SENATE BILL NO. 63
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2
HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CIVIL PENALTIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Add a new Chapter 8 to Title 21 of the Delaware Code to read as follows:
“Chapter 8. PROVISIONS REGARDING CIVIL TRAFFIC OFFENSES
§801. The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to civil penalties created pursuant to 21 Del. C. §§410l(d) and 4802 and to other civil penalties provided for in Title 21 of this Code.
§802. Authority to stop. Any police officer is authorized to make an administrative stop for purposes of enforcing a civil traffic statute, upon a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a violation of such statute has occurred.
§803. Right of transfer. The provisions of section 5303 of Title 11 shall not apply to a civil traffic offense. However, the Justice of the Peace Court may establish procedures for transferring to the Court of Common Pleas a civil traffic offense with a criminal offense which occurred in the same incident.
§804. Jurisdiction over certain children. The Justice of the Peace Court shall have jurisdiction over children age 16 or 17 years of age or older charged with a civil traffic offense except when said child is also charged in the same incident with having violated 1 or more offenses specified in section 927 of Title 10, in which event the entire case shall be heard in the Family Court. When the Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction over a child charged with a civil traffic offense, the provisions of this chapter shall apply. Section 921(10) of Title 10 or Justice of the Peace Court Civil Rule 55 notwithstanding, such child may pay a civil penalty by voluntary assessment and a default judgment may be entered against such child in any instance in which it would be entered against an adult.
§805. Payment of penalties and costs.
(a) Payment of penalties and costs. Upon being found responsible for a civil traffic offense, all the costs shall be paid by the party found responsible.
(b) The videophone assessment provided for in 11 Del. C. §4101(d) shall not be assessed.
(c) The victim’s compensation penalty assessment provided for in 11 Del. C. §9012 shall not be assessed.
(d) Court costs shall be $35, unless paid by voluntary assessment, in which case the court costs shall be $15.
(e) Immediately upon imposition by a court of a civil penalty or costs or both, including a default judgment, the same shall be a judgment against the person found responsible for the full amount of the penalty or costs or both. If not paid promptly upon its imposition or in accordance with the terms of the order of the court, the clerk shall, upon motion, cause the judgment to be transferred to the civil judgment docket whence it may be executed and enforced or transferred in the same manner as other judgments of the court; provided, however, that where a stay of execution is otherwise permitted by law such a stay shall not be granted as a matter of right but only within the discretion of the court.
(f) Any governmental entity to whom civil penalties or costs are payable pursuant to subsection (j) of this section or any other provision of law may pursue execution on such judgment.
(g) Upon any reversal of a finding of responsibility, the State Treasurer shall remit to each person, or to the attorney of such person, any civil penalty or costs or both which was later set aside by a court of higher jurisdiction upon a certiorari or appeal from the lower court, as provided in section 4103 of Title 11 for fines.
(h) When a court imposes a civil penalty, costs or both, the court may direct that the defendant pay the entire amount at the time of imposition or may direct that the defendant pay a specified portion of the civil penalty, or costs, or both at designated periodic intervals.
(i) For purposes of ensuring the payment of civil penalties and costs and the enforcement of any orders imposed, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the person found responsible for a civil traffic offense until any civil penalty or costs imposed are paid in full. The court may discharge the civil penalty and costs of any person found responsible when the court receives evidence that such person is deceased.
(j) The provisions of section 706 of Title 21 shall be applicable to the disposition of amounts collected for civil penalties and related costs.
§806. Payment by voluntary assessment. Civil traffic offenses shall be payable by mail to the voluntary assessment center or other applicable entity. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the failure to pay a voluntary assessment for a civil traffic offense.
§807. Default judgment. If a defendant: (a) requests a hearing and fails to appear on a civil traffic charge or (b) fails to either pay the voluntary assessment within the time specified on the notice or summons, or to notify the court or voluntary assessment center or applicable entity within the required time, that he or she wishes to have a hearing on the charge, a default judgment may be entered against the defendant. Such judgments may be vacated or enforced consistent with subsection (e) of §806 of this Title.
§808. Forwarding of names to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
(a) Section 703A of Title 21 shall not apply to persons found responsible for civil traffic offenses. No record of a finding of responsible for a civil traffic violation shall be forwarded to the Division of Motor Vehicles and no entry shall be made on the person’s driving record for a civil traffic violation.
(b) The court, voluntary assessment center or other authorized entity shall forward to the Division of Motor Vehicles the name and address of a person who has: (1) been found responsible in court for a civil traffic offense and been ordered to pay a civil penalty, costs, or both, and who fails to pay such civil penalty, costs, or both at the time of the order or in accordance with a payment schedule; (2) failed to either pay the voluntary assessment within the time specified on the summons or notice or notify the court or other authorized entity within the required time, that he or she wishes to have a hearing on the charge, or, submit an affidavit stating that he or she was not the driver, if applicable; or (3) has requested a trial on the charge and has failed to appear at the time and place set for trial.
§809. Suspension of license.
(a) When a person’s name and address is forwarded to the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subsection (b) of section 809 of this Title and the offense was one for which the person received personal service of the notice or summons, or the offense was one for which service was made by mail and the person has either (1) requested a hearing and failed to appear or (2) been found responsible for the offense and failed to pay the civil penalty, costs, or both either at the time of the order or in accordance with a payment schedule, the Division of Motor Vehicles: (1) if the person is a resident of this State, shall forthwith suspend the person’s license or, (2) if the person is a nonresident of this State, may suspend the person’s driving privileges in this State and immediately advise the motor vehicle administrator of the state wherein the person is a resident that the person’s license to drive be suspended until proof is provided that the person has paid the civil penalty , costs, or both, or has appeared in court following a default in appearance or payment and made arrangements to pay the civil penalty or costs or both or has had a default judgment vacated and been found not responsible.
§810. Refusal of registration renewal. When a person’s name and address is forwarded to the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subsection (b) of section 809 of this Title and the offense was one for which the person received service of the notice or summons by mail and the person has not responded within the required time by either paying the civil penalty or requesting a hearing or, submitting an affidavit stating that he or she was not the driver, if applicable, the Division of Motor Vehicles may deny the renewal of the registration of the owner’s vehicle operated at the time the summons was issued. The Division shall register any vehicle for which it has refused registration upon proof that the person has paid the civil penalty, costs, or both, or has appeared in court following a default in appearance or payment and made arrangements to pay the civil penalty or costs or both or has had a default judgment vacated and been found not responsible.
§811. Appeal. Any appeals of civil penalties assessed under this Chapter shall be taken in the same manner as provided in §708 of this Title.
§812. Court Rules or policies. The Justice of the Peace Court, upon approval by the Chief Justice, may develop court rules, administrative directives, or other forms of policies for handling of civil traffic offenses.
Approved July 21, 2005