CHAPTER 401

FAMILY COURT OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF KENT COUNTY

COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE

ADDITIONAL JURISDICTION AND POWER CONFERRED UPON

AN ACT TO CONFER ADDITIONAL JURISDICTION AND POWERS UPON THE FAMILY COURT FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY, DELAWARE, THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS FOR KENT COUNTY, AND THE COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE SITTING IN ANY COUNTY OF THE STATE, IN SUPPORT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST PERSONS RESIDING IN OTHER STATES OR TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES HAVING SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR OR RECIPROCAL LAWS.

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

Section 1. That Chapter 241, Laws of Delaware, 1945, as amended, be and the same is further amended by inserting at the end thereof a new Section, to be known as Section 34, as follows:

Section 34. Additional Jurisdiction and Powers in Certain Support Proceedings. The Family Court for New Castle County, Delaware, shall also Have Power Within Its Territorial Jurisdiction:

(1) To take testimony in all proceedings to compel support of a wife, child and/or poor relative residing within the territorial jurisdiction of this court in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides in a state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws. In such cases, the court shall forward duly exemplified transcripts of such testimony and copies of such reports as the court may order and court's recommendation, based on all of the foregoing, to the appropriate official in such other state or territory having power and authority to institute and prosecute such support proceedings who

shall represent the wife, child and/or poor relative in the court of such other state or territory having jurisdiction and control of such support proceedings and the power to order the person legally liable therefor to provide support for such wife, child and/or poor relative, including necessary food, shelter, clothing, care, medical expenses, expenses of confinement, expenses of education of the child, funeral expenses and such other proper and reasonable expenses as justice requires, having due regard to the circumstances of the respective parties. The respondent shall have the right to cross-examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(2) Upon the application of the Attorney General, to order support of wife, child and/or poor relative residing in any state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws, in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides within the territorial jurisdiction of this court and, in lieu of the personal appearance of such wife, child and/or poor relative, the court shall have the power to order support, in like manner as herein prescribed for proceedings in which the court has jurisdiction over the persons of all the parties thereto, upon duly exemplified transcripts of testimony and copies of any probation reports or other official reports made in connection with the petition and forwarded to the Attorney General by the court of the state or territory wherein such wife, child and/or poor relative resides. The respondent shall have the right to cross examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(3) In these proceedings only, to order interrogatories or depositions to be taken within and without the state, pursuant to the provisions of law applicable to a court of record.

(4) To compel the support of children as herein provided irrespective of a decree of legal separation of the parents or the dissolution of the marriage of the parents by a decree of divorce or annulment within the following limitations:

has been required under the terms of any order or decree entered in such divorce or annulment proceedings to pay a specified sum to the dependent as alimony or maintenance and has failed to do so, that fact shall not be a bar to a proceeding in this court to compel support within the limits of the order of the Superior Court, and within the powers of this court, provided the respondent is not in jail for failure to obey the order of the Superior Court. An action for divorce or annulment pending in the Superior Court shall not prevent this court from entertaining a petition for support if it is shown to ttie satisfaction of this court that the dependent is likely to become a public charge. A separation agreement shall in no way preclude the filing of a petition for the support of a minor or the making of an order for its support by this court.

(5) To make any order necessary to carry out and enforce the provisions of this section in like manner and with like effect as if the court had jurisdiction over the persons of the wife, child and/or poor relative seeking support and of the person legally liable thereof.

(6) Costs and disbursements made or incurred in these proceedings shall, in the discretion of the court, be taxed against the respondent.

(7) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of this act, the provisions of section 34 of this act, as the same now exist or may * hereafter be amended, shall apply to all Juvenile, Children's or Family Courts created by special act or acts whether or not this act is otherwise applicable to such courts.

Section 2. That Chapter 170, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by adding at the end of said Chapter a new Section to be designated 5839A. Sec. 18A. thereof as follows:

5839A. Sec. 18A. Additional Jurisdiction and Powers in Certain Support Proceedings. The Court of Common Pleas For Kent County Shall Also Have Power Within Its Territorial Jurisdiction:

(1) To take testimony in all proceedings to compel support of a wife, child and/or poor relative residing within the territorial jurisdiction of this court in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides in a state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws. In such cases, the court shall forward duly exemplified transcripts of such testimony and copies of such reports as the court may order and the court's recommendation, based on all of the foregoing, to the appropriate official in such other state or territory having power and authority to institute and prosecute such support proceedings who shall represent the wife, child and/or poor relative in the court of such other state or territory having jurisdiction and control of such support proceedings and the power to order the person legally liable therefor to provide support for such wife, child and/or poor relative, including necessary food, shelter, clothing, care, medical expenses, expenses of confinement, expenses of education of the child, funeral expenses and such other proper and reasonable expenses as justice requires, having due regard to the circumstances of the respective parties. The respondent shall have the right to cross-examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(2) Upon the application of the Attorney General, to order support of wife, child and/or poor relative residing in any state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws, in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides within the territorial jurisdiction of this court and, in lieu of the personal appearances of such wife, child and/or poor relative, the court shall have power to order support, in like manner as herein prescribed for proceedings in which the court has jurisdiction over the persons of all the parties thereto, upon duly exemplified transcripts of testimony and copies of any probation reports or other official reports made in connection with the petition and forwarded to the Attorney General by the court of the state or territory wherein such wife, child and/or poor relative resides. The respondent shall have the right to cross-examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(3) In those proceedings only, to order interrogatories or depositions to be taken within or without the state, pursuant to the provisions of law applicable to a court of record.

(0) To compel support of children as herein provided irrespective of a decree of legal separation of the parents or the dissolution of the marriage of the parents by a decree of divorce or annulment within the following limitations:

Where a divorce or annulment has been granted by the Superior Court, or a suit for such relief is pending and the respondent has been required under the terms of any order or decree entered in such divorce or annulment proceedings to pay a specified sum to the dependent as alimony or maintenance and has failed to do so, that fact shall not be a bar to a proceeding in this court to compel support within the limits of the order of the Superior Court, and within the powers of this court, provided the respondent is not in jail for failure to obey the order of the Superior Court. An action for divorce, separation or annulment pending in the Superior Court shall not prevent this court from entertaining a petition for support if it is shown to the satisfaction of this court that the dependent is likely to become a public charge. A separation agreement shall in no way preclude the filing of a petition for the support of a minor or the making of an order for its support by this court.

(1) To make any order necessary to carry out and enforce the provisions of this section in like manner and with like effect as if the court had jurisdiction over the persons of the wife, child and/or poor relative seeking support and of the person legally liable thereof.

(0) Costs and disbursements made or incurred in these proceedings shall, in the discretion of the court, be taxed against the respondent.

Section 3. That the Court of General Sessions sitting in and for any County of the State shall also have power:

jurisdiction of this court in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides in a state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws. In such cases, the court shall forward duly exemplified transcripts of such testimony and copies of such reports as the court may order and the court's recommendation, based on all of the foregoing, to the appropriate official in such other state or territory having power and authority to institute and prosecute such support proceedings who shall represent the wife, child and/or poor relative in the court of such other state or territory having jurisdiction and control of such support proceedings and the power to order the person legally liable therefor to provide support for such wife, child and/or poor relative, including necessary food, shelter, clothing, care, medical expenses, expenses of confinement, expenses of education of the child, funeral expenses and such other proper and reasonable expenses as justice requires, having due regard to the circumstances of the respective parties. The respondent shall have the right to cross-examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(2) Upon the application of the Attorney General, to order support of wife, child and/or poor relative residing in any state or territory of the United States having substantially similar or reciprocal laws, in any case where the person legally liable therefor resides within the territorial jurisdiction of this court and, in lieu of the personal appearance of such wife, child and/or poor relative, the court shall have power to order support, in like manner as herein prescribed for proceedings in which the court has jurisdiction over the persons of all the parties thereto, upon duly exemplified transcripts of testimony and copies of any probation reports or other official reports made in connection with the petition and forwarded to the Attorney General by the court of the state or territory wherein such wife, child and/or poor relative resides. The respondent shall have the right to cross-examine by deposition or otherwise, pursuant to an order of the court or a justice thereof, any person whose testimony or report has been forwarded in such proceeding.

(3) In these proceedings only, to order interrogatories or depositions to be taken within and without the state,

pursuant to the provisions of law applicable to a court of record.

To compel support of children as herein provided irrespective of a decree of legal separation of the parents or the dissolution of the marriage of the parents by a decree of divorce or annulment within the following limitations:

Where a divorce or annulment has been granted by the Superior Court, or a suit for such relief is pending and the respondent has been required under the terms of any order or decree entered in such divorce or annulment proceedings to pay a specified sum to the dependent as alimony or maintenance and has failed to do so, that fact shall not be a bar to a proceeding in this court to compel support wfthin the limits of the order of the Superior Court, and within the powers of this court, provided the respondent is not in jail for failure to obey the order of the Superior Court. An action for divorce or annulment pending in the Superior Court shall not prevent this court from entertaining a petition for support if it is shown to the satisfaction of this court that the dependent is likely to become a public charge. A separation agreement shall in no way preclude the filing of a petition for the support of a minor or the making of an order for its support by this court.

(4) To make any order necessary to carry out and enforce the provisions of this section in like manner and with like effect as if the court had jurisdiction over the persons of the wife, child and/or poor relative seeking support and of the person legally liable thereof.

(5) Costs and disbursements made or incurred in these proceedings shall, in the discretion of the court, be taxed against the respondent.

Section 4. If any section, sub-section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof. The Legislature hereby declares that it would have passed this Act, and each and every section, sub-section, sentence, clause and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any or

more other sections, sub-sections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional.

Section 5. This Act shall take effect immediately.

Approved July 1, 1949