CHAPTER 20

AN ACT EFFECTING CERTAIN CHANGES IN THE ADMINISTRATION, COMPENSATION AND JURISDICTION OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE AND THEIR COURTS.

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

Section 1. Chapter 91, title 10, Delaware Code, is repealed, subject to the conditions contained herein. The instant repeal shall not become effective until 4 years after this Act becomes law. During this interim period, all Justices of the Peace heretofore appointed under and acting under chapter 91, title 10, Delaware Code, shall continue in their respective offices and in the performance of their respective duties and shall be entitled to the same fees and emoluments as heretofore existing until the expiration of their term of office.

It is expressly provided, however, that any Justice of the Peace serving in office at the time this Act becomes law may elect to relinquish the powers, duties, prerogatives and emoluments of his office as contained in chapter 91, title 10, Delaware Code, in favor of securing for the balance of his unexpired term, the powers, prerogatives, duties and emoluments of a Justice of the Peace appointed pursuant to section 2 of this Act. The election shall be made in writing and communicated to the Governor not sooner than 6 months after this Act becomes law, and shall become effective upon approval by the Governor.

Section 2. Upon this Act becoming law, all new Justices of the Peace, including holdover Justices appointed to new terms, shall be appointed pursuant to chapter 92, title 10, Delaware Code, enacted herein.

Section 3. There is enacted a new chapter 92, title 10, Delaware Code, to read:

CHAPTER 92. JUSTICES OF THE PEACE ORGANIZATION

AND OPERATION

§ 9201. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

(a) "Justices" means Justices of the Peace.

(b) "Clerks" means clerks of the Justices of the Peace.

(c) "Chief Justice" means Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(d) "Rules" means Rules of the Justices of the Peace promulgated under Article IV, Section 13, of the Constitution.

(e) "Deputy Administrator" means the Deputy Administrator appointed by the Chief Justice pursuant to section 126, title 10.

§ 9202. Administration and supervision of the Justice of the Peace

(a) The several Justices of the Peace shall, unless otherwise provided herein, be administered and supervised in all respects pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 13, of the Constitution and such Rules of the Justices of the Peace as shall be promulgated thereunder.

(b) The Justices shall have and exercise such jurisdiction, both criminal and civil, as shall be conferred upon them by law; and, in addition, all jurisdiction heretofore or hereafter conferred by law upon individual Justices of the Peace.

§ 9203. Number of Justices of the Peace in each county

In the counties of this state there shall be no more than the following number of Justices:

County Justices

New Castle 21

Kent 10

Sussex 15

§ 9204. Place of holding courts

The Justices shall hold court in at least one place in Wilmington, 5 places in the remainder of New Castle County, 3 places in Kent County, and 5 places in Sussex County, and in such other places as from time to time shall be designated in the Rules.

§ 9205. Time of sitting for the Justices

Each of the places where court is held shall be open at such times as shall be provided by the Rules, provided, however, that in both Kent and Sussex Counties there shall be at least 1 Justice available at all times, and in New Castle County there shall be at least 2 Justices available at all times.

§ 9206. State-wide jurisdiction of justices

Each Justice shall serve in the County in which he resides, as he may be assigned from time to time by the Deputy Administrator, for such hours and length of time as may be established by the Rules. A Justice may, with his consent, be assigned to hold Court in any part of the State and for that purpose, his jurisdiction shall be considered as state-wide.

§ 9207. Bond upon entering office

Every Justice before entering upon his office, shall become bound to the State in the sum of $1,000 with corporate surety. The form, terms and approval of such bond shall be as provided by the Rules. All bonds shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

§ 9208. Record of proceedings

All dockets, records, writs, process and other papers shall be kept and arranged by the Clerk for filing in a convenient and proper order, so that any such docket, record, writ, process or other paper shall be readily and conveniently available for inspection.

§ 9209. Salaries of Justices of the Peace

Each Justice shall receive annually as compensation for his services the sum of $8,000. They shall not receive any fees or emoluments in addition to their salaries, for discharging the duties of their offices, except as provided by law or by the Rules. They shall not engage in any occupation concerned with or growing out of the collection of any judgment rendered by a Justice of the Peace. They shall not engage in the private practice of law. They shall not hold any other State office or be employed by the State in any other capacity.

§ 9210. Offices and court space

(a) Each Justice shall be provided with such space as shall be necessary and appropriate to enable the Justice to properly carry out his duties at the locations designated for him to hold court.

(b) The cost of such space shall be paid by the State Treasurer in the manner to be prescribed by the State Budget Director.

(c) The Rules shall provide regulations with respect to the purchase of supplies and equipment, the presentation of invoices for the payment thereof, and for other necessary expenses of the Justice. Invoices for such expenses shall be paid by the State Treasurer when approved in the manner to be prescribed by the State Budget Director.

SUBCHAPTER II, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

§ 9220. Clerks; salary

The Chief Justice shall appoint a Chief Clerk for each location where the Justices hold court, and such Deputy Clerks as may from time to time be necessary to assist the Justices in the discharge of their duties. Each Chief Clerk shall receive an annual salary of $4,500, and each Deputy Clerk shall receive an annual salary of $4,000. All clerks shall serve at the pleasure of the Chief Justice.

§ 9221. Division of clerks between political parties

No more than a majority of the Clerks shall belong to the same major political party and the remainder shall belong to the other major political party.

§ 9222. Clerks' bond

Each clerk of a Justice of the Peace shall, before entering upon his office, become bound to the State in the sum of $1,000 with corporate surety. The form, terms and approval of such bond shall be as provided by the Rules. The bonds shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

SUBCHAPTER III. DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR

§ Deputy Administrator

The Deputy Administrator to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall be responsible for the supervision of the Justices and for the efficient use of their personnel, subject, however, to the overall administrative authority of the Supreme Court, exercised pursuant to Article IV, Section 13 of the Constitution.

§ 9231. Duties of Deputy Administrator

In addition to the duties imposed by this chapter and by section 126, Title 10, the Deputy Administrator shall:

(a) assign Justices to hold court in such places where, and at such times when, in his judgment, they are needed;

(b) determine the times for the taking of vacations for all Justices;

(c) collect and publish such statistics pertaining to the business of the Justices as he deems desirable;

(d) prepare and submit to the Budget Director, with the approval of the Chief Justice, a budget showing and enumerating the estimated salaries and expenses of operating the Justice of the Peace Courts for the ensuing fiscal year;

(e) negotiate on behalf of the State for the leasing and furnishing of suitable quarters for the sitting of the Justices throughout the State and to enter into appropriate agreements and leases for the same; and

(f) render to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court an annual report, and such other reports as the Chief Justice may, from time to time, require.

Section 4. Section 9301, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words and commas ", within their respective counties," in the first and second lines thereof, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "throughout the State".

Section 5. Section 9302, Title 10, Delaware Code, is repealed and the following new section is inserted in lieu thereof.

§ 9302. Limitations on venue of Justices of the Peace; non-residents

No civil action commenced by summons shall be brought or maintained before any Justice of the Peace against any resident of this state who does not reside within the same county in which said Justice is sitting. A civil action commenced by summons may be brought or maintained against a non-resident of this state in any county in which he may be served with process.

Section 6. Section 9303, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words and commas, ", within their

respective counties," as said words and commas appear in paragraphs (a) and (b) thereof and inserting in lieu thereof in both places, the words "throughout the state".

Section 7. Section 9304, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "within their respective counties", and inserting in lieu thereof the words "throughout the State".

Section 8. Section 9305, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of the county where the premises is situate".

Section 9. Section 9525, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the word "two" and substituting in its place the word "five".

Section 10. Section 9531, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended as follows:

(a) In paragraph (a) thereof, by deleting the words "commissioner named by him" and substituting the words "Justice of the Peace sitting in the county in which the witness resides".

(b) In paragraph (c) thereof by deleting the word "commissioner" and substituting the words "the Justice of the Peace selected".

(c) In paragraph (d) thereof by deleting the word "commissioner" and substituting the words "the Justice of the Peace selected".

(d) In paragraph (e) thereof by deleting the word "commissioner" and substituting the words "the Justice of the Peace selected".

Section 11. Section 9532, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended in paragraph (a) thereof by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the subpoena form and by striking out the words "for said County" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 12. Section 9534, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the attachment form, and by striking out the words "for said county" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 13. Section 9539, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of the said county" as they appear in the caption of the distress warrant form and by striking out the words "for said county" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 14. Section 9554, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of the same county" as they appear in paragraph (a) thereof.

Section 15. Section 9555, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" and the words "for the said county" as they appear in paragraph (a) thereof, and by striking out the words "for the county aforesaid" as they appear in paragraph (c) thereof.

Section 16. Section 9565, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of form of venditioni exponas, and by striking out the words "for the county aforesaid" wherever the same appear in the body of said form.

Section 17. Section 9569, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by inserting the word "court" after the word "Peace" in paragraph (a) thereof and striking out the words "provided for by the Levy Courts of the respective counties" in said paragraph.

Section 18. Section 9575, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by repeal of paragraph (d) thereof and the redesignation of paragraphs (e) and (f) as (d) and (e) respectively.

Section 19. Section 9584, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in captions of each of the three scire facias form and by striking

out the words "for the county aforesaid" whenever the same appear after the words "justices of the peace" in the body of said form.

Section 20. Section 9586, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of either county" as they appear in the second line of said section.

Section 21. Section 9591, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the form of writ of attachment and by striking out the words "for the county aforesaid" appearing in the body of said form.

Section 22. Section 9594, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the form of process and by striking out the words "for said county", as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 23. Section 9612, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the form of summons and by striking out the words "for the county aforesaid" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 24. Section 9632, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of the county".

Section 25. Section 9633, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "To any Constable of County" in the caption of said form and inserting in lieu thereof the words "To any Constable of the State of Delaware" and by striking out the words "for the county aforesaid" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 26. Section 9637, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "of the said county" appearing in the caption of the form of warrant and by striking out the words "for said county" as they appear in the body of said form.

Section 27. Section 9640, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the last sentence thereof.

Section 28. Section 9669, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended as follows:

1. By striking out the words "of said county" as they appear in the caption of the form of warrant, and

2. By striking out the words " for said county" as they appear in the body of said form, and

3. By striking out the comma and words ", and also your own fees on this warrant".

Section 29. Section 9673, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the commas and words ", and the constable shall have the same fees for serving subpoena, or attachment of contempt, as prescribed by Chapters 87 and 89 of this Title".

Section 30. (a) Sections 9701, 9702 and 9703, Title 10 and Sections 5922 and 5923 of Title 11, Delaware Code, are repealed subject to the condition, however, that their instant repeal shall not become effective until 4 years after this Act becomes law. During this interim period, all Justices appointed under and acting pursuant to the terms of chapter 91, Title 10, Delaware Code, prior to its present repeal as set forth in Section 1 of this Act, and who have not elected to become subject to Section 2 of this Act, shall continue to apply the provisions of Section 9701, 9702 and 9703, Title 10, Delaware Code and Sections 5922 and 5923, Title 11, Delaware Code, as the same existed prior to this repeal. All fees, charges or costs assessed pursuant to the provisions of Section 9701, 9702 and 9703, Title 10, Delaware Code and Sections 5922 and 5923, Title 11, Delaware Code, but uncollected at the time said sections become fully repealed as set forth above, shall continue to be valid and enforceable claims for the benefit of any person for whose services or compensation they were originally assessed.

(b) All Justices of the Peace appointed under and pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 92, Title 10, Delaware Code,

enacted herein, shall, from the time of their appointment, be bound by the provisions of chapter 98, Title 10, Delaware Code, hereinafter enacted.

Section 31. There is enacted a new chapter 98, Title 10, Delaware Code, to read:

CHAPTER 98—COSTS

§ 9801 Rates

(a) All costs in proceedings before Justices of the Peace shall be at the following rates:

(1) For docketing all civil cases $5.00
In addition to the above:

For conducting a trial of a contested case 2.50

For issuing process or attachment in lieu

of summons 9.50
For issuance of fieri facies attachment or

alias 3.00
For entry of judgment on obligation and

and warrant 2.00
For preparation of docket entries or full

copy of records, duly certified 3.00

(2) For docketing all criminal cases 5.00
In addition to the above:

For conducting a trial or accepting a plea

in a criminal case 2.50
For preparation of commitment papers,

each commitment 2.00
For preparation of bail bonds, each bond 2.00

§ 9802. Duties with respect to costs; limitations on fees

All costs collected shall be for the use of the State unless otherwise specifically provided by statute or rules of the Court. The Justice shall tax the costs for each service specified by section 9801 of this title or by the Rules of the Justice of the Peace. No other fee or cost shall be allowed and no mileage shall be

allowed unless it is expressly given by statute. In no case shall costs be charged for a service not performed; and every office or person receiving a fee, shall, upon demand, give a receipt specifying the item of service represented by said fee.

§ 9803. Violations and penalty

(a) Whoever knowingly receives any greater or less fee or cost than is allowed for the services specified, or who refuses to give a receipt or adds any item not specified by Statute or Rules of the Justices of the Peace, shall be fined not more than $500.

() The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of offenses under this section.

Section 32. There is hereby appropriated the sum of $200,000 to defray the costs of salaries and expenses of Justices of the Peace appointed pursuant to section 2 of this Act, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1965 and ending June 30, 1966. The funds appropriated hereunder shall be deemed a supplementary appropriation and shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the general fund from funds not otherwise appropriated therefrom.

Section 33. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved March 31, 1965.