CHAPTER 254 - PROOF OF DEATH - CERTIFICATES FROM SECRETARIES OF WAR AND NAVY

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECEIVING AS PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE IN ANY COURT, OFFICE OR OTHER PLACE IN THIS STATE, OFFICIAL FINDINGS, RECORDS, REPORTS, OR CERTIFIED COPIES THEREOF, OF DEATH, PRESUMED DEATH, MISSING OR OTHER STATUS, ISSUED BY THE SECRETARIES OF WAR AND NAVY AND OTHER FEDERAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.

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

Section 1. A written finding of presumed death, made by the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, or other officer or employee of the United States authorized to make such finding, pursuant to the Federal Missing Persons Act (56 Stat. 143, 1092, and P. L. 408, Chapter 371, 2d Session 78th Congress; 50 U. S. C. App. Supp. 1001-17), as now or hereafter amended, or a duly certified copy of such finding, shall be received in any court, office or other place in this State as prima facie evidence of the death of the person therein found to be dead, and the date, circumstances and place of his disappearance.

Section 2. An official written report or record, or duly certified copy thereof, that a person is missing, missing in action, interned in a neutral country, or beleaguered, besieged or captured by an enemy, or is dead, or is alive, made by any officer or employee of the United States authorized by the Act referred to in Section 1 or by any other law of the United States to make same, shall be received in any court, office or other place in this State as prima facie evidence that such person is missing, missing in action, interned in a neutral country, or beleaguered, besieged or captured by an enemy, or is dead, or is alive, as the case may be.

Section 3. For the purposes of Section 1 and Section 2 of this Act any finding, report or record, or duly certified copy thereof, purporting to have been signed by such an officer or employee of the United States as is described in said sections, shall prima facie be deemed to have been signed and issued by such an officer or employee pursuant to law, and the person signing same shall prima facie be deemed to have acted within the scope of his authority. If a copy purports to have been certified by a person authorized by law to certify the same, such certified copy shall be prima facie evidence of his authority so to certify.

Section 4. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

Approved April 13, 1945.