CHAPTER 290

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 16, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS FOR SUSSEX COUNTY, IN RESPECT TO EXPENSES OF THE COURT, THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT OF A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE TO SIT IN THE COURT; PROVIDING FOR A COURT REPORTER FOR THE COURT AND AN OFFICE SECRETARY FOR THE JUDGE; INCREASING THE BOND OF THE CLERK; APPOINTMENT, QUALIFICATION AND COMPENSATION OF DEPUTY CLERK; INCREASING THE CIVIL JURISDICTION OF THE COURT, AND RELATING TO CAUSES TRANSFERRED FROM THE SUPERIOR COURT; PROVIDING FOR APPEALS IN CIVIL ACTIONS TO SUPERIOR COURT ON THE RECORD; PROVIDING FOR TRIAL BY JURY IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES; AND IN OTHER RESPECTS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the Members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Chapter 16, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out all of Section 1605 therein and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1605 to read as follows:

§ 1605. Payment of expenses

Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, all expenses necessary for the equipment and operation of the Court shall be paid by the Levy Court of Sussex County upon the approval by the Judge.

Section 2. Chapter 16, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out Section 1606 therein and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1606 to read as follows:

§ 1606. Temporary assignment of Superior Court Judge

(a) In the event the Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Sussex County shall be disabled, disqualified or unable for any other reason to preside over said Court at any time, the

President Judge of the Superior Court, after notice thereof shall thereupon designate and assign one of the Judges of the Superior Court to sit in and hold said Court of Common Pleas during the disability, disqualification or absence of the Judge thereof.

(b) Upon written request therefor made by the Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Sussex County, the President Judge of the Superior Court may designate and assign one of the Judges of the Superior Court to sit in said Court of Common Pleas to hear and decide such causes therein and for such period of time as said President Judge shall designate.

(c) In either case it shall be the duty of the Superior Court Judge so designated to serve according to such designation as a Judge of said Court of Common Pleas.

Section 3. § 1621, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following subsections at the end thereof:

(e) The Judge may from time to time appoint and remove at pleasure a skilled and competent stenographer to be designated as Court Reporter, who shall report all evidence, opinions and other matters which the Judge may require and shall perform such other duties as the Judge may prescribe. The Court Reporter shall receive such salary or compensation for his services and such expenses as the Judge shall determine, which shall be paid by the Levy Court of Sussex County. The Judge may regulate the charges to be made by the Court Reporter for the furnishing of transcripts of evidence, opinions, records, arguments or hearings.

(f) The Judge may appoint and remove at pleasure one competent stenographer to be designated as office secretary, whose duties shall be to render such Judge such clerical, stenographic, typewriting and secretarial services as may be required, and who shall receive such compensation, to be paid by the Levy Court of Sussex County, as said Judge shall from time to time determine.

Section 4. § 1621, Title 10, Delaware Code, relating to the amount of the bond of the Clark of the Court, is amended by striking out the figures "$2,000" now appearing therein and inserting in lieu thereof the figures "$5,000".

Section 5. Chapter 16, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out all of Section 1624 therein and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 1624 to read as follows:

§ 1624. Deputy Clerk

The Judge may appoint a suitable member of the clerical staff of the Court to be Deputy Clerk, who shall hold such office at the pleasure of the Judge and who, during his tenure in said office, shall have, exercise and perform the powers and duties of the Clerk in case of the absence or inability of the Clerk. The Deputy Clerk so appointed shall give like bond as the Clerk, and shall receive such compensation, to be paid by the Levy Court of Sussex County, as the Judge shall determine.

Section 6. § 1641, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

§ 1641. Civil jurisdiction; amount in controversy

(a) The Court shall have jurisdiction in Sussex County in all civil actions at law arising ex contractu or ex delicto, where the value of the matter or thing in controversy, exclusive of interest, does not exceed the sum of $2,500.

(b) The amount claimed by the plaintiff, where the claim is for a sum certain and not in excess of $2,500, exclusive of interest, shall be conclusive as to jurisdiction of the Court.

(c) In all actions at law, whether ex contractu or ex delicto, not involving any sum certain, the plaintiff shall file with his statement of claim a certificate as to the amount of damages claimed or the value of the thing or matter in controversy, which statement and certificate shall be conclusive as to jurisdiction of the Court.

() The Court shall have and may exercise the same jurisdiction and powers in all civil actions as is vested in justices of the peace for Sussex County.

Section 7. § 1642, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

§ 1642. Causes transferred from Superior Court

The Court shall have jurisdiction to receive, hear, try and dispose of all such arguments, cases, matters and business as, by certificates of the Judges of the Superior Court, may be assigned or transferred to it by the Superior Court of Sussex County, pursuant to the rules of the Court made for that purpose, provided they come within the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas.

Section 8. § 1668, Title 10, Delaware Code, relating to trial by jury in civil cases, is hereby repealed.

Section 9. § 1672, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

§ 1672. Appeal in civil actions

From any order, rule, decision, or judgment of the Court in a civil action, the aggrieved party shall have the right of appeal to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Sussex County in the same manner as is provided by law as to causes tried before justices of the peace, except that appeals to the Superior Court shall be reviewed on the record and shall not be tried de novo. The Superior Court shall have the power to make rules to carry the provisions of this Section into effect.

Section 10. Chapter 16, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof a new subchapter to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER V. TRIALS.

§ 1681. Trial by jury

(a) In all civil and criminal cases tried in the Court of Common Pleas, there shall be a right to trial by regular jury, such right to correspond in every respect to the right as it exists in the Superior Court.

(b) Trials by jury in the Court of Common Pleas shall be in accordance with the statutes and rules which apply to trials by jury in the Superior Court.

(c) Juries used for trials in the Court of Common Pleas shall be drawn from the panel of jurors summoned for service in the Superior Court.

§ 1682. Record

A stenographic record shall be kept of all evidence taken in the Court of Common Pleas.

Approved January 8, 1962.