Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law (10/30/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the House reported version is repeated here.)

(Sec. 1) Amends the Organic Act of Guam to revise the local judicial structure of Guam to vest judicial authority, not only in the District Court of Guam (as currently), but also in a unified judicial system composed of: (1) an appellate court designated as the "Supreme Court of Guam"; (2) a trial court designated as the "Superior Court of Guam"; and (3) such other lower local courts as may have been or may hereafter be established by the laws of Guam.

Authorizes the Supreme Court of Guam to create divisions of the Superior Court and other local courts of Guam.

States that 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; (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 court practice and procedure, including appeal en banc procedures; and (7) govern attorney and judicial ethics and the practice of law in Guam.

Lists the courts of record for Guam as 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

Outlines the jurisdiction and powers of the local courts.

Provides that the qualifications and duties of the justices and judges of the courts shall be governed by the laws of Guam and the rules of such courts.

(Sec. 2) Repeals provisions granting the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit jurisdiction to review all final decisions of the Supreme Court of Guam.