CHAPTER 389

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 55

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

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

Amend § 1043, Title 10 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 1043 Ex parte orders and emergency hearings.

(a) A petitioner may request an emergency protective order by filing an affidavit or verified pleading alleging that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence to the petitioner or to a minor child of the petitioner or to an adult who is impaired.

(b) An emergency protective order may be issued on an ex parte basis, that is, without notice to the respondent, where the petitioner certifies in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give notice to the respondent or the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required.

(c) An emergency hearing held on an ex parte basis shall be held the same day that the petition is filed or the next day that the Court is in session. All other emergency hearings shall be scheduled for an expedited hearing within 10 15 calendar days after the petition is filed.

(d) In any case in which an ex parte protective order has been issued, a full hearing shall be held within 10 15 days. The Court may extend an ex parte order as needed, but not to exceed 30 days, to effectuate service of the order or where necessary to continue protection.

(e) If the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged domestic violence has occurred, or if the respondent consents to entry of a protective order, the Court shall grant any appropriate relief, including, but not limited to, the relief set forth in § 1045 of this title.

(f) In those cases where the respondent is not present for the hearing, or where the hearing is held ex parte, any protective order issued shall be served immediately upon the respondent, in accordance with § 1065 of this title. A certified copy of the order shall also be given to the petitioner after the hearing, before leaving the courthouse. If the order recites that the respondent appeared in person before the Court, the necessity for further service is waived and proof of service of the order is not necessary; in those cases, the respondent shall be given a copy of the order before leaving the courthouse.

Approved August 10, 2016