CHAPTER 91

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 226

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 9, 10, 15, AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REGISTER IN CHANCERY OFFICE.

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

Section 1. Amend 9101, Title 9, Delaware Code, by striking "Registers In Chancery".

Section 2. Amend § 9115, Title 9, Delaware Code, by deleting this section in its entirety.

Section 3. Amend § 9152(a), Title 9, Delaware Code, by deleting ", Register of Wills and Register in Chancery" as they appear therein and by inserting in lieu thereof "and Register of Wills".

Section 4. Amend § 9305(d), Title 9, Delaware Code by striking ", Register in Chancery" as they appear therein.

Section 5. Amend § 321, Title 10, Delaware Code by striking the section in its entirety.

Section 6. Amend § 345, Title 10, Delaware Code by striking the sentence in that section that presently reads as follows:

"All income and interest earned on all such deposits and investments are declared to be public moneys and shall from time to time on order of a Judge of such Court be paid in equal shares to the State Treasurer and to the government of the County in which such funds are deposited with the Court or Register."

and substituting in lieu thereof the following sentence:

"All income and interest earned on all such deposits and investments are declared to be public moneys and shall from time to time on order of a Judge of such Court be paid to the State Treasurer.".

Section 7. Amend Title 10 of the Delaware Code by deleting the current Chapter 25 thereof in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"CHAPTER 25. REGISTER IN CHANCERY OFFICE

§ 2501. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the term 'Register in Chancery Office' means the Register in Chancery of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, which shall be the Clerk's Office of that Court. When the term 'Chief Register in Chancery' or 'Register in Chancery' are used in connection with natural persons, they shall have the meaning set forth in § 2509 hereof.

§ 2502. Location of offices, necessary supplies and equipment.

The State shall provide and assign office space and the necessary equipment and supplies for the Register in Chancery Office in each County of the State and whenever occasion requires, may change such space and assign different space.

§ 2503. Records.

The Register in Chancery Office shall keep all records, books, papers, and other things, as the Court of Chancery requires.

§ 2504. Register in Chancery Office; days open.

The Register in Chancery Office shall be open in each County each day except legal holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.

§ 2505. Disposition of fees.

All the fees, costs, allowances and other perquisites which are taxable and paid to the Register in Chancery Office for any official service rendered, shall be for the sole use of the State, and when received shall be paid to the State Treasurer.

§ 2506. Duty to account for fees.

The Chief Register in Chancery shall collect all fees, costs and allowances by law taxable by or payable to the Register in Chancery Office, without any deduction, abatement or remission, except fees, costs and allowances payable by the State to such Office, and shall keep in a properly indexed record an itemized account showing the amount of each fee, item of cost and allowance by law taxable by or payable to such Office, and the service for which the same was rendered or charged, the date of payment and the name of the person paying the same.

§ 2507. Audit of fees.

The books, accounts, papers, records, and dockets of the Register in Chancery Office shall be subject to audit, inspection, and examination by the State Auditor in accordance with State law.

§ 2508. Penalties for failure to collect and pay over fees.

If any employee of the Register of Chancery Office neglects or refuses to pay over all fees, costs, allowances and perquisites he or she receives and collects for use of the State, or fails to collect the fees required to be paid by law, or demands or receives from any person any fee or allowance greater than is provided by law, he or she may be prosecuted under any applicable provision of this Code. Such employee shall also be liable in a civil action for the amount of such fees, costs, allowances and perquisites, as he or she may have thus illegally withheld, failed to collect, or improperly received.

§ 2509. Chief Register in Chancery; duties and power.

(a) The Chief Register in Chancery is an employee of the Register in Chancery Office who shall be selected by the Court of Chancery to hold office at the pleasure of the Court. Subject to the supervision of the Court, the Chief Register shall serve as the Clerk of the Court of Chancery and be the administrative head of the Register of Chancery Office and its operations in each County. The Chief Register in Chancery may also appoint other deputies, employ others, issue process, and enter judgment and do such other things as are according to law and the practice of the Court.

(b) The Chief Register in Chancery may delegate to the Registers in Chancery in each County and other employees of the Register in Chancery Office such duties as he or she deems advisable.

(c) The Chief Register in Chancery shall appoint, with the concurrence of the Court, a Register in Chancery in each County who shall be an employee of the Register in Chancery Office and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Court. The Chief Register in Chancery shall also hire and be responsible for the ultimate supervision, discipline, and discharge of the Registers in Chancery and the other employees of the Register in Chancery Office, subject to the provisions of the judicial personnel rules and, in the case of the Registers in Chancery only, approval of the Court.

(d) The Chief Register in Chancery shall furnish to the Board of Assessment or the Department of Finance in each County a report of the changes of ownership of real estate as shown by the records of the Register in Chancery Office. The report shall contain a short description of the property, and the names of the persons from whom title was derived, and in whom title is vested, as such information appears in the transfers of title.

§ 2510. Compensation.

The compensation for the Chief Register in Chancery, the Registers in Chancery, and other employees of the Register in Chancery Office shall be as provided for in the annual appropriations act.".

Section 8. Amend § 8707, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking said Section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"The fees of the Register in Chancery Office for services provided shall be established by the Rules of the Court of Chancery and shall be uniform among the three counties.".

Section 9. Amend § 8708, Chapter 87, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking the said section in its entirety.

Section 10. Amend § 5705(b), Title 15, Delaware Code by striking "Register in Chancery, 2;" as they appear therein.

Section 11. Amend § 5706, Title 15, Delaware Code by striking "Register in Chancery," as they appear in subsection (a) thereof and by striking from subsection (b) thereof the following:

"In case of Register in Chancery…was duly elected Register in Chancery for…County.".

Section 12. Amend § 5708, Title 15, Delaware Code by striking "Register in Chancery," as they appear therein.

Section 13. Amend §5709(a)(8), Title 15, Delaware Code by striking "of register in chancery," as they appear therein.

Section 14. Amend § 4302, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking subsection (b) thereof in its entirety.

Section 15. The foregoing provisions of this Act shall become effective January 1, 2002.

Section 16. From and after January 1, 2002, each of the Offices of the Registers in Chancery of the three counties shall be under the authority and jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.

Section 17. All fees assessed by any Register in Chancery before January 1, 2002, that by law may be retained by his or her County, shall be collected by the relevant Register in Chancery and shall, within 30 days of receipt thereof, be paid over to the Treasurer or Director of Finance of the County government of the County in which the Register in Chancery sits. As of January 1, 2002, all fees and other monies collected by the Register in Chancery Office shall be retained by the State for use in accordance with State law.

Section 18. All property of each County, exclusive of real property which is assigned to or used in the Office of the Register in Chancery as of December 31, 2001, including but not limited to all files, supplies, furniture and equipment, shall, as of January 1, 2002, become the property of the State of Delaware, provided, however, that no such property shall be assigned to any other State office without the approval of the Register in Chancery of the County wherein such property was originally located.

Section 19. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Section 20. To the extent that the provisions of this Act conflict with or contradict the provisions of any existing laws of the State of Delaware, the provisions of this Act shall govern.

Approved June 30, 2001