CHAPTER 357

RELATING TO FAMILY COURT

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 9, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE, BY EMPOWERING THE JUDGES OF THE FAMILY COURT TO APPOINT MASTERS.

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

Section 1. Chapter 9, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new § 925 to read as follows:

§ 925. Masters; appointment; duties

The Judges, acting jointly, may appoint, commission and set the salaries of suitable persons to act as Masters in the Court, all of whom shall hold office at the pleasure of the Judges.

When requested by a Judge, a Master may hear, in the first instance, any case, cause or matter properly before him, and may order the issuance of legal process to compel the attendance of necessary parties and witnesses.

Upon the conclusion of such hearing the Master shall transmit to a Judge all papers relating to the case, together with his findings and recommendations in writing, notice in writing of which shall be given to the parties or to their attorneys; or in case the hearing shall relate to a child, then to the parent, guardian, custodian or next friend of the child, or to their attorney; or in case there be no parent, guardian, custodian, next friend or attorney for the child, then to a probation officer of the Family Court.

A Review de novo by a Judge with respect to the matter and to the Masters findings and recommendations thereof shall be allowed provided any above named person petitions in writing for the same within ten days from the date of the notice by the Master of his findings and recommendations.

In the event that no such hearing is requested within the ten day period aforesaid, the findings and recommendations of the Master, if and when confirmed by an Order of the Judge, shall become the judgment of the Court with rights of appeal reserved to all parties.

Approved April 3, 1958.