing court" means the court that makes a child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this Act.

(10) " Issuing State " means the State or Territory in which a child-custody determination is made.

(11) "Modification" means a child-custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) "Person acting as a parent" means a person, other than a parent, who:

(A) has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding; and

(B) has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this Territory.

(14) "physical custody" means the physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) "State" means a State of the United States , the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico , the United States Virgin Islands, Guam or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States .

(17) "Warrant" means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

SECTION 39103. PROCEEDINGS GOVERNED BY OTHER LAW.  This Act does not govern an adoption proceeding or a proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child.

SECTION 39104. APPLICATION TO INDIAN TRIBES. A child-custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. ยง 1901 et seq., is not subject to this Act to the extent that it is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

SECTION 39105. INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION OF ACT (a) The Superior Court of Guam shall treat a foreign country as if it were a State of the United States for the purpose of applying Articles 1 and 2.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a child-custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this Act must be recognized and enforced under Article 3.

(c) The Superior Court of Guam need not apply this Act if the child custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

SECTION 39106. EFFECT OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION. A child-custody determination made by a court of this Territory that had jurisdiction under this Act binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this Territory or notified in accordance with Section 39108 or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

SECTION 39107. PRIORITY. If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under this Act is raised in a child-custody proceeding, the question, upon request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously.

SECTION 39108. NOTICE TO PERSONS OUTSIDE TERRITORY . (a) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this Territory may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this Territory for service of process or by the law of the State in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.

(b) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the law of this Territory or by the law of the State in which the service is made.

(c) Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

SECTION 39109. APPEARANCE AND LIMITED IMMUNITY. (a) A party to a child-custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child-custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this Territory for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the proceeding.

(b) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this Territory on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this Territory. A party present in this Territory who is subject to the jurisdiction of another State is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that State.

(c) The immunity granted by subsection (a) does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under this Act committed by an individual while present in this Territory.

SECTION 39110. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN COURTS. (a) A court of this Territory may communicate with a court in another State concerning a proceeding arising under this Act.

(b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

(c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a record must be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

SECTION 39111. TAKING TESTIMONY IN ANOTHER STATE. (a) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child-custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another State, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this Territory for testimony taken in another State. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another State and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.

(b) A court of this Territory may permit an individual residing in another State to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that State. A court of this Territory shall cooperate with courts of other States in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

(c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another State to a court of this Territory by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

SECTION 39112. COOPERATION BETWEEN COURTS; PRESERVATION OF RECORDS. (a) A court of this Territory may request the appropriate court of another State to:

(1) hold an evidentiary hearing;

(2) order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to procedures of that State;

(3) order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding;

(4) forward to the court of this Territory a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; and

(5) order a party to a child-custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

(b) Upon request of a court of another State, a court of this Territory may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection (a).

(c) Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsections (a) and (b) may be assessed against the parties according to the law of this Territory.

(d) The Superior Court of Guam shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child-custody proceeding until the child attains 18 years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another State, the court shall forward a certified copy of those records.

ARTICLE 2

JURISDICTION

SECTION 39201. INITIAL CHILD-CUSTODY JURISDICTION. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204, the Superior Court of Guam has jurisdiction to make an initial child-custody determination only if:

(1) this Territory is the home State of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home State of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this Territory but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this Territory;

(2) a court of another State does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (1), or a court of the home State of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this Territory is the more appropriate forum under Section 39207 or 208, and:

(A) the child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this Territory other than mere physical presence; and

(B) substantial evidence is available in this Territory concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;

(3) all courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (1) or (2) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that the Superior Court of Guam is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under Section 39207 or 208; or

(4) no court of any other State would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).

(b) Subsection (a) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child-custody determination by the Superior Court of Guam.

(c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child-custody determination. (top)

SECTION 39202. EXCLUSIVE, CONTINUING JURISDICTION. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204, a court of this Territory which has made a child-custody determination consistent with Section 39201 or 203 has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:

(1) a court of this Territory determines that neither the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not have a significant connection with this Territory and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this Territory concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or

(2) a court of this Territory or a court of another State determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this Territory.

(b) A court of this Territory which has made a child-custody determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under Section 39201.

SECTION 39203. JURISDICTION TO MODIFY DETERMINATION.

Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204, the Superior Court of Guam may not modify a child-custody determination made by a court of another State unless the Superior Court of Guam has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under Section 39201(a)(1) or (2) and:

(1) the court of the other State determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under Section 39202 or that the Superior Court of Guam would be a more convenient forum under Section 39207; or

(2) the Superior Court of Guam or a court of the other State determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other State. (top)

SECTION 39204. TEMPORARY EMERGENCY JURISDICTION. (a) The Superior Court of Guam has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this Territory and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

(b) If there is no previous child-custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this Act and a child-custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203, a child-custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203. If a child-custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203, a child-custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination, if it so provides and this Territory becomes the home State of the child.

(c) If there is a previous child-custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this Act, or a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203, any order issued by a court of this Territory under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203. The order issued in this Territory remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other State within the period specified or the period expires.

(d) A court of this Territory which has been asked to make a child-custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child-custody determination has been made by, a court of a State having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this Territory which is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to Sections 201 through 203, upon being informed that a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child-custody determination has been made by, a court of another State under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that State to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order. (top)

SECTION 39205. NOTICE; OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD; JOINDER. (a) Before a child-custody determination is made under this Act, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the standards of Section 39108 must be given to all persons entitled to notice under the law of this Territory as in child-custody proceedings between residents of this Territory, any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated, and any person having physical custody of the child.

(b) This Act does not govern the enforceability of a child-custody determination made without notice or an opportunity to be heard.

(c) The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a party in a child-custody proceeding under this Act are governed by the law of this Territory as in child-custody proceedings between residents of this Territory.

SECTION 39206. SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204, the Superior Court of Guam may not exercise its jurisdiction under this Article if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child has been commenced in a court of another State having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with this Act, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by the court of the other State because the Superior Court of Guam is a more convenient forum under Section 39207.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204, the Superior Court of Guam, before hearing a child-custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information supplied by the parties pursuant to Section 39209. If the court determines that a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in a court in another State having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this Act, the court of this Territory shall stay its proceeding and communicate with the court of the other State. If the court of the State having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this Act does not determine that the court of this Territory is a more appropriate forum, the court of this Territory shall dismiss the proceeding.

(c) In a proceeding to modify a child-custody determination, the Superior Court of Guam shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce the determination has been commenced in another State. If a proceeding to enforce a child-custody determination has been commenced in another State, the court may:

(1) stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other State enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;

(2) enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement; or

(3) proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.

SECTION 39207. INCONVENIENT FORUM. (a) The Superior Court of Guam may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another State is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court's own motion, or request of another court.

(b) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, the Superior Court of Guam shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another State to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which State could best protect the parties and the child;

(2) the length of time the child has resided outside this Territory;

(3) the distance between the court in this Territory and the court in the State that would assume jurisdiction;

(4) the relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(5) any agreement of the parties as to which State should assume jurisdiction;

(6) the nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;

(7) the ability of the court of each State to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and

(8) the familiarity of the court of each State with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

(c) If the Superior Court of Guam determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another State is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child-custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated State and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(d) The Superior Court of Guam may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this Act if a child-custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

SECTION 39208. JURISDICTION DECLINED BY REASON OF CONDUCT. (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 39204 or by other law of this Territory, if the Superior Court of Guam has jurisdiction under this Act because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

(1) the parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;

(2) a court of the State otherwise having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203 determines that this Territory is a more appropriate forum under Section 39207; or

(3) no court of any other State would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Sections 201 through 203.

(b) If the Superior Court of Guam declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (a), it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child-custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under Sections 201 through 203.

(c) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (a), it shall assess against the party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this Territory unless authorized by law other than this Act.

SECTION 39209. INFORMATION TO BE SUBMITTED TO COURT.

(a) Subject to any existing law of this territory providing for the confidentiality of procedures, addresses, and other identifying information, in a child-custody proceeding, each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child's present address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during the last five years, and the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during that period. The pleading or affidavit must state whether the party:

(1) has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the date of the child-custody determination, if any;

(2) knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding; and

(3) knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.

(b) If the information required by subsection (a) is not furnished, the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.

(c) If the declaration as to any of the items described in subsection (a)(1) through (3) is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court's jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.

(d) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in this or any other State that could affect the current proceeding.

(e) If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of identifying information, the information must be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, or liberty of the party or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interest of justice.]

SECTION 39210. APPEARANCE OF PARTIES AND CHILD. (a) In a child-custody proceeding in this Territory, the court may order a party to the proceeding who is in this Territory to appear before the court in person with or without the child. The court may order any person who is in this Territory and who has physical custody or control of the child to appear in person with the child.

(b) If a party to a child-custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this Territory, the court may order that a notice given pursuant to Section 39108 include a statement directing the party to appear in person with or without the child and informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision adverse to the party.

(c) The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(d) If a party to a child-custody proceeding who is outside this Territory is directed to appear under subsection (b) or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses of the party so appearing and of the child.

ARTICLE 3

ENFORCEMENT

SECTION 39301. DEFINITIONS. In this Article:

(1) "Petitioner" means a person who seeks enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child-custody determination.

(2) "Respondent" means a person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child-custody determination. 

 SECTION 39302. ENFORCEMENT UNDER HAGUE CONVENTION. Under this Article the Superior Court of Guam may enforce an order for the return of the child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child-custody determination.

SECTION 39303. DUTY TO ENFORCE. (a) The Superior Court of Guam shall recognize and enforce a child-custody determination of a court of another State if the latter court exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this Act or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this Act and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this Act.

(b) The Superior Court of Guam may utilize any remedy available under other law of this Territory to enforce a child-custody determination made by a court of another State. The remedies provided in this Article are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child-custody determination.

SECTION 39304. TEMPORARY VISITATION. (a) A court of this Territory which does not have jurisdiction to modify a child-custody determination, may issue a temporary order enforcing:

(1) a visitation schedule made by a court of another State; or

(2) the visitation provisions of a child-custody determination of another State that does not provide for a specific visitation schedule.

(b) If a court of this Territory makes an order under subsection (a)(2), it shall specify in the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Article 2. The order remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other court or the period expires.

SECTION 39305. REGISTRATION OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION. (a) A child-custody determination issued by a court of another State may be registered in this Territory, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the Superior Court of Guam:

(1) a letter or other document requesting registration;

(2) two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and

(3) except as otherwise provided in Section 39209, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child-custody determination sought to be registered.

(b) ON receipt of the documents required by subsection (a), the registering court shall:

(1) cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and

(2) serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to subsection (a)(3) and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

(c) The notice required by subsection (b)(2) must state that:

(1) a registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by the Superior Court of Guam;

(2) a hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within 20 days after service of notice; and

(3) failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child-custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

(d) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order must request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:

(1) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;

(2) the child-custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2; or

(3) the person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 39108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.

(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

SECTION 39306. ENFORCEMENT OF REGISTERED DETERMINATION. (a) The Superior Court of Guam may grant any relief normally available under the law of this Territory to enforce a registered child-custody determination made by a court of another State.

(b) The Superior Court of Guam shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except in accordance with Article 2, a registered child-custody determination of a court of another State.

SECTION 39307. SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS. If a proceeding for enforcement under this Article is commenced in the Superior Court of Guam and the court determines that a proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of another State having jurisdiction to modify the determination under Article 2, the enforcing court shall immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

SECTION 39308. EXPEDITED ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD-CUSTODY DETERMINATION. (a) A petition under this Article must be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

(b) A petition for enforcement of a child-custody determination must state:

(1) whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;

(2) whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be enforced under this Act and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(3) whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(4) the present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known;

(5) whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney's fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief sought; and

(6) if the child-custody determination has been registered and confirmed under Section 39305, the date and place of registration.

(c) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.

(d) An order issued under subsection (c) must state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses under Section 39312, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:

(1) the child-custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under Section 39305 and that:

(A) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;

(B) the child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2;

(C) the respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 39108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or

(2) the child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under Section 39304, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a State having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

SECTION 39309. SERVICE OF PETITION AND ORDER. Except as otherwise provided in Section 39311, the petition and order must be served, by any method authorized by the laws of this territory, upon respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.

SECTION 39310. HEARING AND ORDER. (a) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order pursuant to Section 39204, upon a finding that a petitioner is entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child unless the respondent establishes that:

(1) the child-custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under Section 39305 and that:

(A) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Article 2;

(B) the child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a State having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2; or

(C) the respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of Section 39108, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or

(2) the child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under Section 39305 but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a State having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

(b) The court shall award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized under Section 39312 and may grant additional relief, including a request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and set a further hearing to determine whether additional relief is appropriate.

(c) If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.

(d) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife or parent and child may not be invoked in a proceeding under this Article. (top)

SECTION 39311. WARRANT TO TAKE PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF CHILD. (a) Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child-custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is immediately likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this Territory.

(b) If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this Territory, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child. The petition must be heard on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed unless that date is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The application for the warrant must include the statements required by Section 39308(b).

(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child must:

(1) recite the facts upon which a conclusion of imminent serious physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;

(2) direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately; and

(3) provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

(d) The respondent must be served with the petition, warrant, and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

(e) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this Territory. If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

(f) The court may impose conditions upon placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child's custodian.

SECTION 39312. COSTS, FEES, AND EXPENSES. (a) The court shall award the prevailing party, including a State, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate.

(b) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a State unless authorized by law other than this Act.

SECTION 39313. RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT.  The Superior Court of Guam shall accord full faith and credit to an order issued by another State and consistent with this Act which enforces a child-custody determination by a court of another State unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Article 2.

SECTION 39314. APPEALS. An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding under this Article in accordance with expedited appellate procedures in other civil cases. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under Section 39204, the enforcing court may not stay an order enforcing a child-custody determination pending appeal.

SECTION 39315. ROLE OF PROSECUTOR OR ATTORNEY GENERAL. (a) In a case arising under this Act or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the prosecutor or other appropriate public official may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under this Article or any other available civil proceeding to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child-custody determination if there is:

(1) an existing child-custody determination;

(2) a request to do so from a court in a pending child-custody proceeding;

(3) a reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or

(4) a reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(b) A prosecutor or appropriate public official acting under this section acts on behalf of the court and may not represent any party.

SECTION 39316. ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. At the request of a prosecutor or other appropriate public official acting under Section 39315, a law enforcement officer] may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist a prosecutor or appropriate public official with responsibilities under Section 39315.

SECTION 39317. COSTS AND EXPENSES. If the respondent is not the prevailing party, the court may assess against the respondent all direct expenses and costs incurred by the prosecutor or other appropriate public official and law enforcement officers under Section 39315 or 316.

ARTICLE 4

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

SECTION 39401. APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION. In applying and construing this Uniform Act, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among States that enact it.

SECTION 39402. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE. If any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 39403. TRANSITIONAL PROVISION. A motion or other request for relief made in a child-custody proceeding or to enforce a child-custody determination which was commenced before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made