CHAPTER 507

FORMERLY

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. I TO HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

CREATING A FAMILY COURT TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE CURRENT SYSTEM FOR OPEN HEARINGS.

WHEREAS the Family Court is a closed court for many of its hearings; and

WHEREAS it is important that the citizens of Delaware have a right to know about the Family Court hearing procedures; and

WHEREAS the law at present provides that Family Court hearings are closed except for felony level criminal hearings; and

WHEREAS the law presently in effect regarding status of hearings may not be as appropriate as it could be;

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 138th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that a Task Force on the Family Court is hereby established, the membership of which shall consist of the following individuals or their designees:

1. The Chief Judge of the Family Court;

2. The Chief Magistrate of the Justice of the Peace Courts;

3. The Secretary of the Department for Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

4. The Attorney General;

5. The Public Defender;

6. The President of the Delaware State Bar Association or designee;

7. An Appointee of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and an appointee of the House Minority Leader; and

8. An Appointee of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and an appointee of the Senate Minority Leader.

9. Two appointees of the Governor of the State of Delaware.

10. A member of the Family Law Commission appointed by the Chairman of the Commission."

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, or that person's designee, shall serve as the Chairperson of the Task Force.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force shall meet as required to study and evaluate the current system for dealing with open hearings and the weaknesses that may be present in that system; to consider methods utilized in other states for possible use in Delaware; and to develop recommendations to be presented to the Governor, to the Speaker of the House, and to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate by March 1, 1998.

Approved July 17, 1997