Guam Rules of Civil Procedure lay down the rules that should be followed by Guam courts. The rules govern civil actions. The rules are promulgated for the smooth and efficient functioning of state courts. In Guam, a civil action commences with the filing of a complaint. A party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant. Once a complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue the required summons to the defendant(s). A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage.
Different types of pleadings in Guam courts include: Complaint, demurrer to Complaint, Answer, and Demurrer to Answer. A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest. If the real party in interest is a minor or incompetent person, the person’s representative should file the complaint. If a minor, insane or incompetent person does not have a representative, s/he may appear by his general guardian or by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court in which the action is pending.
Parties have the right to trial by jury in cases where the demand (excluding interest and costs) or the value of the property in controversy amounts to more than Twenty Dollars ($ 20.00), except for small claims cases and appeals thereafter, and in all criminal cases where the authorized punishment consists of confinement for more than sixty (60) days or a fine of more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00). A judgment is passed after trial. The judgment will determine the ultimate rights of the parties and is appealable.