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Of no effect. There shall be no difference hereafter, in Guam, between sealed and unsealed writings. A writing under seal may therefore be changed, or altogether discharged by a writing not under seal. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1933. Execution of an instrument defined. The "execution of an instrument" is the subscribing and delivering it, with or without affixing a seal. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1934. Compromise of a debt without seal good. An agreement, in writing, without a seal, for the compromise or settlement of a debt, is as obligatory as if a seal were affixed. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1935. Subscribing witness defined. A "subscribing witness" is one who sees a writing executed or hears it acknowledged, and at the request of the party, thereupon signs his name as a witness. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1936. Books, etc., how far evidence. Historical works, books of science or art, and published maps or charts, when made by persons indifferent between the parties, are prima facie evidence of facts of general notoriety and interest. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1937. Original writing to be produced or accounted for. The original writing must be produced and proved, except as provided in §§ 1855 and 1919. If it has been lost, proof of the loss must first be made before evidence can be given of its contents. Upon such proof being made, together with proof of the due execution of the writing, its contents may be proved by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the recollection of a witness, as provided in § 1855. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1938. When in possession of adverse party, notice to be given. If the writing be in the custody of the adverse party, he must first have reasonable notice to produce it. If he then fails to do so, the contents of the writing may be proved as in case of its loss. But the notice to produce it is not necessary where the writing is itself a notice, or where it has been wrongfully obtained or withheld by the adverse party. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1939. Writings called for and inspected may be withheld. Though a writing called for by one party is produced by the other, and is thereupon inspected by the party calling for it, he is not obliged to produce it as evidence in the case. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1940. Writings, how proved. Any writing may be proved:
1. By anyone who saw the writing executed; or,
2. By evidence of the genuineness of the handwriting of the maker; or,
3. By a subscribing witness. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1941. Other witnesses may also testify. If the subscribing witness denies or does not recollect the execution of the writing, its execution may still be proved by other evidence. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1942. When evidence of execution not necessary. Where, however, evidence is given that the party against whom the writing is offered has at any time admitted its execution, no other evidence of the execution need be given, when the instrument is one mentioned in § 1945, or one produced from the custody of the adverse party, and has been acted upon by him as genuine. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1943. Evidence of handwriting. The handwriting of a person may be proved by anyone who believes it to be his, and who has seen him write, or has seen writings purporting to be his, upon which he has acted or been charged, and who has thus acquired a knowledge of his handwriting. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1944. Evidence of handwriting by comparison. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the judge, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1945. Same. Where a writing is more than thirty (30) years old, the comparisons may be made with writings purporting to be genuine, and generally respected and acted upon as such, by persons having an interest in knowing the fact. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1946. Entries of decedents, evidence by. The entries and other writings of a decedent, made at or near the time of the transaction, and in a position to know the facts stated therein, may be read as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein, in the following cases:
1. When the entry was made against the interest of the person making it.
2. When it was made in a professional capacity and in the ordinary course of professional conduct.
3. When it was made in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1947. Copies of entries also allowed. When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business, one being copied from another at or near the time of the transaction, all the entries are equally regarded as originals. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1948. Private writing, how proved. Every private writing, except last wills and testaments, may be acknowledged or proved and certified in the manner provided for the acknowledgment or proof of conveyances of real property, and the certificate of such acknowledgment or proof is prima facie evidence of the execution of the writing, in the same manner as if it were a conveyance of real property. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1950. Removal of public records. The record of a conveyance of real property, or any other record, a transcript of which is admissible in evidence, must not be removed from the office where it is kept, except upon the order of a court, in cases where the inspection of the record is shown to be essential to the just determination of the cause or proceeding pending, or where the court is held in the same building with such office. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1951. Instruments affecting real property, used as evidence. Every instrument conveying or affecting real property, acknowledged or proved and certified, as provided in the Civil Code may, together with the certificate of acknowledgment or proof, be read in evidence in an action or proceeding, without further proof; also, the original record of such conveyance or instrument thus acknowledged or proved, or certified copy of the record of such conveyance or instrument thus acknowledged or proved, may be read in evidence, with the like effect as the original instrument, without further proof. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1952. Court may order old exhibits destroyed, when. The court, on its own motion, by an order entered in the minutes, may order destroyed or otherwise disposed of, any exhibit introduced in the trial of a civil action or proceeding which, if appeal has not been taken from the decision of the court in the said action or proceeding, remains in the custody of the court three (3) years after time for appeal has expired, or, if appeal has been taken, remains in the custody of the court three (3) years after final determination thereof, provided no such order shall be made authorizing destruction or disposal of any exhibit which conveys title to or creates a lien on real property. [Enacted 1953.]
Material Objects Presented to the Senses, Other Than Writings
§ 1954. Material Objects.
§ 1954. Material objects. Whenever an object, cognizable by the senses, has such a relation to the fact in dispute as to afford reasonable grounds of belief respecting it, or to make an item in the sum of the evidence, such object may be exhibited to the judge, or its existence, situation, and character may be proved by witnesses. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1957. Indirect evidence classified.
Indirect Evidence, Inferences, and Presumptions
When an inference arises.
Presumptions may be controverted, when.
§ 1962. Specification of conclusive presumptions.
All other presumptions may be controverted.
$ 1957. Indirect evidence classified. Indirect evidence is of two kinds:
2. Presumptions. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1958. Inference defined. An "inference" is a deduction which the reason of the judge makes from the facts proved, without an express direction of law to that effect. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1959. Presumption defined. A "presumption" is a deduction which the law expressly directs to be made from particular facts. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1960 When an inference arises. An inference must be founded:
1. On a fact legally proved; and,
2. On such a deduction from that fact as is warranted by a consideration of the usual propensities or passions of men, the particular propensities or passions of the person whose act is in question, the course of business, or the course of nature. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1961. Presumptions may be controverted, when. A presumption (unless declared by law to be conclusive) may be controverted by other evidence, direct or indirect; but unless so controverted, the judges are bound to find according to the presumption. [Enacted 1953.]
§ 1962. Specification of conclusive presumptions. The following presumptions, and no others, are deemed conclusive:
1. A malicious and guilty intent, from the deliberate commission of an unlawful act, for the purpose of injuring another;
2. The truth of the facts recited, from the recital in a written instrument between the parties thereto, or their successors in interest by a subsequent title; but this rule does not apply to the recital of a consideration;
3. Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act, or omission be permitted to falsify it; [See Atkins, Kroll, Ltd. v. Cabrera (1961) 295 F.2d. 21.]
4. A tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation;
5. The issue of a wife cohabiting with her husband, who is not impotent, is indisputably presumed to be legitimate;
6. The judgment or order of a court, when declared by this Code to be conclusive; but such judgment or order must be alleged in the pleadings if there be an opportunity to do so; if there be no such opportunity, the judgment or order may be used as evidence;
7. Any other presumption which, by law, is expressly made conclusive. [Enacted 1953.]