CHAPTER 432

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 565

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE IV OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE TO PROVIDE FOR THE INCLUSION OF THE FAMILY COURT AND THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS AS COURTS ESTABLISHED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding the phrase "a Family Court, a Court of Common Pleas," after the phrase "a Court of Chancery," and before the phrase "an Orphans' Court."

Section 2. Amend Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution by striking the second, third and fourth full paragraphs thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

In addition to members of the Supreme Court there shall be other State Judges, who shall be citizens of the State and learned in the law. They shall include: (1) the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellors; (2) The President Judge and the Associate Judges of the Superior Court, three of whom shall be Resident Associate Judges and one of whom shall after appointment reside in each county of the State; (3) the Chief Judge and the Associate Judges of the Family Court; and (4) the Chief Judge and Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, one of whom after appointment shall reside In each county of the State.

There shall also be such number of additional Vice-Chancellors, Associate Judges and Judges as may hereinafter be provided for by Act of the General Assembly. Each of such Vice-Chancellors, Associate Judges, and Judges shall be citizens of the State and learned in the law.

If it is otherwise impossible to determine seniority of service among the Vice-Chancellors, or among the said Associate Judges or among the said Judges, they shall determine it by lot respectively and certify accordingly to the Governor."

Section 3. Amend Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by deleting the word and after the phrase or Vice-Chancellors," as that phrase appears in the first sentence of the first paragraph of said section; by adding the phrase ", the Chief Judge and Associate Judges of the Family Court and the Chief Judge and Judges of the Court of Common Pleas" after the phrase "Associate Judges of the Superior Court" as that phrase appears in the first sentence of the first paragraph of said section; by adding the phrase ", Chief Judge or Associate Judge of the Family Court or Chief Judge or Judge of the Court of Common Pleas" after the phrase "Associate Judge of the Superior Court" as that phrase appears in the sixth sentence of the first paragraph of said section; and by renumbering current paragraph "Fourth" as paragraph "Sixth" and adding new paragraphs "Fourth" and "Fifth" after paragraph "Third" to read as follows:

"Fourth, at any time when the total number of Judges of the Family Court shall be an even number, not more than one-half of the Judges shall be of the same political party; and at any time when the total number of Judges shall be an odd number, then not more than a majority of one Judge shall be of the same political party.

Fifth, at any time when the total number of Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, (including the Chief Judge) shall be an even number, not more than one-half of the Judges shall be of the same political party; and at any time when the total number of Judges shall be an odd number, then not more than a majority of one Judge shall be the same political party."

Section 4. Amend Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by deleting the word "and" after the phrase or Vice-Chancellors," as that phrase appears in the first sentence of this section and by adding the phrase "the Chief Judge and Associate Judges of the Family Court and the Chief

Judge and Judges of the Court of Common Pleas" after the phrase "Orphans'

Court" as that phrase appears in the same sentence.

Section 5. Amend Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding thereto a new Section which Section shall read in its entirety as follows:

"67A. Jurisdiction of Family Court.

Section 7A. The Family Court shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the Family Court."

Section 6. Amend Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding thereto a new section which section shall read in its entirety as follows:

"§713. Jurisdiction of Court of Common Pleas.

Section M. The Court of Common Pleas shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the Court of Common Pleas.'

Section 7. Amend Article IV, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking paragraph (2) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(2) Upon written request made by the Chancellor, President Judge of the Superior Court, the Chief Judge of the Family Court, or the Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, or in the event of an absence or incapacity, by the next qualified and available Vice-Chancellor, Associate Judge or Judge, who is senior in length of service, to designate one or more of the State Judges (including the Justices of the Supreme Court) to sit in the Court of Chancery, the Superior Court, the Family Court or the Court of Common Pleas, as the case may be, and to hear and decide such causes in such Court and for such period of time as shall be designated. It shall be the duty of the State Judge so designated to serve according to such designation as a Judge of the Court designated. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be deemed to limit in any manner the powers conferred upon the judges of the Superior Court under Section 14 of this Article."

Section 8. Amend Article IV, Section 17 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding the phrase ", the Family Court hereby established, the Court of Common Pleas hereby established" after the phrase "Orphans' Court" as that phrase appears in the first sentence of this section, substituting the word "any" for the word "either" as it appears in the first sentence of this section and by adding the phrase ", the Family Court, the Court of Common Pleas" after the phrase "Orphans' Court" as that phrase appears in the second sentence of this section.

Section 9. Amend Article IV, Section 18 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding a second sentence thereto which shall read as follows:

"Until the General Assembly shall otherwise provide, the Chief Judge of the Family Court and the Associate Judges of said Court, respectively, shall each singly exercise all the powers which any law of this State vests in the Judges of the Family Court, whether as members of the Court or otherwise, and the Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and the Judges of said Court, respectively, shall each singly exercise all the powers which any law of the State vests in the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, whether as members of the Court or otherwise."

Section 10. Amend Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding a new Section 34A which shall read as follows:

"§34A. Continuation in office and designation of judicial officers of the Family Court and the Court of Common Pleas.

Section 34A: The Chief Judge and the Associate Judges of the Family Court and the Chief Judge and the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas In office at and immediately before the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective shall hold their respective offices until the expiration of their terms, respectively, and shall receive the compensation provided by law."

Section 11. Amend Article IV, Section 37 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by deleting the word and after the phrase the Chancellor," as it appears in the first sentence thereof and by adding the phrase ", the Chief Judge of the Family Court and the Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas" after the phrase "President Judge of the Superior Court" and before the period in that same sentence.

Approved June 30, 1994.