AN ACT to Regulate the Drawing, Summoning, Returning and Service of Jurors.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. All persons qualified to vote at the general election shall be liable to serve as jurors; except public officers of this State, or of the United States, attorneys-at-law, ordained ministers of the gospel, officers of colleges and teachers of public schools, practicing physicians and surgeons regularly licensed, cashiers of incorporated banks, and all persons who are more than seventy years of age.
Section 2. The Law Judges of the state shall annually, in the month of March of each year, appoint two suitable persons, both of whom shall not, at any time, be of the same political party, in each county of this state to be Jury Commissioners for the county in which they shall, respectively, reside. They shall each receive for their services the sum of ten dollars for each jury drawn, to be paid by the treasurer of the county wherein they reside upon warrants drawn by the Superior Court sitting in and for said county. Said Commissioners shall, before entering upon their duties, be severally sworn to faithfully and impartially discharge their duties as such Commissioners.
Section 3. The said Jury Commissioners for each county shall, in the month of December in each year, select, from the citizens of each county who are liable to serve as jurors under the provisions of Section 1 of this act, in such proportion for each Representative District of the county as may be deemed proper, the names of one hundred sober and judicious persons to serve (if summoned) as Grand Jurors; and also, at any time, when it shall be the duty of the said Jury Commissioners, as hereinafter provided, to draw the names of persons to serve as Petit Jurors, the said Commissioners shall, before the drawing of such names, select from the citizens of each county who are liable to serve as jurors, as aforesaid, in such proportion for each Representative District of the county as may be deemed proper, the names of one hundred and fifty other sober and judicious persons to serve (if summoned) as Petit Jurors. .There shall be provided for each Representative District of each county, respectively, two boxes, one of which shall be marked "Grand Jurors", and the other shall be marked "Petit Jurors". The names of the persons selected from each Representative District, as aforesaid, to serve (if summoned) as Grand Jurors, shall be placed in the box, for the Representative District from which they are selected, marked "Grand Jurors"; and the names of the persons selected from each Representative District to serve (if summoned) as Petit Jurors, shall be placed in the box, for the Representative District from which they are selected, marked "Petit Jurors". In selecting the said names, as aforesaid, each Commissioner shall place in said boxes one name alternating without reference to party affiliations until the whole number required and apportioned, as aforesaid, shall be placed therein. The names of the persons selected for Grand Jurors shall be deposited in the boxes marked "Grand Jurors"; in like manner the names of the persons selected for Petit Jurors shall be deposited in the boxes marked "Petit Jurors". After selecting the said names and depositing the same in the said boxes, in the manner hereinabove provided, the said Jury Commissioners shall securely lock each of said boxes and deposit the same in the custody of the Prothonotary of the County (the said Commissioners retaining all the keys to said boxes), whose duty it shall be to safely keep said boxes and deliver the same to no person other than both of said Jury Commissioners. While selecting the said names and placing the same in said boxes no persons shall be present other than both of said Jury Commissioners, and the said Jury Commissioners shall not disclose the names of any person or persons so selected and placed in said boxes as aforesaid.
Section 4. The said Commissioners in selecting the names of persons to be drawn for jurors, at any time, shall omit the names of any persons who may have served as Grand Jurors for the next previous year and the names of any persons who shall have served as Petit Jurors for the term of Court then in session or for the next preceding term thereof.
Section 5. The said Commissioners for each county, respectively, shall, fifteen days before the commencement of the first term in each calendar year of the Court of General Sessions for the county for which said Commissioners were appointed, respectively, in the presence of such persons as may choose to be present, draw from the boxes marked "Grand Jurors" the names of twenty-four persons, apportioned as nearly equally as may be among the Representative Districts of the County, to serve for one year at the several courts, at which a Grand Jury is required, to be holden during said year in said county.
Section 6. The said Commissioners for each county, respectively,
shall, fifteen days before the commencement of each term of the Court of General Sessions for the county, and fifteen days before the commencement of each term of the Superior Court for the county, in like manner, and at such other times as they may be directed by the said courts, respectively, draw from the boxes marked "Petit Jurors" the names of thirty persons apportioned as nearly equally as may be among the Representative Districts of the County, to serve as Petit Jurors at the ensuing terms of said Court of General Sessions and said Superior Court, in and for the counties of Kent and Sussex; and the names of forty persons apportioned as aforesaid to serve as Petit Jurors at the ensuing terms of said courts of General Sessions and said Superior Court, in and for the County of New Castle. Provided, however, that when the court of General Sessions and the Superior Court, in any county, shall be holden at the same time, but one panel of jurors shall be drawn to serve at both of said courts; and provided, further, that no juror drawn to serve in the Court of General Sessions or the Superior Court, in and for New Castle County, shall serve for a longer period than two weeks, unless any such juror shall, before the expiration of said period, have been empanelled for the trial of a cause, in which case any juror so empanelled shall continue to serve until the rendition of the verdict in such cause or a discharge by the Court.
Section 7. If, at the drawing of jurors under the two foregoing Sections, the name of a person exempt by law from serving as a juror, or who is absent from the state, be drawn; or if, at the drawing of Petit Jurors, the name of a person, who shall have served as Petit Juror at the next preceding term of said court, or who shall have any matter of fact at issue pending for trial at the ensuing term of said court, be drawn, such name shall be returned to the box and another drawn in its stead. If a person having any matter of fact at issue, as aforesaid, be drawn and summoned contrary to the foregoing provisions, he shall be subject to be challenged.
Section 8. If at any drawing of jurors, either Jury Commissioner be a party to any issue of fact for trial at the ensuing term of said court, or if, at any drawing either of the said Commissioners be absent, his place shall be supplied, pro tempore, by the resident Associate Judge of the county wherein such Jury Commissioner, whose place is supplied, as aforesaid, shall reside.
Section 9. The Jury Commissioners shall immediately after said drawing deliver to the sheriff of the county a correct list of the names of the persons so drawn with the date of the drawing endorsed thereon.
Section 10. The sheriff of the county, upon receiving a list of the persons drawn for Grand Jurors, as aforesaid, shall, at least five days before the next ensuing term of the Court of General Sessions for his county, summon, in writing, each of the said persons to serve as the standing Grand Jurors for one year at said court. He shall, in like manner, upon receiving a list of the persons drawn for Petit Jurors, as aforesaid, at least five days before the next ensuing term of said Court of General Sessions or Superior Court, summon, in writing, each of said persons to serve as Petit Jurors, at the then next term of said courts, respectively. The sheriff shall, within one hour after the opening of said courts, respectively, on the first day of every term, return to each of said courts a separate and distinct list of the names of the persons summoned to attend thereat as Grand Jurors and Petit jurors, showing the christian names, the surnames and places of abode of such jurors.
Section 11. The Grand Jurors for the year, drawn as aforesaid, shall be summoned and returned to attend as Grand Jurors at any court of Oyer and Terminer, when the precept for holding such court directs a Grand Jury to be summoned.
Section 12. For any court of Oyer and Terminer sixty-four jurors shall, upon notice of the sheriff to the Jury Commissioners that such court is to be held, be drawn, summoned and returned according to the foregoing provisions for drawing summoning and returning Petit Jurors; provided, that if the day assigned for holding a Court of Oyer and Terminer shall be at a time when the Petit Jury is in attendance upon the Superior Court or Court of General Sessions, such jury shall constitute a part of the panel of the Petit Jurors to be summoned to attend the said Court of Oyer and Terminer, and only the residue of the said number of sixty-four jurors shall be drawn according to the foregoing provisions.
Section 13. The Grand Jurors shall, at every term of any court which they shall attend during the year for which they are drawn, be severally sworn, or affirmed, to the faithful discharge of their duty and trust.
Section 14. If at any court a sufficient number of Grand or Petit Jurors, drawn and summoned as aforesaid, do not appear; or if the panel returned by the sheriff be quashed by the court, the court may award a tales de circumstantibus, or make such other order as it may deem expedient for filling up the requisite number of jurors to serve at such court. In like manner a deficiency of the Petit Jurors may be supplied, when, by reason of challenges, or otherwise, a sufficient number are not ready for the trial of a cause.
Section 15. The Prothonotary, or Clerk of the Peace, shall, under the direction of the court, write the name of each Petit Juror, returned and empanelled as aforesaid, upon a distinct ballot, all the ballots being of the same color and size; and shall roll up the said ballots, all in the same manner, as near as may be, and put them together in a box to be provided for the purpose. When a cause is called for trial, an indifferent person shall, in open court, draw out twelve of said ballots, successively, and if any of the jurors, whose names are so drawn, shall not appear, or shall be challenged and set aside, then a further number shall be drawn, until twelve jurors appear, and, upon challenge, are allowed. The said twelve persons first drawn, appearing and allowed, their names being marked in the panel, and they being sworn, or affirmed, shall be the jury to try the cause. The names of the persons so sworn, or affirmed, shall be kept apart in another box to be provided for the purpose, until the verdict of such jury shall have been rendered, or until the jury shall be discharged by the court; when the same names shall be rolled up and returned to the first mentioned box, to be kept with the other names remaining then undrawn; and so toties quoties, as long as any cause remains for trial.
Section 16. If before the discharge of a jury empanelled for a cause, another cause shall be called for trial, a jury to residue of the ballots not containing the names of the jurors drawn.
Section 17. Whenever, by a neglect of any of the duties enjoined by this Act upon any of the officers herein mentioned, a jury shall not be duly drawn and summoned to attend any court to which their attendance is by law required, every person guilty of such neglect shall forfeit and pay a fine of fifty dollars to be imposed by the court upon a summary investigation, as for a contempt of court, said fine to be for the use of the county in which the offense is committed.
Section 18. If any person shall commit any fraud, either by practicing on the jury boxes previous to a draft, or in drawing a juror, or in returning into the box the name of any juror which had been lawfully drawn out and drawing or substituting another in its stead, or in any other way in the drawing of jurors; or if a sheriff shall commit any fraud in the summoning, or returning of jurors, either in the summoning or returning of persons who shall not have been drawn as jurors, or in refusing to summon and return persons who shall have been drawn as jurors, or otherwise; every officer or person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars.
Section19. If any person, summoned to attend as Grand Juror or Petit Juror, at any court, under any of the foregoing provisions, shall fail to comply with such summons, or to answer to every call of his name by order of the court, such defaulting juror shall forfeit his fees for the day's attendance, or pay a fine not exceeding ten dollars, at the discretion of the court; the fine when imposed to be for the use of the county in which the offense shall be committed. The court may, upon proper cause shown, remit a fine so imposed.
Section 20. If a vacancy shall occur in the Board of Jury Commissioners, Commissioners for each county, respectively, by death, resignation, removal from the state, or otherwise, such vacancy shall be filled by the said Law Judges of the state, by the appointment thereto, conformably to the provisions of Section 2 of this Act, of a person to serve for the unexpired term.
Section 21. No person shall be appointed Jury Commissioner under the provisions of this Act who is an attorney-at-law.
Section 22. That all Grand Juries, which, at the time of the approval of this Act, shall have been previously drawn according to this act drawn under any provisions of law by this Act repealed, shall be, in all respects, lawful Grand Juries and, as such, shall be drawn under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act; and all Petit Juries, which, at the time of the approval of this Act, shall have been previously drawn according to any provisions of law by this Act repealed, shall be, in all respects, lawful Petit Juries and, as such, shall serve until discharged by the several Courts to serve in which they were drawn, respectively.
Section 23. That Chapter 558, Volume 14, Laws of Delaware; Sections I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, 24 and 25 of Chapter 109 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware as amended in 1893; Sections I, 2 and 3 of Chapter 590, Volume 20, Laws of Delaware; Section 11 of Chapter 22, Volume 21, Laws of Delaware; and Section 12 of Chapter 54, Volume 22 Laws of Delaware, be and the same are hereby .repealed; and that all other acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this Act be and the same are hereby repealed.
Approved March 29, A. D. 1907.