What are "Restraining" and "Protective Orders" and how are they different?
Both a restraining order and a protective order are legal orders issued by a judge against a specific person(s) to stop them from harassing a person and/or to stop certain types of objectionable behavior.
A restraining order is usually sought against someone who is not related to the person requesting the restraining order. A protective order is pursued against a relative or a former or current spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. A violation of a restraining order results in an action for civil contempt while a violation of a protective order can result in both a civil action for contempt as well as the filing of a criminal case.
What is the process for obtaining either a Protective Order or a Restraining Order?
First, if you feel that you are in imminent danger from someone, call the police immediately! Do not take any chances. Domestic fights are especially dangerous because emotions can soon get out of hand. Once you are out of harm's way, you should seek legal assistance. If you meet certain financial criteria, you may be eligible to obtain a restraining or protective order for free through either the Guam Public Defenders (475-3100) or Guam Legal Services (477-9811). You may wish to check with them first to determine your eligibility for free services. If you do not qualify for either of their services, you will have to retain a private attorney.
Your attorney will seek an immediate emergency restraining/protective order from a judge that is enforceable for about 10 days. Within 10 days, the matter will again come before a judge to determine if a temporary restraining/protective order should be granted. If granted, the temporary order will stay in place until a final determination is made by a judge whether to grant a permanent restraining/protective order. This determination will be made following a full evidentiary hearing.
It is difficult to predict how long the entire process will take. Most are resolved within 30 do 90 days.
NOTICE: My office is no longer processing restraining orders or protective orders. You will have to consult with another attorney.
This explanation sheet is provided for general information only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should discuss the specifics of your situation with a reputable attorney prior to taking any legal action. Neither this site nor anyone associated with this site shall be held liable for the use of the information contained in this document or for any decisions made based on the information provided herein.