CHAPTER 326

AN ACT CREATING A STATE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE UNDER THE DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND PRESCRIBING THE DUTIES, AUTHORITY AND ORGANIZATION THEREOF BY REPEALING TITLE 29, CHAPTER 25 AND TITLE 11, CHAPTER 87 OF THE DELAWARE CODE AND SUBSITUTING IN LIEU THEREOF A NEW CHAPTER 25, TITLE 29.

WHEREAS, with the growth of the State of Delaware there has been a growth in the need of various State agencies and officers for legal services; and

WHEREAS, the Office of the Attorney General as presently constituted, with limited personnel, does not now, and cannot furnish in the future all of said legal services; and

WHEREAS, there is a need for coordination and uniformity of legal services being rendered to officers and agencies of the State;

NOW THEREFORE,

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

Section 1. Chapter 25, Title 29, Delaware Code of 1953, is hereby repealed and in lieu thereof there is hereby enacted a new Chapter 25, Title 29, Delaware Code of 1953 as follows:

§ 2501. Purpose of act

The purpose of this chapter is to accomplish efficiency by centralizing in one department the State's facilities for the rendering of legal services to the Governor, General Assembly, officers, departments, boards, agencies, commissions, and instrumentalities of the State Government and to provide for the enforcement of the criminal law of the State.

§ 2502. Department of Justice established

There is hereby created a State Department of Justice under the supervision, direction and control of the Attorney General.

§ 2503. Definition of Attorney General

Whenever "Attorney General" is referred to or designated in the Constitution, any statute, rules of any court, contract, document, or usage, such reference or designation shall include the Chief Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Attorneys General and Special Deputy Attorneys General, except where the term Attorney General is immediately followed by "himself" or "in person", or where the context otherwise indicates.

§ 2504. Powers, duties and authority of the State Department of Justice

The State Department of Justice and the Attorney General shall have the following powers, duties and authority:

(a) To continue to exercise the powers and perform the duties by the Constitution, statutes, and common law heretofore vested in and imposed upon the Attorney General;

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other laws, to provide legal advice, counsel and services for administrative offices, agencies, departments, boards, commissions, and officers of the State Government concerning any matter arising in connection with the exercising of their official powers or duties. The Legislative Reference Bureau shall continue to perform those duties not inconsistent herewith as provided in Chapter 13, Title 29 of the Delaware Code. The courts, counties, and incorporated municipalities are excepted from the provisions of this chapter;

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other laws, to represent as counsel in all proceedings or actions which may be brought on behalf of or against them in their official capacity in any court, except in actions in which the State has a conflicting interest, all officers, agencies, departments, boards, commissions and instrumentalities of State Government;

(d) To investigate matters involving the public peace, safety and justice and to subpoena witnesses and evidence in connection therewith: Provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall restrict the general powers of the General Assembly to investigate matters involving the public peace, safety and justice and to subpoena witnesses and evidence in connection therewith;

(e) To direct the activities of State Detectives;

(f) To have charge of all criminal proceedings as heretofore;

() To recommend revisions in the Constitution and statutes of the State of Delaware with particular reference to law enforcement;

(e) To perform the duties of the Delaware Code Revision Commission as set forth in Chapter 2, Title 1 of the Delaware Code.

§ 2505. Chief Deputy, Deputies and Assistants

(a) The Attorney General may appoint from the practicing members of the bar of this State a lawyer resident in this State who shall be his Chief Deputy Attorney General and who shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as designated by the Attorney General and shall serve on a full-time basis.

() The Attorney General may appoint from the practicing members of the bar of this State six lawyers resident in New Castle County to be his Deputy Attorneys General and who shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as designated by the Attorney General. One of this number may be designated as the "Deputy Attorney General for New Castle County".

(a) The Attorney General may appoint from the practicing members of the bar of this State three lawyers resident in Kent County who shall serve as Deputy Attorneys General and who shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as designated by the Attorney General. One of this number may be designated as the "Deputy Attorney General for Kent County".

(b) The Attorney General may appoint from the practicing members of the bar of this State three lawyers resident in Sussex County who shall serve as Deputy Attorneys General and who shall have such powers, duties and responsibilities as designated by the Attorney General. One of this number may be designated as the "Deputy Attorney General for Sussex County".

(c) The Attorney General may appoint from the practicing members of the bar of this State four lawyers resident in this State who shall serve as Deputy Attorneys General at large. One of this number shall be designated as the State Solicitor and shall serve on a full-time basis under the direct control of the Attorney General. The State Solicitor shall be responsible for all civil actions and matters wherein the State or its agencies or subdivisions are involved, and shall have such powers and duties as the Attorney General shall designate.

Another of such number shall be designated as the State Prosecutor shall serve on a full-time basis under the direct control of the Attorney General. The State Prosecutor shall be responsible for the prosecution of all criminal matters, and shall have such powers and duties as the Attorney General shall designate.

(f) The Attorney General may appoint an Administrative Assistant to serve full-time. He shall have such powers and perform such duties as the Attorney General may assign to him.

(g) The Attorney General may appoint a Supervisor of Records and Personnel to serve full-time and who shall have such powers and perform such duties as the Attorney General may assign.

(h) In addition to said Deputy Attorneys General, the Attorney General shall, within the limits of the appropriations made to the State Department of Justice, have the power to appoint and fix the compensation of such special Deputy Attorneys General as may be required to perform the aforesaid duties of the State Department of Justice.

() The Attorney General may assign a Deputy Attorney General to serve in any legal capacity in or for any offices, department, board, agency, commission of instrumentality of the State Government on a part-time or full-time basis whenever, in the judgment of the Attorney General, such assignment will contribute to the efficiency of the operation of such office, department, board, agency, commission, or instrumentality; but such Deputy shall remain under the supervision and control of the Attorney General while so serving and his compensation shall be payable solely from the appropriations made to the Department of Justice.

(a) The powers of all Deputies shall be state-wide and the duties to be performed by them shall be determined and fixed from time to time by the Attorney General.

(k) The Attorney General shall not be prohibited from engaging in the practice of law not inconsistent with this chapter. The Attorney General shall determine whether any of his Deputies other than those designated as full-time in this section, shall be excluded from the practice of law. The salaries of the Chief Deputy and the Deputies shall be as fixed by the Attorney General within the Appropriations of the Department of Justice and the limitations of § 2506 of this chapter.

§ 2506. Salaries of Attorney General; Chief Deputy; Deputies and Assistant

(a) The salary of the Attorney General shall be $20,000 per annum. The Attorney General shall fix the salaries of all of the members of the Department of Justice within the limits set forth herein.

(b) The salary of the Chief Deputy Attorney General shall not be less than $17,500 nor more than $20,000 per annum.

(c) The salaries of the Deputy Attorneys General who have attained tenure shall not be less than $12,500 nor more than $17,500 per annum.

(d) The salaries of the Deputy Attorneys General shall not be less than $10,000 nor more than $15,000 per annum for full-time without tenure and shall be $7,600 per annum otherwise.

(e) The salary of the Administrative Assistant shall not be less than $10,000 nor more than $15,000 per annum.

(f) The salary of the Supervisor of Records and Personnel shall be $7,500 per annum.

(g) The salary or fee of Special Deputies shall be fixed by the Attorney General within the appropriations made to the State Department of Justice.

§ 2507. Prohibition on employment of attorneys by State officers, departments, boards, agencies, commissions or instrumentalities

No officer, department, board, agency, commission or instrumentality of State Government shall employ any person to act as attorney, counsel, solicitor, legal assistant or other legal advisor to such officer, department, board, agency, commission or instrumentality except as herein otherwise set forth; provided, however, that such special counsel may be employed by such officer, department, board, agency, commission or instrumentality with the approval of the Attorney General and the Governor upon such terms and conditions as the Attorney General and the Governor may prescribe. Expenses of such employment shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of general funds not otherwise appropriated, upon the approval of the Attorney General and the Governor.

§ 2508. Power to administer oaths and affirmations; compelling attendance of persons and witnesses; delivery of witness lists

(a) The Attorney General or any Deputy may administer oaths and affirmations to any person including witnesses, at any time or in any place; and may issue process to compel the attendance of persons, witnesses and evidence at the office of the Attorney General, or at such other place as designated.

(b) The Attorney General shall have the right of access at all times to the books, papers, records and other documents of any officer, department, board, agency, instrumentality or commission of the State Government.

(c) The Attorney General shall transmit to the Prothonotaries of the counties of this State respectively a certified list giving the names and addresses of persons or witnesses subpoenaed under the provisions of this section, the time occupied in attendance, and the distance traveled by them respectively. The list shall be legal proof, and the same costs shall accrue and be paid in the same manner as is provided by law to be paid to witnesses for attendance at the courts of this State.

§ 2509. Conflict of interest

No member of the Department of Justice shall act as attorney or counsel in any controversy in which the State, a County, or a municipality has an interest except in his official capacity.

§ 2510. Duty to appeal from an order of filiation

On appeal from an order of filiation, the Attorney General shall answer the appeal, and conduct the case for the State.

Any Attorney, or other employee regularly employed by the Department of Justice to render services shall be appointed by the Attorney General to serve at his pleasure and after three years full-time service shall have attained tenure and shall continue to be regularly employed during efficiency and good behavior and shall not be removed therefrom because of religious or political opinions or affiliations, or except for due cause, after a hearing before a court consisting of three judges of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.

The term "full-time", when used in reference to attorneys herein, prohibits such attorneys from engaging in the private practice of law. The term "regularly employed" as used herein refers to those attorneys and other employees appointed or employed on a full-time basis by the Department of Justice. The Attorney General shall so designate such attorneys and other employees in writing at the time of their employment or at such other time, at his pleasure.

Nothing contained herein shall limit the power of the Attorney General to assign attorneys or other employees to any of the various positions provided for in this act and to change said personnel in said positions from time to time at his pleasure; provided, however, any attorney or other employee who shall have been regularly employed in a certain position may not be deprived of regular employment or tenure by virtue of such change of position.

§ 2512. Fees; collections and disposition

All fees which are by law taxable and payable to the Attorney General shall be paid to and received by the respective Prothonotaries in the county where the fees are taxed, and the Prothonotaries shall pay over the same to the State Treasurer.

§ 2513. Appointment of State Detectives; terms; compensation

(a) The Attorney General may appoint five qualified persons to be state detectives who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may designate one of the appointees to be Chief State Detective, and each of the others shall be known as State Detective. All of the State Detectives shall perform duties anywhere, both within and without the State, under the direction of the Attorney General.

(b) The salary of the Chief State Detective shall not exceed $7,500 per annum. The salary for each State Detective shall not exceed $6,000 per annum.

§ 2514. Powers and duties of State Detectives

(a) State Detectives may conduct such investigations as directed by the Attorney General.

(b) Any State Detective or any police officer of the State or of any subdivision thereof shall, when so requested by the Governor or the Attorney General, serve requisitions made by the Governor and for this shall not receive any compensation, but shall receive actual expenses. Such expenses shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of general funds not otherwise appropriated, upon the production of vouchers, approved by the Attorney General.

(c) State Detectives may make arrests and serve writs anywhere in the State.

(d) The State Detective shall serve and return summonses, subpoenas, warrants and commitments issued by Presidents of Courtmartials.

§ 2515. Exceptions

The provisions of this chapter relating to the supplying of legal advice, counsel, services, and representation in proceedings and actions shall not apply to the University of Delaware, or any School District or Special School District of the State of Delaware, and these organizations may each employ their own attorney or attorneys, notwithstanding Sec. 2507 of this chapter, except that legal services in connection with all bond issues in which the faith and credit of the State of Delaware is pledged, and all legal services for any School District or Special School District bond issue which is for the purpose of providing funds for any project to which monies or bond issue funds of the State of Delaware are to be contributed on a matching or percentage basis, shall be provided solely by the State Department of Justice and the Attorney General.

Section 2. Transfer of personnel, quarters and equipment to Department of Justice

All Deputies, state detectives and other employees of the Attorney General are, on the effective date of this act, transferred to the Department of Justice.

The offices and quarters heretofore occupied by the Attorney General and all books, papers and documents of the Attorney General are hereby transferred to the Department of Justice as of the date upon which this Act becomes effective.

Section 3. Appropriations

All monies appropriated to the Attorney General at the time of this Act becomes effective shall be transferred and made available to the Department of Justice as of said date when such appropriations shall become available.

Section 4. Chapter 87, Title 11 of the Delaware Code of 1953, as amended, is hereby repealed.

Section 5. Inconsistent Laws

All laws and parts of laws inconsistent herewith shall be, and the same are hereby, repealed.

Section 6. Effective date

The effective date of this act shall be January 1, 1969. The passage of this act and/or any repeal in this act of any laws of this State shall not affect any existing proceeding wherein any action has been taken or any act done or omitted under prior law. This is intended to be a general savings clause.

Approved June 21, 1968.