CHAPTER 249 - PROVIDING FOR DISPOSITION OF DOCKETS UPON DEATH OR EXPIRATION OF TERM

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 119 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO JUSTICE OF THE PEACE BY PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSITION OF JUSTICE OF THE PEACE DOCKETS UPON DEATH OR EXPIRATION OF TERM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 119 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence of the second paragraph of 4463. Sec. 18 thereof, reading as follows:

"…Every Justice of the Peace in this State, immediately upon the termination of his term of office, is hereby authorized, directed and required, to deliver his said criminal docket to the Levy Court of the County wherein he resides; and the said Levy Court shall keep and preserve the said criminal dockets as the other public books and documents of the County are kept and preserved."

and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"…The Criminal docket of a Justice of the Peace shall, upon termination of his term of office, or upon his death, be disposed of by him, or by his executors or administrators, as provided in Section 40 of this Chapter."

Section 2. That Chapter 119 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out all of 4485. Sec. 40 thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section to be known as 4485. Sec. 40, as follows:

4485. Sec. 40. Death or End of Term of Justice; Dockets and Records, How Disposed of; Neglect a Misdemeanor; Penalty; Disposition of Criminal Dockets and Records by Levy Courts; Successor May Obtain Dockets and Records; Disposition When No Successor Appointed; Duty of Justice to Whom Delivered:-- Upon the death of a Justice, or expiration of his term of office, it shall be the duty of such Justice, or his executors or administrators, to deliver all his dockets and records, within ten days, to the Levy Court of the County wherein such Justice resided. The neglect of this duty shall be a misdemeanor punishable by fine of Fifty Dollars ($50.00).

The Levy Court to which any criminal dockets and records are so delivered shall retain the same for a period of one year and shall thereupon deliver such dockets and records to the Public Archives Commission.

The Levy Court to which any civil dockets and records are so delivered shall retain the same until the successor to such Justice shall appear before said Levy Court and make demand therefor; provided, however, that if no successor is appointed within three (3) months the said Levy Court shall cause such dockets and records to be delivered to one of the nearest justices of the same County whose duty it shall be to preserve the same for the successor Justice when appointed, and, pending such appointment, to issue such process and exercise such powers and duties, within the jurisdiction of a Justice of the Peace, as may be necessary to render the judgments, executions and acts, of record in said dockets and records, effective.

Approved March 23, 1945.