CHAPTER 410

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 449

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND SUBCHAPTER III, CHAPTER 9, TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF DEPENDENT, NEGLECTED OR DELINQUENT CHILDREN.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §937, Subchapter III, Chapter 9, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by redesignating the first sentence of said section as subsection "(a)".

Section 2. Amend §937, Subchapter III, Chapter 9, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsection (b) of said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (b) which shall read as follows:

"(b) Following an adjudication by the Court in which it declares a child to be dependent or neglected, the Court may:

(1) Defer proceedings pending further investigation, medical or other examinations, or where the interests of the child will thereby be served;

(2) Allow a child to remain in his own home with or without Court supervision;

(3) Grant custody of a child to any person or agency where satisfactory arrangements can be made but, in the event the child is placed in a home other than the home of a relative, the Court shall require an evaluation and report from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(4) Refer the child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for protective supervision;

(5) Grant custody of a child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for foster home placement;

(6) Grant the care or custody of a child to any licensed child-placing agency in this state that will accept the child, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(7) Grant the care or custody of a child to any division of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families provided by the State for the care of children;

(8) Grant the Care or custody of a child to any private institution within or without the state that cares for children, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(9) Grant the care or custody of a child to any religious child-caring agency or institution, preferably of the child's religious faith or that of his parents, or either of them, within or without the state provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(10) Commit a mentally ill, retarded or disturbed child for observation or treatment to any appropriate institution within the state, or to any institution without the state provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(11) Order such other treatment, rehabilitation or care as in the opinion of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families would best serve the needs of the child and society."

Section 3. Amend §937, Subchapter III, Chapter 9, Title 10 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection (c) thereto which shall read as follows:

"(c) Following an adjudication in which the Court declares that a child is delinquent, it may:

(1) Defer proceedings pending further investigation, medical or other examinations, or where the interests of the child will thereby be served, and release him upon his own recognizance or upon the recognizance of his custodian or near relative, or upon bond with surety, to appear whenever and wherever notified to do so; or, where the required bond is not provided, detain him in a facility of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(2) Allow a child to remain in his own home with or without Court supervision;

(3) Place a child on probation;

(4) Fine a child;

(5) Order a child to make monetary restitution in whole or in part as the Court determines for out-of-pocket costs, losses or damages caused by the delinquent act of the child where the amount thereof can be ascertained;

(6) Award a judgment in favor of any municipal corporation, county, town, school district or agency of the State, or any person, partnership, corporation or association, or any religious organization whether incorporated or not, and against the parents or guardians of the delinquent child for the same or greater amount ordered against the delinquent child but not to exceed $5,000, provided that the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence presented that:

a. The parents or guardians knew of the child's delinquent nature; and

b. The parents or guardians failed to take reasonable measures to control the child.

(7) Require that any restitution ordered against the delinquent child precede the liability of the parents or guardians for the monetary damages caused by the child's delinquent act.

(8) Require, in the absence of objections by the victim of the delinquent act of the child, that any restitution ordered against the delinquent child may be discharged in an appropriate community service arrangement with the understanding that failure to complete the community service work in good faith shall result it the reversion of this obligation to the monetary basis originally ordered by the Court.

(9) Award custody of a child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(10) Commit a mentally ill, retarded or disturbed child for observation or treatment to any appropriate institution within the state, or to any institution without the state provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(11) Grant the care or custody of a child to any private institution within or without the state that cares for children, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(12) Order the Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Public Safety to:

a. Revoke or suspend the driving privileges or operator's license possessed by the child; or

b. Postpone the child's eligibility to obtain driving privileges or an operator's license if the child does not possess such privilege or license; in either case for a period not less than 3 months or more than 2 years.

(13) Grant custody of a person who is charged with an act of delinquency prior to reaching the age of 18 years but becomes 18 years of age prior to disposition of the charge, to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(14) Order such other treatment, rehabilitation or care as in the opinion of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families would best serve the needs of the child and society.

The authority given the Court by paragraphs (5), (6), (7) and (8) shall be in addition to any other existing statutory or common law remedy."

Section 4. Amend §937, Subchapter III, Chapter 9, Title 10 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection (d) thereto which shall read as follows:

"(d) For the purposes of this section, the phrase 'provided satisfactory arrangements can be made' shall mean that the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families has approved payment for the placement of a child based upon a contract between an agency or institution and the Department or that such a placement can provide a child with the necessary and/or appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation in the judgment of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families."

Section 5. Amend §937, Subchapter III, Chapter 9, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by redesignating the current subsections Cc), (d), (e), (f) and (g) thereof as subsections (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i).

Section 6. If any provision of this Act or application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional and therefore invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, provided that the basic purposes of the Act can still be served and to that end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Approved July 20, 1990.