Text: H.R.2400 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-378 (10/30/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 378]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ378.108]

[[Page 2205]]

                         GUAM JUDICIAL STRUCTURE

[[Page 118 STAT. 2206]]

Public Law 108-378
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To amend the Organic Act of Guam for the purposes of clarifying the 
    local judicial structure of Guam. <<NOTE: Oct. 30, 2004 -  [H.R. 
                                2400]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. JUDICIAL STRUCTURE OF GUAM.

    (a) Judicial Authority; Courts.--Section 22(a) of the Organic Act of 
Guam (48 U.S.C. 1424(a)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) The judicial authority of Guam shall be vested in a court 
established by Congress designated as the `District Court of Guam', and 
a judicial branch of Guam which branch shall constitute a unified 
judicial system and include an appellate court designated as the 
`Supreme Court of Guam', a trial court designated as the `Superior Court 
of Guam', and such other lower local courts as may have been or shall 
hereafter be established by the laws of Guam.
    ``(2) The Supreme Court of Guam may, by rules of such court, create 
divisions of the Superior Court of Guam and other local courts of Guam.
    ``(3) The courts of record for Guam shall be the District Court of 
Guam, the Supreme Court of Guam, the Superior Court of Guam (except the 
Traffic and Small Claims divisions of the Superior Court of Guam) and 
any other local courts or divisions of local courts that the Supreme 
Court of Guam shall designate.''.
    (b) Jurisdiction and Powers of Local Courts.--Section 22A of the 
Organic Act of Guam (48 U.S.C. 1424-1) is amended to read as follows:
    ``Sec. 22A. (a) The Supreme Court of Guam shall be the highest court 
of the judicial branch of Guam (excluding the District Court of Guam) 
and shall--
            ``(1) have original jurisdiction over proceedings necessary 
        to protect its appellate jurisdiction and supervisory authority 
        and such other original jurisdiction as the laws of Guam may 
        provide;
            ``(2) have jurisdiction to hear appeals over any cause in 
        Guam decided by the Superior Court of Guam or other courts 
        established under the laws of Guam;
            ``(3) have jurisdiction to issue all orders and writs in aid 
        of its appellate, supervisory, and original jurisdiction, 
        including those orders necessary for the supervision of the 
        judicial branch of Guam;
            ``(4) have supervisory jurisdiction over the Superior Court 
        of Guam and all other courts of the judicial branch of Guam;

[[Page 118 STAT. 2207]]

            ``(5) hear and determine appeals by a panel of three of the 
        justices of the Supreme Court of Guam and a concurrence of two 
        such justices shall be necessary to a decision of the Supreme 
        Court of Guam on the merits of an appeal;
            ``(6) make and promulgate rules governing the administration 
        of the judiciary and the practice and procedure in the courts of 
        the judicial branch of Guam, including procedures for the 
        determination of an appeal en banc; and
            ``(7) govern attorney and judicial ethics and the practice 
        of law in Guam, including admission to practice law and the 
        conduct and discipline of persons admitted to practice law.

    ``(b) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam--
            ``(1) shall preside over the Supreme Court unless 
        disqualified or unable to act;
            ``(2) shall be the administrative head of, and have general 
        supervisory power over, all departments, divisions, and other 
        instrumentalities of the judicial branch of Guam; and
            ``(3) may issue such administrative orders on behalf of the 
        Supreme Court of Guam as necessary for the efficient 
        administration of the judicial branch of Guam.

    ``(c) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam, or a justice 
sitting in place of such Chief Justice, may make any appropriate order 
with respect to--
            ``(1) an appeal prior to the hearing and determination of 
        that appeal on the merits; or
            ``(2) dismissal of an appeal for lack of jurisdiction or 
        failure to take or prosecute the appeal in accordance with 
        applicable laws or rules of procedure.

    ``(d) Except as granted to the Supreme Court of Guam or otherwise 
provided by this Act or any other Act of Congress, the Superior Court of 
Guam and all other local courts established by the laws of Guam shall 
have such original and appellate jurisdiction over all causes in Guam as 
the laws of Guam provide, except that such jurisdiction shall be subject 
to the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction conferred on the District 
Court of Guam under section 22 of this Act.
    ``(e) The qualifications and duties of the justices and judges of 
the Supreme Court of Guam, the Superior Court of Guam, and all other 
local courts established by the laws of Guam shall be governed by the 
laws of Guam and the rules of such courts.''.
    (c) Technical Amendments.--(1) Section 22C(a) of the Organic Act of 
Guam (48 U.S.C. 1424-3(a)) is amended by inserting ``which is known as 
the Supreme Court of Guam,'' after ``appellate court authorized by 
section 22A(a) of this Act,''.
    (2) Section 22C(d) of the Organic Act of Guam (48 U.S.C. 1424-3(d)) 
is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``, which is known as the Supreme Court of 
        Guam,'' after ``appellate court provided for in section 22A(a) 
        of this Act''; and
            (B) by striking ``taken to the appellate court'' and 
        inserting ``taken to such appellate court''.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2208]]

SEC. 2. APPEALS TO UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT.

    Section 22B of the Organic Act of Guam (48 U.S.C. 1424-2) is amended 
by striking ``: Provided, That'' and all that follows through the end 
and inserting a period.

    Approved October 30, 2004.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2400:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-638 (Comm. on Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 150 (2004):
            Sept. 13, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 10, considered and passed Senate.

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