AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS 93 AND 95, TITLE 10, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO VENUE OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE; ISSUANCE AND REQUIREMENTS OF SUMMONS; SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND VERIFICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Amend §9302, Chapter 93, Title 10, Delaware Code, by striking subsection (b) thereof in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) If the defendant cannot be served with process in the county in which the suit is brought, the writ of summons may be forwarded to a constable in another county for service or sent by certified mail and the return of the process shall be made to the Justice who issued the summons."
Section 2. Amend §9522, Chapter 95, Title 10, Delaware Code, by striking the figure "15" as it appears therein and substituting in lieu thereof the figure "25".
Section 3. Amend §9524, Chapter 95, Title 10, Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §9524 to read as follows:
§9524. Service of Summons; verification for default judgment
Service of a summons in an action under this subchapter upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person, shall be made by delivering a copy of the summons, with accompanying papers, if any, to him or her personally or by leaving a copy thereof together with the accompanying papers, if any, at his or her dwelling house or usual place of abode in the presence of some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein, or by sending a copy of the summons with accompanying papers, if any, to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by delivering copies thereof to an agent authorized by his appointment or by law, to receive service of process, at least 4 days before the day of appearance, unless it be returnable 'forthwith'; but service, by leaving a copy, shall not be made of any warrant returnable forthwith, nor in respect to any defendant who has not at the time a fixed place of abode in the county.
The service and the manner of service shall be stated in the return thus, 'served personally' by the State Constable or certified U.S. Mail or served by leaving a copy at the defendant's dwelling house or usual place of abode in the presence of A.B., a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein,' with the date of such service; and a judgment by default shall not be rendered until this service shall be verified by: (1) constable's affidavit in writing, or (2) certified return card by U.S. Postman. This shall be Prima Facie evidence that service has been made."