Bill introduced to strengthen Guam’s Castle Doctrine Law
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Sen. William A. Parkinson introduced Bill 39-37 to strengthen Guam’s Castle Doctrine law to include curtilage - the area immediately surrounding a person's home, including yards, carports, dirty kitchens and patios.
The legislation also adopts provisions of Florida's stand your ground (SYG) law regarding pre-trial hearings to better effectuate the castle doctrine.
The "castle doctrine" is a legal principle that provides homeowners with the right to use deadly force to defend their home, without first having to retreat.
Currently, Guam’s Castle Doctrine law includes home and vehicle, but not the curtilage areas, which Parkinson said is the first line of defense against intruders.
Under Florida’s law, a defendant is entitled to an immunity hearing by filing a motion that clearly states the reasons the defendant is immune. If the court does not grant the motion for immunity, the motion and its contents are admissible at trial, but a defendant is not required to testify at the pretrial hearing to raise a prima facie defense.
“People have a right to defend themselves on their property, whether it is in the home itself, or in outside areas of their property including their yard, carport, outside kitchen, driveway or patio.," Parkinson said. "You should have no expectation to retreat from intruders on your own property because the defense of a castle begins at the moat."