|State||2016 Statute Number||2015 Statute Language|
|Guam||10 Guam Code Ann. § 21001|
|The purpose of this Article is to recognize that abuse, neglect and
exploitation of elderly or adults with a disability are problems that require
attention and intervention as a matter of public policy. Elderly or adults with
a disability require the same societal protection now being provided by law
to abused and neglected children and spouses. The obligation of the
government to extend protective care and services to the abused elderly or
adults with a disability should be carried out in a manner least restrictive of
individual rights and in accordance with due process. The family's
contribution to the care of its elderly or adults with a disability is
acknowledged and every effort should be made to assist, support and
enhance its caretaking role.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21002|
|Definitions as used in this Article:
(a) Abandonment refers to the desertion of an elderly or adult with
a disability by his or her caregiver under circumstances in which a
reasonable person would continue to provide care or custody.
(b) Adult with a Disability is any person eighteen (18) years or
(1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially
limits one (1) or more major life activities; or
(2) has a history of, or has been classified as having, an
impairment which substantially limits one (1) or more major life
(c) Bodily Injury means physical pain, illness, unconsciousness or
any impairment of physical condition, in accordance with Chapter 16 of
Title 9 Guam Code Annotated.
(d) Bureau of Adult Protective Services means the “Bureau”
established by § 2955 of this Article.
(e) Caregiver is any family member or any person, health facility,
community care facility, clinic, home health care agency or legal guardian who has the care or custody of the elderly or adult with
(f) Department refers to the Department of Public Health and
(g) Desertion refers to the act by which a person abandons and
forsakes, without justification, a condition of public, social, or family
life, renouncing its responsibilities and evading its duties.
(h) Elderly refers to a person age sixty (60) years or older.
(i) Elderly or Adult with a Disability Abuse means self-neglect or
any one (1) or more of the following acts inflicted on an elderly or adult
with a disability by other than accidental means by another person:
physical abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
(j) Emotional or Psychological Abuse means fear, agitation,
confusion, severe depression, or other forms of serious emotional
distress that is brought about by forms of intimidating behavior, threats,
harassment, or by deceptive acts or false or misleading statements made
with malicious intent to agitate, confuse, frighten, or cause severe
depression or serious emotional distress of the elderly or adult with a
(k) Expunged means the sealing of records to all persons outside
of the Bureau of Adult Protective Services and law enforcement
agencies of Guam, and the federal agencies entitled thereto, and a
refusal by such agencies to admit the existence of such records to
persons not entitled to examine them.
(l) Financial or Property Exploitation means illegal or improper
use of an elderly or adult with a disability's money, property, or other
resources for monetary or personal benefit, profit or gain. This
includes, but is not limited to, theft, misappropriation, concealment,
misuse or fraudulent deprivation of money or property belonging to the
elderly or adult with a disability.
(m) Investigation means that activity undertaken to determine the
validity of a report of elderly or adult with a disability abuse.
(n) Major Life Activities include, but are not limited to: caring for
oneself, performing manual tasks, standing, walking, seeing, hearing,
eating, sleeping, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking and working.
(o) Neglect means the failure of a reasonable caregiver to provide
for the physical, mental or emotional health and well-being of the
elderly or adult with a disability and includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Failure to assist or provide personal hygiene for the
elderly or adult with a disability.
(2) Failure to provide adequate food, water, clothing or
(3) Failure to provide medical care for the physical and
mental health of the elderly or adult with a disability. No person
shall be deemed neglected or abused for the sole reason that he or
she voluntarily relies on treatment by spiritual means through
prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment.
(4) Failure to protect an elderly or adult with a disability from
health, safety hazards, or physical harm.
(p) Physical Abuse means the willful infliction of or omission
which results in physical harm. It includes, but is not limited to, cruel
punishment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental anguish, such
as direct beatings, slapping, kicking, biting, choking, burning or
unreasonable physical restraint or confinement resulting in physical
(q) Physical Harm means bodily pain, injury, impairment or
(r) Self-Neglect Abuse is characterized as the behavior of an
elderly or adult with a disability that threatens his/her own health or
safety. Self-neglect generally manifests itself when an elderly or adult
with a disability refuses to provide him/herself with adequate food,
clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication (when indicated), and
safety precautions. The definition of self-neglect excludes a situation in
which a mentally competent elderly or adult with a disability, who
understands the consequences of his/her decisions, makes a conscious
and voluntary decision to engage in acts that threaten his/her health or
safety as a matter of personal choice.
(s) Serious Abuse means an act or omission resulting in serious
bodily injury which creates: serious permanent disfigurement; substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement; severe or
intense physical pain or protracted loss or impairment of consciousness
or of the function of any bodily member or organ, as defined in Chapter
16 of Title 9, Guam Code Annotated; or sexual offenses pursuant to
Chapter 25 of Title 9, Guam Code Annotated.
(t) Sexual Abuse means any form of non-consensual sexual
contact, including but not limited to, unwanted or inappropriate sexual
gratification, touching, rape, sodomy, sexual coercion, sexually explicit
photographing, sexual harassment, involuntary exposure to sexually
explicit material or language, and as defined in the penal code of Guam.
(u) Substantiated Report means a report made pursuant to this
Chapter, if an investigation by the Bureau of Adult Protective Services,
or its authorized agency, determines that there is sufficient evidence to
support the existence of the abuse or neglect.
(v) Unsubstantiated Report means a report made pursuant to this
Chapter, if an investigation by the Bureau of Adult Protective Services
or its authorized agency determines that there is insufficient or
inconclusive evidence of abuse, but existence of the abuse cannot be
disproved to the satisfaction of the Bureau of Adult Protective Services.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21003|
Reporting of Elderly or Adult with a Disability Abuse.
|(a) Any person who, in the course of his or her employment, occupation
or professional practice comes into contact with elderly or adults with
disabilities, has actual knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that an
elderly or adult with a disability is suffering from or has died as a result of
abuse as defined in § 2951, shall immediately make a verbal report of such
information or cause a report to be made to the Bureau of Adult Protective
Services or its authorized agency and shall, within forty-eight (48) hours,
make a written report to the Bureau or its authorized agency. If a verbal
report is made on a Friday, a written report will be made by the next
(b) Persons required to report abuse under Subsection (a) include, but
are not limited to, physicians, medical interns, medical examiners, nurses,
chiropractors, hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of persons, social workers, employees of nursing homes,
senior citizen centers and adult day care facilities, police officers, probation
officers, employees of homemaker and home health service agencies,
emergency medical service (EMS) providers, non-emergency medical
transport providers, medical and allied health care providers, banking or
financial institution personnel, pension providers, and practicum students in
the field of health and human services.
(c) In addition to persons required to report under Subsections (a) and
(b), any other person may make such report to the Bureau of Adult
Protective Services if any such person has a reasonable cause to believe that
an elderly or adult with a disability is suffering from or has died as a result of
(d) Oral or written reports from persons required to report under
Subsections (a) and (b) shall include the following information, if available:
(1) The name of the person making the report and where he or she
can be reached. The identity of the person making the report shall be
confidential, but made available to an agency contracted authorized by
the Bureau of Adult Protective Services to provide case investigation.
(2) The name, address and approximate age of the elderly or adult
with a disability.
(3) Information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse, the
name of the person's caretaker, if known, and any medical treatment
being received or immediately required, if known.
(4) The name of the person or persons responsible for causing the
(5) The source of the report.
(6) Any other information which may assist in the investigation of
the suspected abuse.
(7) The identity of the person making the report shall be
(e) Reports of elderly or adult with a disability abuse may be made
anonymously under this Chapter.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21004|
Immunity from Liability.
|(a) Any person who in good faith makes a report under this Article or
testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding related to the report is
immune from civil or criminal liability for reporting or testifying.
(b) Any officer, agent or employee of the Bureau of Adult Protective
Services who performs his or her duties in good faith is not liable for civil or
criminal damages as a result of acts or omissions in rendering service or care
to an elderly or adult with a disability.
(c) For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith
referred to in Subsections (a) and (b) shall be presumed.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21005|
Failure to Report.
| of suspected elderly or adult with a disability abuse who fails to so
report shall be liable for a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars
($500.00), except that for a second or subsequent offense, such person shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor. Fines shall be deposited in the manner
prescribed in § 2954(a), infra.
(a) There is hereby created, separate and apart from other funds of
the government of Guam, a fund known as the Bureau of Adult
Protective Services Fund (Fund). The Fund shall not be commingled
with the General Fund, is exempt from the Governor’s transfer
authority and shall be kept in a separate bank account, and is not
subject to fiscal constraints or limitations, such as a reserve account.
All funds collected shall be expended exclusively for purposes used to
support the operations of the Bureau of Adult Protective Services.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21006|
Bureau Adult Protective Services.
|The Division of Senior Citizens of the Department of Public Health and
Social Services (Department) shall establish a Bureau of Adult Protective
Services, which shall have sufficient staff to fulfill the purposes of this
Article and organized in such a way as to maximize the continuity of
responsibility, care and services of individual workers toward individual adults and families. Therefore, at a minimum, the Bureau shall be organized
and staffed with:
(a) one (1) Human Services Administrator to serve and lead the
(b) one (1) Social Services Supervisor I to provide support for the
daily operations and supervision of the Bureau;
(c) three (3) Social Worker III to staff the Case Investigation Unit.
(d) one (1) Social Worker III to staff the Intake and Aftercare Unit.
(e) one (1) Program Coordinator III to staff the Education and
Outreach Unit to include the management of the Emergency Receiving
The Bureau shall be the sole bureau responsible for receiving and
investigating all reports of elderly or adult with a disability abuse made
pursuant to this Article, specifically including, but not limited to, reports of
abuse in facilities operated by the Department and other public or private
agencies and in private residences. The Bureau shall have authority to
delegate to other social service agencies the responsibility of investigating
reports of abuse, but shall monitor the investigations conducted by such
other authorized agencies.
The Office of the Attorney General will provide legal services to the
Bureau of Adult Protective Services at no cost to the Bureau.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21007|
Duties of the Bureau of Adult Protective Services.
|The Bureau shall:
(a) Receive on a twenty-four (24) hour, seven (7) days a week
basis all reports, both oral and written, of suspected elderly or adult
with a disability abuse in accordance with this Article and the
regulations of the Department.
(b) Investigate and evaluate the information in the reports, either
through its own investigators or through investigators of other
authorized agencies. The investigation and evaluation shall be made
within twenty-four (24) hours if the Bureau has reasonable cause to believe the adult's health or safety is in imminent danger from further
abuse, and within seven (7) days for all other such reports. The
investigation shall include a visit to the facility or residence, an
interview with the adult allegedly abused, a determination of the nature,
extent and cause or causes of the abuse, the identity of the person or
persons responsible for the abuse, and all other pertinent facts. The
investigation shall be completed within thirty (30) days. If the
investigating social worker of the Bureau or other authorized
investigating agency determines that it is appropriate, the social worker
may request a law enforcement officer to accompany and assist the
worker in the investigation. No social worker of the Bureau or other
authorized investigating agency shall enter the home of any individual
pursuant to the provisions of this Article without the consent of the
individual, unless authorized pursuant to Subsection (c) of § 2957 of
(c) Determine within sixty (60) days whether the report is
substantiated or unsubstantiated. If the assessment results in
determination that the elderly or adult with a disability has suffered
serious abuse as defined in § 2951, report such determination to the
Attorney General within forty-eight (48) hours. The Attorney General
shall investigate and decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings.
(d) Develop a coordinated system of protective services to prevent
further abuses to adults and to provide or arrange for and monitor the
provision of those services necessary to safeguard and ensure the adult's
well-being and development, and preserve and stabilize family life
(e) Make available, among its services for the prevention and
treatment of elderly and adult with a disability abuse, through
authorized individuals and through inter-agency and intra-agency
assistance and cooperation, instruction in caring for elderly and adults
with a disability, protective and preventive social care, and emergency
(f) Appoint a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) for the purpose of
providing case consultation, interagency treatment strategies and
collaborative planning to address complex cases and service gaps
involving an elderly or adult with a disability who is a victim of abuse
The MDT may include, but is not limited to, a Bureau of Adult
Protective Services social worker, a representative of a law enforcement
agency, Guam Police Department, the medical profession, a mental
health agency, the hospital, the public guardian, a representative of any
private or government social service agency or advocacy office, Guam
Legal Services Corporation, and a representative of the Mayors'
Council of Guam. The MDT shall document all actions and efforts in
addressing the needs of the client.
(g) Functions of the Bureau are subject to the appropriation of
funding and allocation of personnel sufficient to carry out the
operations of the Bureau.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21008|
Consent of Victim; Guardianship.
|(a) An elderly or adult with a disability who is a victim or alleged
victim of abuse may refuse to cooperate in the investigation, or withdraw
consent at any time to the provision of protective services by the Bureau or
its authorized agency. However, the Bureau responsible to investigate all
complaints of abuse against the elderly or adults with a disability and shall
have the responsibility to complete and document the investigation efforts,
regardless of the lack of cooperation of the victim of abuse.
(b) If the elderly or adult with a disability victim or alleged victim of
abuse is so incapacitated that he or she cannot legally give or deny consent to
an investigation or protective services, the Bureau may initiate a petition for
guardianship in accordance with Chapter 38 of Title 15 Guam Code
Annotated, or initiate a petition for civil commitment pursuant to law.
(c) If a social worker of the Bureau or other authorized agency who is
investigating a report of abuse is denied access to the alleged victim by a
caregiver or household member, such agency may petition the Superior
Court for an order allowing the Bureau or agency immediate access to the
alleged victim. The court shall give notice to the caregiver or household
member who is denying access at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the
hearing. The Court may dispense with the notice upon finding that
immediate and reasonably foreseeable harm to the alleged victim will result
from the twenty-four (24) hour delay. If, after the hearing, the court
determines, based upon clear and convincing evidence, that the caregiver or household member should be required to allow access, the Court shall so
order. The order allowing access shall remain in effect for a period not to
exceed seventy-two (72) hours and may be extended for an additional
seventy-two (72) hours if the court finds that the extension is necessary for
the Bureau or its authorized agency to gain access to the alleged victim.
(d) No person shall interfere with the provision of protective services to
an elderly or adult with a disability who requests or consents to receive such
services. In the event that interference occurs on a continuing basis, the
Bureau, its authorized protective services agency, or the public guardian may
petition the court to enjoin such interference.
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21009|
|(a) The Bureau shall maintain a Central Registry of reports of elderly or
adult with a disability abuse, which shall contain and be limited to the
(1) The name, address and birthdate of the elderly or adult with a
(2) The date or dates and the nature and extent of the suspected
(3) The locality in which the suspected abuse occurred.
(4) The name of the person or persons suspected of causing the
(5) The progress of any legal proceedings brought on the basis of
(b) Both substantiated and unsubstantiated reports of elderly or adult
with a disability abuse shall be placed and maintained in the cCentral
(c) An investigation of a report of suspected elderly or adult with a
disability abuse, that does not determine within ninety (90) days of the date
of the initial report that it is a substantiated or an unsubstantiated report,
shall be classified as an inconclusive finding. Therefore, all information
identifying the named victim and perpetrator or perpetrators shall be
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21010|
|(a) All records maintained by the Bureau regarding reports of abuse,|
including, but not limited to, information contained in the central registry,
shall be confidential and shall be released only with the consent of the
elderly or adult with a disability or, if the adult is not competent, only with
the consent of the adult's guardian, and shall be released only to individuals
designated in this § 2959.
(b) Records may be released, only as necessary to serve and protect the
adult, to the following:
(1) Any agency or individual, authorized, contracted or licensed
through the Bureau to care for, protect or provide services to an elderly
or adult with a disability who is a victim of abuse, which agency or
individual shall share information related to the abuse with the Bureau.
(2) Courts of competent jurisdiction, upon finding that access to
the records may be necessary for determination of an issue before the
court. Access shall be limited to inspection by the court only, unless the
court determines that disclosure of the records to interested parties is
necessary for resolution of an issue pending before it.
(3) Grand juries when connected with the prosecution of a case of
elderly or adult with a disability abuse.
(4) Properly constituted authorities or agencies, including police
departments, prosecutors and attorneys general investigating a report of
known or suspected elderly or adult with a disability abuse.
(5) A physician examining or treating an elderly or adult with a
disability where the physician suspects the adult of having been abused.
(6) The guardian or attorney of the elderly or adult with a
(7) A duly authorized official of the Bureau.
(8) The victim or alleged victim of the abuse.
(9) After, and only after, a court proceeding has been initiated
regarding the abuse, the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator of the abuse. (c) Records may be released to sources other than those identified in
Subsection (b) only when a written authorization from the victim or alleged
victim, or his or her guardian, specifically provides consent to have the
record released or reviewed. In the event the guardian is the alleged
perpetrator, this provision will not apply.
(d) Regardless of Subsections (a), (b) and (c), identities of persons
reporting elderly or adult with a disability abuse shall remain anonymous and
release of the identity of a person reporting such abuse, or information which
would identify the reporter of abuse, is strictly prohibited.
(e) Students authorized by the Director of the Department may be
permitted, under direct supervision, access to Bureau of Adult Protective
Service (BAPS) files for the purpose of field practice, research and to gather
statistical information. Such authorized students, under supervision, may be
permitted to receive BAPS referrals and participate in BAPS intake,
interviews and case management assignments. Such authorized students
shall be registered in a field placement, practicum internship, or block
placement with an accredited college or university. Such authorized students
will be under the direct supervision of a social services supervisor and
subject to all conditions of this Chapter, and government of Guam policies,
procedures and guidelines. Such authorized students shall not disseminate
any information beyond the scope of the program objectives.
(f) Any person who willfully releases or permits the release of any
information or records is in violation of this Section, and shall be guilty of a
|10 Guam Code Ann. § 21011|
|(a) The appropriation shall cover staffing requirements, vehicles,
cellphones, APS database and registry, logistics, contracting of services, and
emergency shelter for victims of elderly and adult with a disability abuse.
(b) Within three (3) months following the end of each fiscal year, the
Bureau shall submit a report to the Governor, the Superior Court, the
Legislature, and the public, which shall include:
(1) Description of the activities of the Bureau and all designated
agencies during the preceding year.