CHAPTER 375

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 19, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE, BY PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COURT COMMISSIONERS, FOR COURTS CREATED BY THE LEGISLATURE, AND CONFERRING UPON THEM CERTAIN POWERS AND DUTIES RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF WARRANTS AND THE FIXING OF BAIL AND PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES.

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

Section 1, Chapter 19, Title 10, Delaware Code, is amended by adding a new Subchapter V entitled, "Court Commissioners."

SUBCHAPTER V. COURT COMMISSIONERS

§ 1973. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context--

(a) Commissioner means a judicial officer of a particular court authorized to perform the judicial powers and duties of the court in issuing warrants in criminal cases and the fixing and approving of bail.

(b) Court or courts means such court or courts as established by the General Assembly in accordance with Article IV--Section 1 (Judiciary) of the Constitution of the State of Delaware.

(c) Governing Body means the town council, city council, commissioners or other legislative body charged with governing the municipality or levy court commissioners or other legislative body charged with governing the county.

§ 1974. Appointment of Commissioner or Commissioners; term, vacancies and qualifications

(a) The Governor shall appoint a commissioner or commissioners only when so requested by the Governing Body for a term of four years with the consent of a majority of all of the members elected to the Senate.

(b) Vacancies in said office shall be filled by the Governor with the consent of a majority of all of the members elected to the Senate for the unexpired term.

(c) A commissioner to serve in any court must be a resident of the municipality or the county over which the court has jurisdiction.

§ 1975. Courts for which Commissioners shall be appointed

Provisions of this subchapter shall apply to all courts as established by the General Assembly in accordance with Article IV--Section 1 (Judiciary) of the Constitution of the State of Delaware.

§ 1976. Powers of court commissioners

The commissioner or commissioners of the courts covered by the provisions of this subchapter shall have the power to issue warrants or, upon the request of the prosecuting officer of a particular court or upon the request of the police, issue a summons for the arrest of persons for offenses alleged to have been committed against the State of Delaware or for any violation of an ordinance or legislative act of a municipality or county. In connection with the complaint made as to the commission of a criminal offense, the commissioner or commissioners are authorized to administer the oath of the person making the criminal complaint. All warrants as issued shall bear the test date of the Chief Judge or Senior Judge of the particular court involved in the issuance of the warrant.

A commissioner is further authorized to fix and approve bail, except for offenses in which the penalty may be death, in accordance with the laws of this state granting, fixing and approving bail bonds and recognizances.

§ 1977. Court rules governing Commissioners

The Chief Justice of the State of Delaware shall approve and promulgate rules governing the activities of the court commissioners which shall be prepared and submitted to him by the Chief Judge or Senior Judge of the court to be affected by said rules.

§ 1978. Salaries

The governing body of the municipality or county in which the court has jurisdiction within the provisions of this act shall determine the amount of and authorize the payment of the annual salaries of the court commissioner or commissioners as other salaries are paid by the governing body of a particular municipality or county.

Approved June 28, 1968.