SENATE BILL NO. 615
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 80, VOLUME 63, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BEING AN ACT ENTITLED, "AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1982; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AND AMENDING CERTAIN PERTINENT STATUTORY PROVISIONS."
WHEREAS, as a result of the petition of William H. Severns for the appointment of a guardian of the person and termination of life support systems of his wife, Mary Reeser Severns, the Court of Chancery, by order dated December 19, 1979, appointed G. Thomas Sandbach guardian ad litem for Mrs. Severns; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Sandbach's representation included appearances, hearings, briefing and arguments before the Delaware Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery; and
WHEREAS, by opinion dated January 20, 1981, the Court of Chancery determined the reasonable value of Mr. Sandbach's fee to be in the amount of $10,000, and out-of-pocket expenses he incurred to be in the amount of $408.19, and directed the State of Delaware to pay such fee; and
WHEREAS, the Delaware Supreme Court, by opinion dated July 21, 1981, found that the legal services were performed in the public interest and that compensation, as a- matter of public policy, should come from public funds, but reversed the decision of the Court of Chancery, holding that the legal fees awarded were reasonable but that sovereign immunity prevented Delaware Courts from requiring the State to pay the fee.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 80, Volume 63, Laws of Delaware, by reducing the amount appropriated for the line item "Contingency - Health Insurance" as it appears in the Budget Unit "(10-02-002) Budget Office Contingency" in said Chapter 80 by $10.5.
Section 2. Amend Chapter 80, Volume 63, Laws of Delaware, by adding a new line in the Budget Unit "(02-02-001) Court of Chancery" as it appears in said Chapter 80 to read as follows:
"Contingency - Legal Fees and Expenses 10.5"
Section 3. Amend Chapter 80, Volume 63, Laws of Delaware, by recomputing all sub-totals and totals and renumbering all lines and pages affected by this Act.
Section 4. The reallocation of the appropriation in Chapter 80, Volume 63, Laws of Delaware, is for the purpose of compensating the court-appointed attorney in the Mary Severns' case. The Court of Chancery is hereby authorized to process payment for and the State Treasurer is hereby authorized to issue payment to the court-appointed attorney in the amount of $10,408.19; provided, however, that this appropriation shall in no way be construed as a waiver of sovereign immunity of the State.
Approved June 30, 1982.