48 U.S. Code § 1424 - District Court of Guam; local courts; jurisdiction
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(a) District Court of Guam; unified court system
(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.
(c) Original jurisdiction
In addition to the jurisdiction described in subsection (b) of this section, the District Court of Guam shall have original jurisdiction in all other causes in Guam, jurisdiction over which is not then vested by the legislature in another court or other courts established by it. In causes brought in the district court solely on the basis of this subsection, the district court shall be considered a court established by the laws of Guam for the purpose of determining the requirements of indictment by grand jury or trial by jury.
Source(Aug. 1, 1950, ch. 512, § 22,64 Stat. 389; Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1017, § 1,68 Stat. 882; Pub. L. 85–444, §§ 1, 2,June 4, 1958, 72 Stat. 178, 179; Pub. L. 95–598, title III, § 335,Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2680; Pub. L. 98–454, title VIII, §§ 801, 803, title X, § 1001,Oct. 5, 1984, 98 Stat. 1741, 1743, 1745; Pub. L. 108–378, § 1(a),Oct. 30, 2004, 118 Stat. 2206.)
2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–378amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “The judicial authority of Guam shall be vested in a court of record established by Congress, designated the ‘District Court of Guam,’ and such local court or courts as may have been or shall hereafter be established by the laws of Guam in conformity with section 1424–1 of this title.”
1984—Pub. L. 98–454amended section generally, striking out language which directed that no provisions of any rules which authorized or required trial by jury or the prosecution of offenses by indictment by a grand jury instead of by information be applicable to the District Court of Guam unless and until made so applicable by laws enacted by the Legislature of Guam, repealed that portion of section 1 of act Aug. 27, 1954, which had inserted such language originally, repealed section 335 ofPub. L. 95–598, which had amended this section, and transferred out of this section into sections 1424–1 to 1424–4, with amendments, the remaining provisions formerly set out in this section relating to the creation, jurisdiction, and rules governing procedure in the Guam judicial system.
1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–598, § 335(a), inserted “and a bankruptcy court”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–598, § 335(b), substituted “section 2075 of title 28, in cases under title 11,” for “section 53 of title 11, in bankruptcy cases;”.
1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–444provided that the District Court of Guam shall have jurisdiction in all causes arising under the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States, regardless of the sum or value of the matter in controversy, and to insert the paragraph requiring appeals to the District Court to be heard and determined by an appellate division.
1954—Subsec. (b). Act Aug. 27, 1954, inserted provisions making it clear that trial by jury or the prosecution of offenses by indictment by a grand jury instead of by information shall not be required in the District Court of Guam until so required by laws enacted by the Legislature of Guam; and defining the terms “attorney for the government”, and “United States attorney”, as used in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, when applicable to cases arising under the laws of Guam.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment
Pub. L. 98–454, title X, § 1005,Oct. 5, 1984, 98 Stat. 1746, provided that: “Titles VII, VIII, IX, and X of this Act [enacting sections 1424–1 to 1424–4, 1493, and 1613a of this title, repealing section 1400 of this title, amending this section and sections 1424b, 1561, 1611, 1612, 1613, 1614, 1615, 1617, 1694, and 1821 to 1824 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1424b, 1612, and 1614 of this title and section 373 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] shall become effective on the ninetieth day following their enactment [Oct. 5, 1984].”
Effective Date of 1978 Amendment
Amendment by section 335(b) ofPub. L. 95–598effective Oct. 1, 1979, see section 402(a) ofPub. L. 95–598, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 11, Bankruptcy.
Pub. L. 95–598, title IV, § 402(e),Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2682, which provided a prospective effective date for the amendment of subsec. (a) by section 335(a) ofPub. L. 95–598, was repealed by section 1001 ofPub. L. 98–454.
Effective Date of 1954 Amendment
Act Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1017, § 2,68 Stat. 883, provided that: “The amendment made by section 1 [amending this section] shall be deemed to be in effect as of August 1, 1950.”
Act Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1017, § 4,68 Stat. 883, provided: “If any particular provision of this Act [amending this section and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section], or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid, the remainder of the Act and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.”
Nonreversal of Convictions Prior to August 27, 1954
Act Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1017, § 3,68 Stat. 883, provided: “No conviction of a defendant in a criminal proceeding in the District Court of Guam heretofore had shall be reversed or set aside on the ground that the defendant was not indicted by a grand jury or tried by a petit jury.”