Courts to determine applicability of federal law - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Courts to determine applicability of federal law

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Attorney General's Office will leave it up to the Guam Judiciary to determine whether a federal law applies to the territory.  Last Thursday assistant AG Rob Weinberg appeared on behalf of the Guam Police Department in KUAM's case against that agency.  Weinberg told the court that he doesn't believe the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 applies to Guam. 

The federal Act specifically prohibits the search and seizure of documents from newsrooms, such as the search warrant police executed at the KUAM Studios in Harmon last month.  While the office publicly stated that had it been consulted by the police department prior to their efforts to obtain the search warrant, they would have advised against it, apparently the AG's Office is standing by Weinberg's position. 

Deputy Attorney General Patrick Mason said, "I guess that's an issue before the court in this case, so I won't comment at this time."  When then asked if the AG's Office will stand by it until the court decides, he replied, "Yeah, we'll see what's pending and then we'll address those issues to the court."

KUAM's attorneys have argued that the Privacy Protection Act does apply on Guam. GPD has filed a motion to dismiss KUAM's lawsuit, claiming the document they seized from our newsroom is rightfully theirs.  Superior Court Judge Vern Perez ordered the parties to return to court on July 7.

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