CHAPTER 213

FAMILY COURT OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT CREATING A FAMILY COURT FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY, DELAWARE, BEING CHAPTER 241, VOLUME 45, LAWS OF DELAWARE, 1945, BY REDEFINING THE WORD "FAMILY", BY GRANTING CONCURRENT JURISDICTION OVER CERTAIN WRITS OF HABEAS CORPUS, BY PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A DEPUTY CLERK OF THE SAID COURT, AND WITH REFERENCE TO THE SALARY AND DUTIES OF THE CLERK OF THE COURT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. That Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, be amended by striking out the last paragraph of Section 3 of Chapter 241 thereof relating to the definition of the word "Family", and by inserting and enacting in lieu of the part so stricken out the following:

The word "Family" as used in this act shall be construed to mean husband and wife; a man and woman who are cohabiting with each other as husband and wife, but without the benefit of ceremonial marriage; parent and child; guardian and ward; and also any group of persons residing together in one home or household and under one head or management and who are related or connected by blood, marriage, or operation of law.

Section 2. That Section 4 of Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, 1945, be further amended by enacting and adding a new paragraph designated (c) immediately after paragraph designated (b) on Page 938 of said Volume 45, relating to concurrent jurisdiction of the Family Court of New Castle County, to read as follows:

(c) To hear and determine writs of Habeas Corpus or other proceedings brought for the purpose of gaining or retaining the possession or legal custody of any child as defined in this act, or for the purpose of determining whether any child as defined in this act is being unlawfully detained by any person, agency, or institution.

Section 3. That Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out the second paragraph of Section 5 of Chapter 241 thereof relating to the qualifications of the Judge and by inserting and enacting in lieu of the part so stricken out the following new second paragraph:

The Judge shall be a person duly admitted to the practice of law in the State of Delaware who, in the opinion of the Governor, shall be qualified to be a Judge of the Court by his acquaintance with social problems and understanding of child psychology. Said Judge shall be eligible for re-appointment. During his tenure of office the Judge shall not be permitted to engage in the practice of law.

Section 4. That Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of Section 7 of Chapter 241 thereof and by inserting and enacting in lieu of the part so stricken out the following new Section 7:

Section 7. Clerk:--The Judge shall appoint a suitable person to act as Clerk of the Court, who shall hold said office at the pleasure of the Judge, and shall receive an annual salary of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00). The clerk shall have care of the records of the Court and he shall receive all fees, fines, and costs arising out of any proceeding had in the Court. After deducting the cost of the service of process of the Court and the costs of executing the orders of the Court relating to matters properly before it, he shall each month, pay the balance of fines and costs in his hands, one-half to the Mayor and Council of the City of Wilmington and one-half to the Levy Court of New Castle County.

The Clerk, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall give bond to the State of Delaware in the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) with surety, acceptable to the Judge, to execute faithfully all the duties of his office during his
continuance therein, and should he fail to give bond as required within ten days from the date of his appointment, the Judge shall make a new appointment.

The Clerk may administer all necessary oaths; he shall enter the judgments, issue commitments and executions to enforce the same, and make up and keep the records of the Court in all cases therein ,under the direction of the Judge. , He shall issue all process under his hand and the seal of the Court and shall test the same in the name of the Judge, signing it by his title of office, and shall tax costs.

He may issue summons, or warrants, returnable before the Judge, upon complaint filed in writing and upon oath, in any case within the jurisdiction of the Court.

He may take bail from persons arrested, when the Court is, or is not in session, subject to revision by the Court' and shall also, under the direction of the Judge, do all other acts necessary to carry out the jurisdiction and process of the Court, and the execution of its lawful orders.

The Judge may appoint a member of the clerical staff of the Court, as Deputy Clerk who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Judge, and who during his or her tenure in office shall possess and exercise all of the powers and shall perform all of the duties of the Clerk upon resignation, removal or absence of said official. The Deputy Clerk so appointed shall give bond in an amount and with surety, satisfactory to the Judge, such bond to be conditioned for the faithful execution of the duties of the office.

Approved April 7, 1947.