SENATE BILL NO. 30
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 95 OF TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CIVIL PROCEDURES OF THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend § 9524 (b) of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety the phrase “with the word ‘unclaimed’ or ‘refused’ noted thereon by the postal authorities” as that phrase appears therein and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“(3) if the certified mail return receipt is returned marked ‘unclaimed,’ or ‘refused,’ or with some other indication of failed service, the court shall send a copy of the complaint and summons to the defendant by first class mail to the address provided by the plaintiff. In addition, at the discretion of the presiding judge, the court constable may attempt to confirm that the address provided is that of the defendant and, if confirmed, will attempt personal service. In the event the constable is directed to confirm the address and does so, but is unable to effect personal service, the constable will affix the complaint and summons to the entrance of the dwelling, and note such method of service on the return. In the event of an application for a default judgment after such service, the court may proceed pursuant to §9537 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code whether personal service is completed or not.”
Section 2. Amend the section title of § 9525 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by inserting between the word “cost” and the period (.) therein the phrase “; representation of an artificial entity”.
Section 3. Amend subsection (b) of § 9525 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by inserting at the end of that subsection the clause “provided, however, that officer or employee is duly qualified under Delaware Supreme Court Rule 57”.
Section 4. Amend § 9533 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety the clauses “be attached, and may be ordered by the justice to pay any part of the costs in the case, and may be committed for nonpayment thereof” and substituting in lieu thereof the clauses “be held in contempt of Court under the provisions of § 9506 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code and, in addition, be required to pay any additional court cost created by the witness’ nonappearance”.
Section 5. Amend § 9534 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking in its entirety the clause “at said justice's office in....... . on....... . the..... . day of....... . at....... o'clock, in the..... . (or forthwith) to give evidence in a cause between A. B., plaintiff, and C. D., defendant, the subpoena having not been obeyed” and substituting in lieu thereof the clause “at a Justice Of The Peace Court in the county in which the action was commenced forthwith to show cause why he/she should not be punished under civil contempt as provided by § 9506 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code”.
Section 6. Amend § 9539 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code by striking the section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“§ 9539. Failure of plaintiff to appear; adjournment or dismissal.
If a plaintiff litigating a civil suit fails to appear at any proceeding scheduled by the Court, the Court shall either enter a nonsuit judgment, which may be taken off in like manner as a judgment by default; dismiss the action according to Court rule; or adjourn the matter for further proceedings, as the circumstances direct.”
Approved May 23, 2007