GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING THE POLICE PROVIDING FOR REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS TO PLACES BELIEVED TO BE USED FOR GAMBLING
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 100 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, BY REPEALING CERTAIN PARTS THEREOF AND BY PROVIDING FOR THE REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS TO PLACES BELIEVED TO BE USED FOR GAMBLING; NOTICE TO CERTAIN PERSONS; HEARING; PROVIDING A LIEN FOR EXPENSES OF REMOVAL AND THE COLLECTION THEREOF; MISDEMEANOR IF OBSTRUCTED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER REMOVAL; PENALTIES; FINES A LIEN; SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES; JURISDICTION.
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 branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. That Chapter 100, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same hereby is amended by striking out and repealing all of 4060. Sec. 165, and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section to be known as 4060. Sec. 165, as follows:
4060. Sec. 165. Removal of obstructions to Places Believed to be used for Gambling; Notice; Hearing; Lien for Expense; Misdemeanor if Obstructed within One Year of Removal; Penalties; Fines a Lien; Subsequent Offenses; Jurisdiction:--(a) If any Captain of Police or Chief of Police in this State finds that access to any building, apartment or place, which he has reasonable cause to believe is resorted to for the purpose of gambling in violation of the laws of this State, is barred by any obstruction such as a door, window, shutter, screen, bar or grating of unusual strength, or any unnecessary number of doors, windows, or obstructions, other than what is usual and ordinary in the normal or usual use of such buildings or places he shall serve personally upon the owner or agent a notice to appear before the Judge or Judges of the Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington, if said property is located in the City of Wilmington, or before the Judge or Judges of the appropriate Court of Common Pleas if such premises are without the City of Wilmington, and to show cause why such unusual obstruction or obstructions should not be removed by said owner or agent.
If any of the said officers cannot find either the owner or agent of said place or premises, said notice shall be posted upon the outside of said store or premises. Within seven (7) days after said posting, and if personal service is not theretofore had upon such owner or agent, the said officer shall bring the matter on for hearing before the appropriate Court as aforesaid for an order for the removal of such unusual obstruction or obstructions.
The said notice which shall be served either personally upon the owner or agent or which shall be posted upon the outside of said store or premises shall in all cases designate the name of the Court in which said rule will be heard, and shall further contain the time and the date upon which such rule will be brought on for hearing.
If the Court, after a hearing upon the aforesaid matters, shall find that there is reasonable cause to believe that the said premises or places are resorted to for the purpose of gambling and that such door, window, shutter, screen, bar or grating of unusual strength is other than what is usual and ordinary in the normal or usual use of such buildings or places, or that there are an unnecessary number of such doors, windows, or obstructions, the Court shall order the owner or agent to remove such obstruction.
In the event that such obstructions are not removed within a period of seven (7) days after such order, any of said officers shall cause such obstructions to be removed from such premises or places, and the expenses of such removal shall be collected by the Department of Public Safety of the City of Wilmington if the property is within said City, or by the Attorney General of the State of Delaware if the property is located outside said City, in the manner provided by statute for the filing and collection of a mechanic's lien.
In connection with the filing and collection of said expenses as a mechanic's lien, the said Department of Public Safety or the said Attorney General, as the case may be, shall file a statement of claim and shall proceed otherwise in accordance with Chapter 79, as amended, Revised Code of Delaware (1935), as if the said Department of Public Safety or the said Attorney General were a "contractor" within the terms of said statute; provided, however, that the said Department of Public Safety or the said Attorney General may file and collect such lien or liens regardless of amount.
(b) If, within one year after removal of said obstruction, the premises are again obstructed as above defined, the Captain of Police or Chief of Police shall have the same power of removal as provided in the preceding Section, and in addition the owner or agent when such second order of removal is given, either by personal service or by posting on the building, upon a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and the amount of said fine shall be a lien upon said building and shall be collected for the agency entitled to such fine by law in like manner as provided in the preceding Section. And for every subsequent obstruction as above defined, at any time within two years of the giving of the second notice, as above provided, said officers shall have the same powers as provided in the preceding Section for removing the obstructions, and the owner or agent at the time such third or subsequent order of removal is given, either by personal service or by posting on the building, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or may be punished by imprisonment for one year, and the amount of said fine shall be a lien upon the said building, and shall be collected in like manner as above provided. Obstructions as above defined, erected more than two years after the giving of the notice of the third offense, shall be construed to be a first offense under this Section. The Municipal Court for the City of Wilmington and the Courts of Common Pleas shall have jurisdiction of violations of this Section.
Approved January 22, 1952.