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This book and its accompanying volume contain the revised and amended Civil, Civil Procedure, Penal and Probate Codes of Guam. Together with the Government Code which was published in 1952, these volumes present the entire law of Guam in code form.
The program of codification was undertaken at the direction of the First Guam Legislature as a necessary step toward stabilizing the content and processes of law in Guam. At the time this work was begun in 1951 the written law of Guam consisted of a mass of typewritten and mimeographed executive orders and memoranda, enactments of prior congresses, and an obsolete printed volume containing the Civil, Civil Procedure, Penal and Probate Codes and the Civil Regulations.
Out of this miscellany of documents have come the present codes, five in number, printed in three volumes, each with provision made in the binding for the addition of supplements to be printed at the conclusion of the work of each legislature. The first of these, the Government Code, included all codifiable matter not properly within the scope of one of the other four codes. The present publications include these latter codes revised and amended.
There is, however, a major distinction between the work done in the case of the Government Code and in the case of these remaining codes. In the former instance, the matter included had not been previously codified and the discretion of the codifiers, both as to form and content, was consequently quite broad. In the present instance, however, both form and content have been in a large measure pre-determined.
The original codes published under the Naval Government were adapted from the California codes of the same name. Although subsequent changes in the California statutes have resulted in many major differences between the two sets of codes today, they are still identical or comparable as to many of their sections. Consequently, there is a large body of court decisions
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and other legal literature available to aid in the interpretation of the various sections. These considerations plus the fact that the present codes have been used in Guam for some time weighed heavily in determining that the form and content should remain unaltered as far as possible.
The result is that these present volumes constitute revised and amended editions of the previously printed codes rather than entirely new compilations, as in the case of the Government Code.
To accomplish these revisions, it has been necessary to search through the old executive orders and memoranda for amendments made under the formerly plenary executive power. Amendments had also been made by the former Guam Congresses and many changes were enacted by the First and Second Guam Legislature. All of the above have been included in the present printing. They have also been listed for purposes of reference in the table to be found in the front of each volume and titled,"Table Showing Disposition of Statutes and Enactments of Guam in the Civil, Civil Procedure, Penal and Probate Codes of Guam.” Reference is made to a similar table to be found in the Government Code. Together they show the disposition in one of the five codes of every statute of Guam which is codified.
In accordance with the above stated aims and objectives, the codifiers have not included any considerable number of substantive changes in the law at this time. References to obsolete offices, titles or departments have been changed to accord with present fact. Excessive grants of power or immunity to the executive branch of the government have been deleted, and, in a very few instances, provisions which appeared to be unnecessarily at variance with the general tenor of the law in the United States have been amended.
JOHN A. Bohn, Legislative Counsel Dated: July 9, 1953
These present 1970 volumes contains tables showing the effect of statutes of the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Guam Legislatures upon sections of the Civil Procedure and Probate Codes. In addition, immediately following the Index in Volume II, are Appendices "A” through “D” which are the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Island Court of Guam; the Rules on Admiralty; Rules and Regulations for Admission to the Practice of Law of Guam; and the Rules of Court of the District Court of Guam. These rules were drafted and adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to the power invested in that body by $ 123 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and submitted to the appropriate Guam Legislature for its subsequent approval. Attention also is called to the fact that Title 48, U.S.C.A. § 1424 makes applicable the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings in the District Court of Guam and where so applicable, such rules supersede the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, as indicated in this Code by appropriate Editor's notes.