Court clearance, other fees to increase

NEW FEES: A reader shared a photo of fee increases that will go into effect at the Superior Court of Guam in August. Contributed photo

If you need a Superior Court clearance for a job or other reasons, plan to pay double starting on Aug. 1. 

Among the approved fees which are posted at the Guam Judicial Center and will take effect next month are:

• Promissory note processing: Increased from no cost to $25

• Note of intent: Increase from no cost to $50

• Warrant of arrest: Increased from no cost to $80

• Court clearance: Increased from $10 to $20

• Traffic clearance: Increased from $5 to $10

• Traffic court (minimum costs): Increased from $5 to $10

Traffic court (maximum bench trial costs): Increased from $20 to $30

Shawn Gumataotao, director of policy, planning and community relations at the Judiciary of Guam, said the Judicial Council has been discussing the fees for various services the court provides since last year when the Judiciary realized its annual appropriations were going to decrease. The 34th Guam Legislature presented a budget for fiscal year 2019 that allotted spending levels that would be lower than what was needed to execute the missions of certain agencies.

Gumataotao said not all of the fees will directly impact local residents’ everyday lives.

“The warrant of arrest will be a cost that’s … levied on the person who is being arrested when it’s time for them to pay fines and such,” Gumataotao said.

But for those who are applying for jobs and getting new insurance, the bite of a slight increase will be felt – a reality that Gumataotao acknowledged, but also noted that the Judiciary hasn’t increased its fees since 2013.

“There were services the court was providing that we never even charged for, such as firearm certification,” he said.

Gumataotao said the Judiciary’s reduced budget and the increased costs for supplies and other items were among the factors that compelled the increase.

“The Judicial Council has approved several fee increases … and they are meeting again next week. I believe and they’ll be discussing the electronic monitoring fees,” Gumataotao stated.

Gumataotao added that the Judiciary did share its plan to increase fees with the Guam Bar Association.

The Judiciary’s website will be updated in the next two weeks prior to the effective date next month.

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