Courts and Judicial Procedure

Organization, Powers, Jurisdiction and Operation of Courts


Subchapter IV. Procedure

(a) The Judges of the Superior Court, or a majority of them, may, from time to time, adopt and promulgate general rules which prescribe, establish and regulate the form, issuance and return of process and writs, the form and system of pleading, and all other practice and procedure with respect to the commencement, trial, hearing and determination of civil actions in the Superior Court.

(b) Such rules shall be for the purpose of securing the just and, so far as possible, the speedy and inexpensive determination of every such action. The rules shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right of any party, and they shall preserve the right of trial by jury as at common law and as declared by the statutes and Constitution of this State.

(c) The rules so adopted and promulgated, and all amendments thereof, shall, after they have taken effect, supersede all statutory provisions in conflict or inconsistent therewith.

(d) Any inconsistency or conflict between any rule promulgated under the authority of this section or prior law, and any of the provisions of this Code or other statute of this State dealing with practice or procedure in the Superior Court, shall be resolved in favor of such rule of court. Nothing in this Code, anything therein to the contrary notwithstanding, shall in any way limit, supersede or repeal any rule heretofore promulgated governing practice or procedure in civil actions in the Superior Court.

(e) As used in this section, the phrase "civil actions in the Superior Court" includes proceedings of every kind or character within the jurisdiction of that Court except criminal proceedings.

Code 1852, §§ 1921, 2301-2304; 27 Del. Laws, c. 270, § 4; Code 1915, §§ 3688, 3730, 4164-4166; 34 Del. Laws, c. 226; Code 1935, §§ 4240, 4280, 4643-4645; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 561.;

The Superior Court may frame and issue all remedial writs, including writs of habeas corpus and certiorari, or other process, necessary for bringing the actions in that Court to trial and for carrying the judgments of the Court into execution. All writs shall be granted of course and shall be in such form and returnable at such time as may be prescribed by the rules of the Court, or otherwise as the particular case may require.

Code 1852, §§ 1923, 1924; Code 1915, § 3735; Code 1935, § 4285; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 562.;

A party entitled to a judgment by default shall be deemed to have waived any right to a trial by jury of his or her damages or other issue unless the party makes a written demand therefor when the default interlocutory judgment is entered. If a jury trial is demanded, the action shall thereafter be designated upon the docket of the Superior Court as a jury action and proceeded with accordingly.

Code 1852, § 1920; Code 1915, § 3729; 34 Del. Laws, c. 212; Code 1935, § 4279; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 563; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Proceedings in mandamus shall be begun by the filing of a complaint in the Superior Court, upon which complaint a summons shall issue requiring the defendant to appear and file an answer within the time prescribed by the rules of the Court. Upon the filing of the answer either party may apply to the Court for hearing of the cause and the same may be heard by the Court at such time as may be ordered. The Court may make such orders respecting filing or hearing of interlocutory motions as shall be proper. Any questions of fact arising from the pleadings shall be heard and determined by the Court and if the Court orders that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief prayed for or any part thereof, a peremptory writ of mandamus shall issue forthwith which shall be served in the usual manner.

19 Del. Laws, c. 775, § 3; Code 1915, § 3732; 34 Del. Laws, c. 213; Code 1935, § 4282; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 564.;

In case any person forfeits recognizance of the peace, behavior, or appearance, the Superior Court shall make a record of such default or forfeiture, and issue a scire facias, or other process, for the recovery of the forfeiture. The Court may also order the Attorney General to satisfy the judgment obtained upon any forfeited recognizance of the peace, behavior, or appearance, whenever it appears to the Court that the person or persons for whose keeping of the peace, behavior, or appearance the recognizance had been given, was or had been apprehended after the forfeiture of the recognizance, and the case disposed of by the public authorities having jurisdiction thereof, or whenever the Court has presented to it such facts or conditions as, in its discretion, would warrant it in ordering the satisfaction of such judgment. When such order is made, the defendant in the judgment shall pay the costs thereof.

Code 1852, § 1930; Code 1915, § 3799; 33 Del. Laws, c. 225; Code 1935, § 4311; 10 Del. C. 1953, § 565; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) All health care malpractice claims shall be brought in the Superior Court by means of filing a complaint in the Superior Court in the manner set forth in Chapter 68 of Title 18.

(b) The Judges of the Superior Court or a majority of them may, from time to time, adopt and promulgate such rules as they are permitted to promulgate in Chapter 68 of Title 18 or which they deem necessary for the regulation of the practice and procedure relating to the commencement, trial, hearing and determination of civil actions in the Superior Court and especially relating to the malpractice review panels provided for in subchapter III of Chapter 68 of Title 18 in health care malpractice litigation. Such rule-making power shall be in addition to all such rule-making powers otherwise granted to the Judges of the Superior Court in this title.

60 Del. Laws, c. 373, § 2.;

The Superior Court may appoint Masters who shall exercise such powers of the Court as shall be designated by the Court. No Master shall conduct jury trials. Masters shall serve at the pleasure of the Court and shall receive such compensation as the Court may determine. The conduct of Masters shall be governed by Court rules.

66 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 1.;

(a) In all civil actions in which an appeal is taken from a lower court to the Superior Court, no bond shall be required to be posted as a condition of taking said appeal. The Superior Court may nevertheless stay execution upon the judgment appealed from and may require, by court rule or otherwise, that the appellant provide a supersedeas bond for such limited purpose.

(b) On appeal, a cash deposit may be made in lieu of a bond with security. When a cash deposit is made in lieu of a bond on appeal, the cash deposit shall be retained until the final determination of the cause, and shall be subject to the lien of the judgment appealed from and costs, interest thereon and the costs of the appeal.

(c) The bond or any other security required under this section need not be given by:

(1) The State or any political subdivision thereof, authorized to sue or be sued;

(2) Any officer or employee of the State or any political subdivision thereof, suing or being sued in his or her representative capacity as such officer or employee; or

(3) Any board or committee of the State or any of its political subdivisions suing or being sued in its official capacity.

68 Del. Laws, c. 53, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;