|Supreme Court of Guam|
|Established||1996 (26 years ago)|
|Authorized by||Organic Act of Guam|
|Appeals to||Supreme Court of the United States|
|Number of positions||3|
|Website||Supreme Court of Guam|
|Currently||Hon. F. Philip Carbullido|
|Since||January 21, 2020|
The Supreme Court of Guam is the highest judicial body of the United States territory of Guam. The Court hears all appeals from the Superior Court of Guam and exercises original jurisdiction only in cases where a certified question is submitted to it by a U.S. federal court, the Governor of Guam, or the Guam Legislature. The Supreme Court of Guam is the ultimate judicial authority on local matters. In the past, appeals of questions involving the U.S. Constitution or federal laws or treaties were heard by a three-judge appellate panel of the U.S. District Court of Guam, from which appeals could be further taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but this is no longer the case. Since 2006, the court's decisions have only been appealable to the Supreme Court of the United States, in line with the practice regarding the highest courts of the 50 states. The Court sits in the Monessa G. Lujan Memorial Courtroom, which is on the third floor of the Guam Judicial Center in Hagatna, Guam.
The Court is composed of three justices who are appointed by the Governor of Guam and confirmed by the Guam Legislature. Justices serve for terms of good behavior, subject to a retention election every ten years after his/her appointment. The three justices issue judgment on all cases brought before them. They all sit on the Judicial Council of Guam, which is ultimately in charge of the administration of the Guam Judiciary.
The current justices of the Supreme Court of Guam are:
The justice's full biographies can be found at the Supreme Court's website
|Name||Term start||Term end|
|Peter C. Siguenza Jr.||April 21, 1996||April 21, 1999|
|September 1, 2001||January 23, 2003|
|Benjamin J.F. Cruz||April 21, 1999||August 31, 2001|
|F. Philip Carbullido||January 23, 2003||January 15, 2008|
|January 18, 2011||January 21, 2014|
|January 21, 2020||present|
|Robert J. Torres Jr.||January 15, 2008||January 18, 2011|
|January 21, 2014||January 17, 2017|
|Katherine A. Maraman||January 17, 2017||January 21, 2020|
|Name||Sworn in||Appointed by||Retired||Judicial positions||Currently|
|Peter Charles Siguenza Jr.||April 21, 1996||Carl T.C. Gutierrez||August 31, 2001||Chief Justice of Guam (1996–1999; 2001–2003); Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam (1999–2001); Judge of the Superior Court of Guam (1984–1996)||Retired|
|Janet Healy Weeks||April 21, 1996||Carl T.C. Gutierrez||April 30, 1999||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam (1996–1999); Judge of the Superior Court of Guam (1975–1996)||Retired|
|Monessa G. Lujan||April 21, 1996||Carl T.C. Gutierrez||†March 15, 1997||Associate Justice (1996–1997)||†In Memoriam|
|Benjamin J.F. Cruz||October 13, 1997||Carl T.C. Gutierrez||August 31, 2001||Chief Justice of Guam (1999–2001); Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam (1997–1999); Judge of the Superior Court of Guam (1984–1997)||Vice Speaker, I Mina' Trentai Dos Na Lihislaturan Guahan|
|Frances Tydingco-Gatewood||February 8, 2002||Felix P. Camacho||October 29, 2006||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Guam (2002–2006); Judge of the Superior Court of Guam (1994–2001)||Chief Judge, United States District Court of Guam|
Judges of the Superior Court are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature for a term of eight years. If they wish to continue in office, their names are placed on the ballot at a general election. They must garner at least 50 percent plus one favorable vote of the number of cast ballots to remain in office. Judge Richard Benson and Judge Joaquin E. Manibusan were the first to be placed on a ballot. They both received the overwhelming approval of the voters.
The Superior Court is a court of general jurisdiction, and its seven judges preside over criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, small claims, traffic and child support cases brought before them. The hearing officer generally does not preside over all of these subjects, but is utilized predominantly in small claims, family, and traffic matters. In December 2005, the Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts were recognized as courts of record of the Judiciary of Guam. These programs are examples of "therapeutic justice" which focuses on rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into society. Judges are assigned to cases on a rotating basis, though one is rotated into assignment as designated Drug Court judge exclusively for a specified period (currently yearly). The Presiding Judge's additional responsibility is primarily procedural and administrative concerns, though formerly the "PJ," as the position is commonly referred to, assigned cases to the various judges.
The current Judges of the Superior Court of Guam are:
Former Judges include: