CHAPTER 171

RELATING TO REGISTRATION APPEALS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 21, TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO REGISTRATION APPEALS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 21, Title 15 of the Delaware Code, is hereby repealed in its entirety, and a new chapter 21 inserted and enacted in lieu thereof to read as follows :

§ 2101. Right to appeals; persons entitled

(a) From the decision of any of the Departments or the registration officers, granting or refusing registration, or removing or refusing to remove names from the registration records, any person interested or any member of such Department or any registration officer, may appeal to the Court.

(b) The word "Court" as used in this chapter shall mean either the Resident Associate Judge of the County, or in case of his disability or absence from the County, any Judge entitled to sit in the Supreme Court.

§ 2102. Notice of appeal

(a) In order to prosecute an appeal, the person taking the same shall notify the Department, registration officers from the decision of which the appeal is taken and also the person affected by the appeal, stating in the notice the time when the appeal will be presented.

To take an appeal from a decision of the registration officers it shall not be necessary for the appellant to declare his intention so to do to the registration officers other than by the notice to the Department and the registration officers as provided in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) No entry in the registration records with respect to an appeal shall affect the right to appeal.

§ 2103. Notice of appeal to correct name; correction by Judge

Any person applying to the Court to have any name appearing in the Election District Record for his election district in any manner incorrect, to be corrected, shall give notice as provided in this chapter to the Department of his intention to make application for the correction thereof, so that the Department or its duly authorized representatives shall and may be present with the appropriate registration records to make such corrections therein as the Court shall order and direct, and shall also give notice of his intention to the person affected, as provided in this chapter.

§ 2104. Manner of giving notice; time; proof

(b) All notices required to be given by the provisions of this chapter upon any person shall be in writing and shall be served personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the person's address that appears in the County Master Record.

(c) All required notices shall be served at least five days prior to the day on which the appeal or application is made to the Court. The date of personal service or the date of mailing shall be considered as the first day in computing the five days period.

(d) In all cases where service is made by registered mail, proof of such service shall be by affidavit showing the date of mailing and by the return receipt which shall be annexed to the affidavit showing that the person sought to be served received or refused the notice by registered mail or that the person sought to be served was unknown at the address appearing in the County Master Record.

(e) No appeal shall be considered by the Court, unless it is satisfied that notice has been given as required by this section.

§ 2105. Affidavit of appellant

No appeal shall be received and acted upon by the Court, unless the appellant shall at the time of presenting his appeal also make and file therewith an affidavit that notice of his intention to present his appeal on the day was given to the Department or registration officers or both, and to the person affected by the appeal and that such appeal is made in good faith and based upon facts within the knowledge of the person making and filing such affidavit.

§ 2106. Disposition of appeals

In the event any appeal is taken or any appeal remains undetermined within the period of 30 days before the date of the general election, the Court shall give priority to any such appeal over any other business before the Court, and the Court shall hear and determine the appeal and enter an order as provided in Section 2110, on or before the day immediately preceding the date of the general election.

§ 2107. Limit on appeals presenting the same issue

Once an appeal has been determined, no appeal shall thereafter be heard or allowed by the Court which presents the same or substantially the same issue as has already been determined in a prior appeal.

§ 2108. Duty of registration officers to attend appeals

The registration officers shall attend and be present at all hearings of which they had notice, before the Court as may be sitting for that purpose of appeals which shall have been taken from the decision of the registration officers of his election district.

§ 2109. Alternate Registrars

All the powers and duties conferred or enjoined upon registration officers by any of the provisions of this chapter, are expressly made the powers and duties of all alternate registration officers in the absence of any registration officer from his

election district, or his disability to perform the duties imposed upon such registration officer by any of the provisions of this chapter.

§ 2110. Order by Court

The Court hearing any appeal shall order and direct the Department to make such entries in the registration records as the law and the facts shall warrant.

§ 2111. Finality of decisions

The decision of the Court on any appeal provided for in this chapter shall be final.

§ 2112. Costs

The person who makes the affidavit taking such appeal shall pay all the costs of the appeal if the appeal is finally dismissed. The costs shall be fixed by the Court and taxed upon the appellant at the time of such dismissal.

§ 2113. Registration appeal dockets

The Departments of Elections for each County shall provide books of permanent record to be known as "Registration Appeal Dockets", in which a permanent record be made and preserved of all registration appeals made to, and acted upon by, the Court hearing registration appeals. The Dockets shall contain the following information in respect to each appeal:

(1) Date of the appeal;

(1) Name of the appellee;

(1) The ground or grounds of each appeal;

(2) The name of the person or persons making the affidavit or affidavits on each appeal;

(3) The determination of the Court on each of the grounds of appeal asserted in each such appeal.

The docket may contain such other information or data as may be required to make a complete record of each appeal acted upon. All entries in the dockets shall be under the supervision and direction of the Court and the record of each appeal shall be approved by the Court hearing the appeal. The record of each appeal shall fully disclose each and every ground upon which the appeal is filed. The Registration Appeal Dockets shall remain in the care and custody of the Department having jurisdiction and shall be produced before the Court by the Department whenever required by the Court sitting for the purpose of hearing appeals.

Approved May 31, 1955.