CHAPTER 116

FORMERLY SENATE BILL NO. 102

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 9, TITLE 10, CONCERNING THE JURISDICTION OF THE FAMILY COURT AND TRANSFER OF CASES FROM SUPERIOR COURT TO FAMILY COURT.

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

NOW, THEREFORE,

Section 1. Title 10, Section 921, is hereby repealed and in lieu thereof a new Section 921 of Chapter 9, Title 10, Delaware Code, is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§921. Exclusive original civil jurisdiction

The Court shall have exclusive original civil jurisdiction in all proceedings in this State concerning:

(a) Any child found in the State who is alleged to be dependent, neglected, or delinquent except as otherwise provided in this Chapter.

(b)(1) Any child charged in this State with delinquency by having committed any act or violation of any law of this State or any subdivision thereof, except: murder in the first degree, rape, kidnapping, any child sixteen years of age or older charged with violating Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, except as hereinafter provided, or any other crime over which the General Assembly has granted or may grant jurisdiction to another court.

(2) Any child charged in this State with delinquency by having committed, after reaching his sixteenth birthday, murder in the second degree, manslaughter (except by motor vehicle), robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, burglary in the first degree or arson in the first degree; provided, however, that such child shall, after his first appearance in the Court, be given a

hearing as soon as practicable to determine his amenability to the processes of the Court. The Court shall give immediate notice of such hearing in writing to the Department of Justice and to the child's custodian, near relative, attorney or other interested person, if known, and then the Court shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of § 938 of this Chapter. The Attorney General or one of his deputies shall be present at any such hearing.

Superior Court shall retain jurisdiction for purposes of sentencing if any judge or jury shall find the child guilty of a lesser included crime following a trial of one of the crimes specifically defined in this subsection or any crime in the case where the child has been transferred to the Superior Court by the Family Court pursuant to § 938 hereof.

(c) Enforcement of any law of this State or any subdivision or any regulation promulgated by a governmental agency, or any petitions or actions, for the education, protection, control, visitation, possession, custody, care, or support of children.

(d) Judicial consent to employment, medical care, or enlistment in the armed services of a child when such consent is required by law.

(e) Actions to terminate compulsory school attendance by a child who has not attained his sixteenth birthday.

(f) Actions wherein a husband, or wife, or other adult member of a family alleges that some other member of the family is by his conduct imperiling the family relationship and petitions the Court for appropriate relief.

(g) Liability of relatives to support a poor person, 13 Del. C. § 601 and 31 Del. C. § §2830, 2831.

(h) Execution of forms consenting to marriages, 13 Del. C. § 123.

() Reciprocal support proceedings by or against non-residents, Chapter 6, Title 13.

(a) Any child in the State charged with any of the following violations of Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code: §4103,

Obedience to police officers; §4175, Reckless driving; §4176, Operation of vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug; and any child under the age of sixteen charged with delinquency by having committed a violation of any provision of Title 21, Delaware Code.

(1) The Court having jurisdiction of violation of Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, not covered above, shall not proceed, except to continue the case, without the presence of a custodian, near relative, attorney, or other interested person.

(2) Any judge of a court of proper jurisdiction, if he determines the existence of circumstances beyond the violation of Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, which indicates to him that the child sixteen or seventeen years old may be dependent, neglected, or delinquent, shall, in addition to hearing the violation of Chapter 41, cause a complaint to be filed charging dependency, neglect, or delinquency.

(3) Any sentence imposed against any child sixteen or seventeen years old by a court having jurisdiction of the offenses in Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, except those offenses within the jurisdiction of Family Court, shall be limited to a fine and costs. No court shall detain a child sixteen years of age or older in a jail or adult correctional institution or jail pending trial on any violation of Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code. Any child pending trial shall, in the default of bail, be detained only in a juvenile correctional facility.

(4) Any child sixteen or seventeen years old who fails or refuses to pay a fine imposed by a court having jurisdiction of the offenses in Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, except those offenses within the jurisdiction of Family Court, and after exhaustion of all other legal remedies for collection provided by the State of Delaware, shall be charged with delinquency and referred to the Family Court.

(5) In all cases in which a child sixteen or seventeen years old is adjudged guilty of a violation of Chapter 41, Title 21, Delaware Code, except those offenses within the jurisdiction of the Family Court, the trial court shall send to the Family Court located in the county of such child's residence or, if such child is from out of state, to the Family Court located in the same county

as the trial court, a brief report containing the name of the child and said child's custodians, his address, the offense, the penalty imposed, and such other information as may be deemed pertinent on form to be provided by the Family Court.

Section 2. Chapter 9, Title 10, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding a new Section 939 to read as follows:

§939. Transfer of cases from Superior Court to Family Court

(a) In any case in which the Superior Court has jurisdiction over a child, the Attorney General may transfer the case to the Family Court for trial and disposition if, in his opinion, the interests of justice would be best served.

(b) Upon application of the defendant in any case where the Superior Court has original jurisdiction over a child, the Court may transfer the case to the Family Court for trial and disposition if, in the opinion of the Court, the interests of justice would be best served by such transfer. Before ordering any such transfer, the Superior Court may hold a hearing at which it may consider evidence as to the following factors and such other factors which, in the judgment of the Court are deemed relevant:

(1) The nature of the ,present offense and the extent and nature of the defendant's prior record, if any:

(2) The nature of past treatment and rehabilitative efforts and the nature of the defendant's response thereto, if any; and

(3) Whether the interests of society and the defendant would be best served by trail in the Family Court or in the Superior Court.

(c) In the event the case is transferred by the Superior Court under this section, the case shall proceed as if it had been initially brought in the Family Court, and the Family Court shall have jurisdiction of the case, anything to the contrary in this Chapter notwithstanding.

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall become effective 90 days after the Governor's signature hereof. They shall amend the appropriate provisions of Senate Bill 100 of the 126th General Assembly.

Approved June 9, 1971.