CHAPTER 341

RELATING TO SERVICE OF PROCESS ON NON-RESIDENT OWNERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 3112 OF TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SERVICE OF PROCESS ON NON-RESIDENT OWNERS, OPERATORS OR DRIVERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

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

Section 1. Section 3112 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code is amended by substituting the following subsection (b) for the presently designated subsection (b):

(b) Service of the legal process provided for in this section, with the fee of $2, shall be made upon the Secretary of State of this State in the same manner as is provided by law for service of writs of summons, and when so made shall be as effectual to all intents and purposes as if made personally upon such non-resident within this State; provided, that not later than seven days following the filing of the return of service of process in the Court in which the civil action is commenced or following the filing with the Court of the proof of the non-receipt of notice provided for in subsection (e) of this section, the plaintiff or a person acting in his behalf shall send by registered mail to the non-resident defendant a notice consisting of a copy of the process and complaint served upon the Secretary of State and the statement that service of the original of such process has been made upon the Secretary of State of this State, and that under the provisions of this Section such service is as effectual to all intents and purposes as if it had been made upon such non-resident personally within this State; and provided further that, (1), an affidavit made by or on behalf of the plaintiff of the defendant's non-residence and of the sending and date of mailing of the notice, and, (2) either the return receipt of defendant or his agent, or, if acceptance was refused by the defendant or his agent, (a), the original envelope bearing a notation by the postal authorities that receipt was refused, and, (b),

an affidavit by or on behalf of the plaintiff that notice of such mailing and refusal was sent to the defendant by ordinary mail within three days of the return of the original envelope, are filed in the action within ten days of the receiving by or on behalf of plaintiff from the postal authorities of either the defendant's return receipt or the original envelope bearing the notation that acceptance was refused.

Section 2. Section 3112 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code is amended by substituting the following subsection (f) for the presently designated subsection (f):

(f) The time in which defendant shall serve his answer shall be computed from the date of the mailing of the registered letter which is the subject of the return receipt or other official proof of delivery or the notation of refusal of delivery; provided, however, that the Court in which the action is pending may, at any time before or after the expiration of the prescribed time for answering, order such continuances as may be necessary to afford the defendant therein reasonable opportunity to defend the action.

Approved April 1, 1958.