CHAPTER 309

OFFENSES AGAINST PRIVATE PROPERTY RELATING TO FALSE STATEMENTS TO PROCURE BENEFITS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 150 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FALSE STATEMENTS TO PROCURE BENEFIT, MAKING, USING OR ADOPTING, AND PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT INDICTMENT BY GRAND JURY OR TRIAL BY PETIT JURY IN CERTAIN CASES; VESTING JURISDICTION IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE CITY OF WILMINGTON, THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS AND THE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IN CERTAIN CASES; AND PROVIDING NO CRIMINAL PROCEEDING COMMENCED PRIOR TO THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT SHALL BE AFFECTED HEREBY.

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 150 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing 5219. Sec. 39., and by inserting in lieu thereof the following Section:

5219. Sec. 39 (a). False Statements to Procure Benefit; Making, Using or Adopting, Misdemeanor; Penalty; Proceedings and Trial; Jurisdiction:--Whoever shall knowingly make or cause to be made, either directly or indirectly, or through any agency whatsoever, any false statement in writing, with intent that it shall be relied upon, respecting the financial condition, or means or ability to pay, of himself or any other person, firm or corporation, in whom he is interested, or for whom he is acting, for the purpose of procuring in any form whatsoever, either the delivery of personal property, the payment of cash, the making of a loan or credit, the extension of a credit, the discount of an account receivable, or the making, acceptance, discount, sale or endorsement of a bill of exchange, or promissory note for the benefit of either himself or of such person, firm or corporation, to the value of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), or upwards, or whoever knowing that a false statement in writing has been made, respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay, of himself or such person, firm or corporation in which he is interested, or for whom he is acting, procures, upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or of such person, firm or corporation either or any of the things of benefit hereinbefore mentioned, or whoever, knowing that a statement in writing has been made respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or such person, firm or corporation in which he is interested, or for whom he is acting, represents on a later day, either orally or in writing, that such statement theretofore made, if then again made on said day, would be then true, when in fact said statement if then made would be false, and procures upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or of such person, firm or corporation either or any of the things of benefit hereinabove mentioned, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine and imprisonment, or either, according to the discretion of the Court.

(b) Whoever shall knowingly make or cause to be made, either directly or indirectly, or through any agency whatsoever, any false statement in writing, with intent that it shall be relied upon, respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or any other person, firm or corporation in whom he is interested, or for whom he is acting, for the purpose of procuring in any form whatsoever either the delivery of personal property, the payment of cash, the making of a loan or credit, the extension of a credit, the discount of an account receivable, or the making, acceptance, discount, sale or endorsement of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the benefit of either himself or of such person, firm or corporation to the value of less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), or whoever, knowing that a false statement in writing has been made respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or such person, firm or corporation in which he is interested, or for whom he is acting, procures, upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or of such person, firm or corporation, either or any of the things hereinbefore mentioned, or whoever, knowing that a statement in writing has been made respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or such person, firm or corporation in which he is interested, or for whom he is acting, represents on a later day, either orally or in writing, that such statement theretofore made, if then again made on said day, would be then true, when in fact said statement if then made would be false, and procures upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or of such person, firm or corporation either or any of the things of benefit hereinabove mentioned, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year, or both, in the discretion of the Court.

(c) The Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Genera/ Sessions to inquire of, hear, try and finally determine all offenses under Paragraph (b) of this Section committed within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, and to punish all persons convicted of said offenses, or any of them, agreeable to the laws of this State. The Courts of Common Pleas for the respective counties and the several Justices of the Peace shall have like concurrent jurisdiction to inquire of, hear, try and finally determine all such offenses except those committed within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, and to punish all persons convicted of said offenses, or any of them, agreeable to the laws of this State.

(d) The proceedings under Paragraph (c) of this Section shall be without indictment by Grand Jury or trial by petit jury; provided, however, that every person convicted under this Section in any Court of Common Pleas, in any Magistrate's Court, or in the Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington shall have the right to an appeal to the Court of General Sessions of the County. No such conviction or sentence shall be stayed pending appeal unless the person convicted shall give bond in an amount and with surety to be fixed by the Judge or Magistrate before whom such person was convicted at the time such appeal is taken. Such appeal shall be taken and bond given within five (5) days from the time of conviction.

Section 2. No criminal proceeding commenced prior to the date of approval of this Act shall be in any manner affected by this Act.

Approved June 5, 1951.