CHAPTER 299

FORMERLY

HOUSE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 77

AN ACT TO PROPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE IV OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF 1897 TO INCLUDE THE FAMILY COURT AND COURT OF COMMON PLEAS AS COURTS ESTABLISHED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND ARTICLES III AND IV OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE TO DELETE REFERENCES TO THE ORPHANS' COURT.

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

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 words “a Family Court, a Court of Common Pleas,” after the phrase “a Court of Chancery,” and before the phrase “an Orphans’ Court” as that phrase heretofore appears.

Section 2. Amend Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution by striking the second, third and fourth full paragraphs of said Section, 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 striking 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 words “, 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 words “, 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 redesignating 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 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.”.

Section 4. Amend Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the word “and” after the phrase “or Vice-Chancellors,” as that phrase appears in the first sentence of said Section; and by adding the words “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 immediately following Section 7, which new Section shall read in its entirety as follows:

Ҥ7A. 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:

Ҥ7B. Jurisdiction of Court of Common Pleas.

Section 7B. 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 deleting the phrase “, the Superior Court or the Orphans’ Court” as found in the title of said Section and replacing it with the phrase “or the Superior Court” and 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 striking the phrase “the Orphans’ Court” as it appears twice therein and adding the words “, the Family Court hereby established, the Court of Common Pleas hereby established” after “established” as it appears in the first sentence of said Section; by substituting the word “any” for the word “either” as it appears in the first sentence of said Section; and by adding the words “, the Family Court, the Court of Common Pleas” after the phrase “Superior Court” as that phrase appears in the second sentence of said 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 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 the new Section 34A, which shall read as follows:

Ҥ34A. 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 striking the word “and” after the phrase “the Chancellor,” as it appears in the first sentence thereof; and by adding the words “, 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.

Section 12. Amend Article III, Section 22 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “, Clerks of the Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears therein.

Section 13. Amend Article III, Section 23 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “, Clerks of the Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears therein.

Section 14. Amend Article III of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking Section 24 in its entirety.

Section 15. Amend Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “an Orphans’ Court,” as that phrase appears therein.

Section 16. Amend Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears twice therein.

Section 17. Amend Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears twice therein.

Section 18. Amend Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking “and of the Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears therein.

Section 19. Amend Article IV, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and Orphans’ Court” as it appears in the title of the Section, and by striking the phrase “and the Orphans’ Court” as it appears twice therein.

Section 20. Amend Article IV, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and Orphans’ Court” as it appears in the title of said Section, and by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as it appears in the text.

Section 21. Amend Article IV, Section 8 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as it appears therein.

Section 22. Amend Article IV, of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking Section 9 in its entirety.

Section 23. Amend Article IV, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as it appears therein.

Section 24. Amend Article IV, of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking Subsection (5) of Section 11 in its entirety; by deleting the phrase “, the Court of Chancery and the Orphans’ Court” as found in Subsection (6) of Section 11 and replacing said phrase with the phrase “and the Court of Chancery”; and by renumbering all succeeding subsections accordingly.

Section 25. Amend Article IV, Section 18 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as it appears therein.

Section 26. Amend Article IV, Section 31 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “Orphans’ Court” as it appears in the title and the fourth and fifth sentences of the Section, and inserting in each place the phrase “Court of Chancery”.

Section 27. Amend Article IV, Section 32 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “Orphans’ Court” as it appears in the title and the second and third paragraphs, and inserting in each place the phrase “Court of Chancery”.

Section 28. Amend Article IV, Section 34 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking the phrase “and of the Orphans’ Court” as that phrase appears twice therein.

Section 29. Amend Article IV, Section 36 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking Section 36 in its entirety.

Approved July 01,2004