Courts and Judicial Procedure
Organization, Powers, Jurisdiction and Operation of Courts
CHAPTER 9. The Family Court of the State of Delaware
Subchapter II. Jurisdiction and Powers
The Court shall have exclusive original civil jurisdiction in all proceedings in this State concerning:
(1) Any child found in the State who is alleged to be dependent, neglected, abused or delinquent except as otherwise provided in this chapter;
(2) a. Any child charged in this State with delinquency by having committed any act or violation of any laws of this State or any subdivision thereof, except murder in the first or second degree, rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, unlawful sexual intercourse in the first degree, assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, (where such offense involves the display of what appears to be a deadly weapon or involves the representation by word or conduct that the person was in possession or control of a deadly weapon or involves the infliction of serious physical injury upon any person who was not a participant in the crime, and where the child has previously been adjudicated delinquent of 1 or more offenses which would constitute a felony were the child charged under the laws of this State), kidnapping in the first degree, or any attempt to commit said crimes; any child 16 years of age or older charged with violation of Title 21, except as provided in paragraph (16) of this section or § 927 of this title; or any other crime over which the General Assembly has granted or may grant jurisdiction to another court.
b. Any child charged in this State with delinquency by having committed, after reaching his or her sixteenth birthday, murder in the second degree, manslaughter, robbery in the second degree, attempted murder (first or second degree), home invasion, burglary in the first degree or arson in the first degree; provided, however, that such child shall, after his or her first appearance in the Court, be given a hearing as soon as practicable to determine his or her amenability to the processes of the Court. The Court shall give immediate notice of such hearing in writing to the Department of Justice and to the child’s custodian, near relative, attorney or other interested person, if known, and then the Court shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of § 1010 of this title. The Attorney General or 1 of his or her deputies shall be present at any such hearing.
Superior Court shall retain jurisdiction for purposes of sentencing and all other postconviction proceedings if any judge or jury shall find the child guilty of a lesser included crime following a trial or plea of guilty in any prosecution for 1 of the crimes specifically defined in this subsection or for any crime where the child has been transferred to the Superior Court by the Family Court pursuant to § 1010 of this title;
(3) Enforcement of any law of this State or any subdivision or any regulation promulgated by a governmental agency, or any petitions or actions, for the education, protection, control, visitation, possession, custody, care, or support of children; provided however, that the Justice of the Peace Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over truancy matters as set forth in Chapter 27 of Title 14, and the Family Court shall assume exclusive jurisdiction over those matters transferred or appealed from the Justice of the Peace Court in accordance with §§ 2731 and 2732 of Title 14;
(4) Judicial consent to employment, medical care, or enlistment in the armed services of a child when such consent is required by law;
(5) Actions to terminate compulsory school attendance by a child who has not attained his or her sixteenth birthday;
(6) Actions and proceedings wherein:
a. A member of a family alleges that some other member of the family is by their conduct imperiling any family relationship and petitions the Court for appropriate relief.
b. The Division of Child Protective Services or a licensed youth service agency alleges that the conduct of a child, or of the parents or custodians, or members of a family, imperils any family relationship or imperils the morals, health, maintenance or care of a child and petitions the Court for appropriate relief; provided, however, that where a parent, to ensure the safety or welfare of the child, fails to cause the child to attend school, such parent has not imperiled the family relationship, nor has imperiled the morals, health, maintenance or care of the child.
c. In such actions and proceedings the Court may make such adjudications and dispositions as appear appropriate;
(7) Liability of relatives to support a poor person under § 501 of Title 13, and §§ 2830 and 2831 of Title 31;
(8) Execution of forms consenting to marriages under § 123 of Title 13;
(9) Reciprocal support proceedings by or against nonresidents under Chapter 6 of Title 13;
(10) Any child in the State under the age of 16 years charged with delinquency by having committed a violation of any provision of Title 21; and any child in the State 16 years of age or older charged with having violated any of the provisions specified in § 927 of this title;
a. The court having jurisdiction of violations of Title 21, not covered above, shall not proceed, except to continue the case, without the presence of a custodian, near relative, attorney or other interested person.
b. Any judge of a court of proper jurisdiction, if the judge determines the existence of circumstances beyond the violation of Title 21, which indicates that the child 16 or 17 years old may be dependent, neglected or delinquent, shall, in addition to hearing the violation of Title 21, cause a complaint to be filed charging dependency, neglect or delinquency.
c. Any sentence imposed against any child 16 or 17 years old by a court having jurisdiction of the offenses in Title 21, except those offenses within the jurisdiction of the Family Court, shall be limited to a fine and costs. No court shall detain a child 16 years of age or older in a jail or adult correctional institution or jail pending trial on any violation of Title 21. Any child pending trial shall, in the default of bail, be detained only in a juvenile correctional facility.
d. Any child 16 or 17 years old who fails or refuses to pay a fine imposed by a court having jurisdiction of the offenses in Title 21, except those offenses within the jurisdiction of the Family Court, and after exhaustion of all other legal remedies for collection provided by the State, shall be charged with delinquency and referred to the Family Court;
(11) All proceedings relative to divorce and annulment under Chapter 15 of Title 13;
(12) Actions concerning the education of the handicapped and the enforcement of rights guaranteed by Chapter 31 of Title 14;
(13) Actions concerning appeals from administrative decisions of the Division of Child Support Services, in accordance with the Delaware Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29;
(14) Petitions by persons formerly married to each other seeking an interest in or disposition of jointly titled real property, where such property was not disposed of (i) by agreement of the parties, or (ii) by virtue of ancillary proceedings pursuant to § 1513 of Title 13. In dividing said property the Family Court shall apply equitable principles unless there is a written agreement signed by the parties regarding the disposition of said property. Unless there is a written agreement signed by the parties the Family Court shall not consider the factors enumerated in § 1513 of Title 13. This paragraph shall apply to all actions filed after July 11, 1989;
(15) Proceedings relative to parental notice of abortion under subchapter VIII, Chapter 17 of Title 24;
(16) Notwithstanding any provision of this title to the contrary, charges of delinquency based upon an alleged violation of any provision of Title 11, 16 or 21 which would otherwise be within the original civil jurisdiction of Family Court shall instead be within the original criminal jurisdiction of Superior Court if said charges may be joined properly with a felony pending against the same child in Superior Court, as determined pursuant to the relevant rules of the Superior Court;
(17) Actions concerning child support liens pursuant to § 519 of Title 13;
(18) Child Protection Registry proceedings pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 16;
(19) Proceedings for a change of name pursuant to § 5901(b) of this title.10 Del. C. 1953, § 921; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 4; 60 Del. Laws, c. 297, § 14; 60 Del. Laws, c. 708, §§ 1, 2; 61 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 7; 64 Del. Laws, c. 63, §§ 5, 6; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 228, § 5; 66 Del. Laws, c. 269, § 12; 67 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 238, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 261, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 288, § 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 596, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 285, § 24; 72 Del. Laws, c. 346, § 16; 73 Del. Laws, c. 412, § 21; 74 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 25, 26; 75 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 43, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 252, § 2; 80 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 2; 80 Del. Laws, c. 236, § 1; 82 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 3;
(a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e) of this section, the Court shall have exclusive original criminal jurisdiction in all proceedings in this State concerning the following, the enumeration of which shall not be construed to exclude jurisdiction otherwise conferred upon the Court:
(1) Ill treatment, abuse, abandonment or contributing to the delinquency of a child, or any misdemeanor committed against a child;
(2) Offenses, except felonies, committed:
a. By 1 member against another member of the family;
b. Between former spouses;
c. Persons cohabitating together who are holding themselves out as a couple, with or without a child in common; or
d. Persons living separate and apart with a child in common.
(3) Offenses, except felonies, in which the defendant is a member of a family and the complainant is a peace officer and the criminal act complained of was committed during a family altercation;
(4) Misdemeanor criminal nonsupport and misdemeanor aggravated criminal nonsupport under § 1113 of Title 11;
(5) Illegitimacy proceedings under 13 Del. C. §§ 1321-1335 of Title 13 [repealed];
(6) Children of immoral parents under § 706 of Title 13 [repealed];
(7) Aiding a child who escapes from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families under § 5311 of Title 31;
(8) Cruel treatment and wrongful disposition or employment of children under § 1102 of Title 11;
(9) Interference with custody of a child under § 785 of Title 11;
(10) Placing a resident or bringing a nonresident dependent child into Delaware without consent of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families under §§ 307, 351 of Title 31, except as provided in the Interstate Compact for Juveniles;
(11) Sale or delivery of an alcoholic beverage to a child under § 904 of Title 4;
(12) Permitting a child to remain where alcoholic beverages are sold under § 1106 of Title 11;
(13) Permitting a child to be present where gambling activity is maintained or conducted under § 1106 of Title 11;
(14) Sale of weapons to a child under § 903 of Title 24;
(15) Sexual assault on a child under § 761 of Title 11;
(16) Intra-family offenses against the person under §§ 601, 602, 611 of Title 11;
(17) Incest under § 766 of Title 11;
(18) Reciprocal support proceedings against or on behalf of nonresidents under Chapter 6 of Title 13, where appropriate;
(19) Unlawful sexual contact in the third degree against a child under § 767 of Title 11;
(20) Violation of a protective order under § 1271A of Title 11;
(21) Offenses involving the reporting of new hires under § 1156A of Title 30.
(b) The Court shall have concurrent criminal jurisdiction with the Justice of the Peace Court in all proceedings concerning alleged curfew violations under former §§ 39-14 through 39-16 of the Wilmington Code [see now §§ 36-97 and 36-98 of the Wilmington Code].
(c) The Court shall have concurrent criminal jurisdiction with the Justice of the Peace Courts in all proceedings concerning alleged curfew violations pursuant to any municipal ordinance.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)-(a)(3), (a)(17) and (a)(20) of this section, if offenses or criminal cases within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Family Court otherwise may be joined properly with a felony within the jurisdiction of Superior Court, such offenses or criminal cases shall be within the jurisdiction of Superior Court.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)-(a)(3), (a)(17) and (a)(20) of this section, if offenses or criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Family Court and in which the defendant is an adult otherwise may be joined properly with a criminal case or other offense that is within the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas, such offenses or criminal cases shall be within the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas, except that this subsection shall not apply to offenses or criminal cases involving felonies.10 Del. C. 1953, § 922; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 4; 63 Del. Laws, c. 93, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, §§ 6, 20; 66 Del. Laws, c. 189, §§ 1, 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 269, §§ 13, 14; 68 Del. Laws, c. 66, §§ 1, 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 100, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 318, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 448, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 29, §§ 1, 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 216, § 158; 75 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 1, 2; 80 Del. Laws, c. 364, § 2;
The Court shall have jurisdiction over truancy matters as set forth in Chapter 27, subchapter II of Title 14.82 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 1;
The Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide all matters before the Family Court of the State in and for New Castle County and the Family Court for Kent and Sussex Counties which had not been disposed of prior to the effective date of this chapter.10 Del. C. 1953, § 923; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1;
The Court shall have concurrent jurisdiction to hear writs of habeas corpus or other proceedings brought for the purpose of gaining or retaining the custody of a child or for the purpose of determining whether a child is being unlawfully detained by any person, agency, or institution.10 Del. C. 1953, § 924; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1;
The Court and each Judge shall have authority to:
(1) Conserve the peace;
(2) Commit or bind, with or without surety, as a committing magistrate, for appearance at the proper court, persons charged with having violated the law together with material witnesses and impose conditions as set forth in § 1021 of this title;
(3) Determine and punish civil and criminal contempt;
(4) Issue process for the exercise of its jurisdiction and require service thereof under pain of contempt;
(5) Receive, hear, and make recommendations concerning matters assigned to it by any state or municipal court. Such recommendations shall be certified to the assigning court;
(6) Transfer for good cause any proceeding from the Court in 1 county to the Court in any other county;
(7) Enter, proceed on, and satisfy in the name of the State any forfeited bond, provided however, that the proceeds of any bond forfeited for a party’s failure to appear in any civil or criminal child support proceeding shall be paid over to the payee of the child support order and applied to the child support account;
(8) Sit separately or jointly with any or all other Judges;
(9) Hear, determine, render, and enforce judgment in any proceeding before the Court;
(10) Assess fees, costs, and fines; or remit them in proper cases;
(11) After due notice to interested parties, review, revise, or revoke any prior order of the Court with reference to the custody, control, care, support or visitation of any person, or in any proceeding where failure to do so would result in manifest injustice;
(12) Punish for contempt any person who, in order to evade the Court’s jurisdiction, removed from the State any child concerning whose possession, custody, or alleged unlawful detention, a writ of habeas corpus or other proceeding has been filed;
(13) Administer oaths and take acknowledgments;
(14) Appoint guardians ad litem;
(15) In any civil action where jurisdiction is otherwise conferred upon the Family Court, it may enter such orders against any party to the action as the principles of equity appear to require.
(16) Appoint guardians of the person over minors under 18 years of age;
(17) Appoint attorneys and/or Court-Appointed Special Advocates to serve as guardians ad litem to represent the best interests of a child in any child welfare proceeding;
(18) Determine and enter disposition for alleged violations of probation by juveniles in accordance with the procedures established at § 4334 of Title 11. The term Commissioner or any probation counselor as used in § 4334 of Title 11 shall include the appropriate member of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;
(19) Decide appeals from administrative hearings of substantiated cases of abuse or neglect made pursuant to § 902A(d) of Title 16 [repealed], and to decide appeals made pursuant to § 902A(g) of Title 16 [repealed] for orders of administrative expungement of substantiation for the purpose of no longer reporting an individual’s name pursuant to § 8563(b) of Title 11;
(20) In a civil proceeding involving the welfare of a minor child or the safety of a party, require any party or any other resident of the party’s household or other person with regular direct access to the child, to submit to a state and federal background check.
a. The background check shall consist of:
1. A report of the individual’s entire criminal history record from the Delaware State Police or a statement from the Delaware State Police that the State Police Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.
2. A report of the individual’s entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544. The Division of State Police shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this paragraph.
3. A certification from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families as to whether the individual is named in the Central Register as the perpetrator of a report of child abuse.
b. Costs associated with obtaining said criminal history information and child abuse registry information shall be borne by the State.
c. The Court at any stage in the proceeding may take judicial notice of any report, record or certification described in this paragraph (20).10 Del. C. 1953, § 925; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 95, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 190, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 300, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 451, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 469, § 5; 77 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 1;
Repealed by 66 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 2.
(a) The Court shall have exclusive original civil jurisdiction in all proceedings in this State involving children charged with violating any of the following motor vehicle provisions of Title 21:
(1) Displaying or possessing fictitious registration cards, number plates or registration plates under § 2115(2) of Title 21;
(2) Operating a motor vehicle without motor vehicle insurance under § 2118, except that the Justice of the Peace Court shall have concurrent jurisdiction for purposes of dismissing a case if proof of insurance is shown pursuant to § 2118(b) or (p) of Title 21;
(3) Possessing a fictitious insurance identification card under § 2118A(a) of Title 21;
(4) Altering or forging a certificate of title, a manufacturer’s certificate of origin, a registration card, a vehicle warranty or certification sticker or a vehicle identification plate under § 2316 of Title 21;
(5) Fraud in obtaining a driver’s license, or display of a fraudulently altered license under § 2751 of Title 21;
(6) Driving while license is suspended or revoked under § 2756 of Title 21;
(7) Driving during a period of ineligibility under § 2758 of Title 21;
(8) Penalties under § 2971(a) of Title 21;
(9) Obedience to police officers under § 4103 of Title 21;
(10) Walking on a highway under the influence under § 4149 of Title 21;
(11) Speed exhibitions and drag racing under § 4172 of Title 21;
(12) Malicious mischief by motor vehicle under § 4172A of Title 21;
(13) Reckless driving under § 4175 of Title 21;
(14) Aggressive driving under § 4175A of Title 21, whether or not the predicate offenses required under that section are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Family Court or not;
(15) Operation of a vehicle causing death under § 4176A of Title 21;
(16) Operation of vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug under § 4177 of Title 21;
(17) Driving after consumption of alcohol under § 4177L of Title 21;
(18) Operating a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and under § 4198J of Title 21;
(19) Duty of driver involved in accident resulting in injury or death to any person under § 4202 of Title 21;
(20) Duty to report accidents under § 4203 of Title 21;
(21) Introduction, sale, distribution or advertisement for sale to public of motor vehicle master keys under § 4601 of Title 21;
(22) Reporting of keys under § 4603 of Title 21;
(23) Possession of motor vehicle master keys, manipulative keys, key-cutting devices, lock picks or lock-picking devices and hot wires under § 4604 of Title 21;
(24) Injuring vehicle without consent of owner under § 6701 of Title 21;
(25) Driving vehicle without consent of owner under § 6702 of Title 21;
(26) Tampering with vehicle under § 6703 of Title 21;
(27) Receiving or transferring stolen vehicle under § 6704 of Title 21;
(28) Removed, falsified or unauthorized identification number on vehicle or engine; removed or affixed license/registration plate with intent to misrepresent identity under § 6705 of Title 21;
(29) Possession of blank title, blank registration card, vehicle identification plate, warranty sticker and registration card under § 6708 of Title 21;
(30) Removal of warranty or certification stickers, vehicle identification plates, and confidential vehicle identification numbers under § 6709 of Title 21; and
(31) Unlawful possession of assigned titles, assigned registration cards, vehicle identification plates and warranty stickers under § 6710 of Title 21.
(b) Where appropriate, the Court has the power to impose the penalties provided for under § 6707 of Title 21.60 Del. Laws, c. 708, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 418, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 99, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 38, §§ 1, 2;
(a) Prior to trial upon petition of the Attorney General, the State may seek extended jurisdiction of the Family Court over a juvenile up to age 21.
(b) Extended jurisdiction shall mean that a juvenile subject to the jurisdiction of the Family Court, if found delinquent of the offense(s) giving rise to the petition, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Family Court until said juvenile reaches age 21 or is discharged from jurisdiction by the Court.
(c) The determination whether extended jurisdiction is appropriate shall be made by the Family Court based upon the juvenile’s need for rehabilitation and the public’s right to safety and shall take into consideration the following:
(1) The seriousness of the underlying offense(s), with extended jurisdiction presumed to be appropriate where a juvenile has committed a class A or B felony or a felony sexual offense, excluding those crimes set forth in § 1010(a)(1) of this title;
(2) The age of the juvenile at the time of trial or disposition, with consideration being primarily based upon the time needed to effectively rehabilitate the juvenile or to protect the public and whether either or both objectives may be met by the juvenile’s eighteenth birthday.
(d) A determination by the Family Court that extended jurisdiction is appropriate shall only be subject to review on an abuse of discretion standard.
(e) In any case where extended jurisdiction is determined to be appropriate, the juvenile is found delinquent of the crime(s) giving rise to extended jurisdiction and, further rehabilitation of the juvenile is ordered at a Level IV or V facility, review of the appropriateness of continued placement at Level IV or V shall be conducted by the Court at 6-month intervals after the juvenile’s eighteenth birthday. A failure to conduct a review within 30 days of a 6-month interval shall result in the Department of Correction assuming jurisdiction for purpose of placement, with a presumption that a placement at less than Level IV or V facility will be imposed. The review period herein set forth may be extended for a period of 60 days upon good cause shown by the State in a petition filed by the State prior to the expiration of the 6-month plus 30-day period.
(f) Juveniles placed in the extended jurisdiction program shall be considered subject to the processes of the Family Court until the termination of the Court’s order. In the event that a person who has reached one’s eighteenth birthday commits any crimes while subject to extended jurisdiction, the commission of said crime(s) shall be considered a violation of the extended jurisdiction program, subjecting said violator to any sanction the Family Court could have originally imposed upon the offense(s) giving rise to extended jurisdiction, including placement at a Level IV or V facility housing adult offenders. Trial of any person who has turned age 18 for an offense(s) committed while subject to extended jurisdiction shall be in the appropriate court as required by Delaware law. Any sentence of incarceration imposed by an adult court shall take precedent to and be in lieu of any sentence of incarceration imposed by the Family Court pursuant to extended jurisdiction for the original offense or a violation of the extended jurisdiction program.
(g) Nothing contained herein shall affect the provisions of § 1010 of this title concerning amenability or § 1447(d) of Title 11, except that upon agreement of the State and the juvenile, a juvenile may agree to be subjected to extended jurisdiction in lieu of being proceeded against pursuant to the provisions of § 1010 of this title or § 1447(d) of Title 11.
(h) For purposes of this section, Level IV and Level V facilities are defined as follows:
(1) A facility includes any treatment center, institution or any other place designated for confinement;
(2) A Level IV facility is a place of partial confinement such as a half-way house, residential treatment facility, or restitution facility. It may include house arrest at the juvenile’s home, or at a shelter, group home, foster home or other facility. For juveniles who have reached their 18th birthday, a Level IV facility shall include any similar house or facility of the Department of Correction;
(3) A Level V facility is a place of confinement in a secured facility. For juveniles who have reached their eighteenth birthday, a Level V facility shall include any secured facility of confinement of the Department of Correction.69 Del. Laws, c. 96, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 385, § 1;
(a) If a person commits an offense before age 18 and is arrested after reaching age 18, but before reaching age 21, the Family Court retains jurisdiction in the same manner as if the person had not reached age 18, and all provisions and rights applicable to a person who is under 18 apply to the person.
(b) Nothing in this section precludes prosecuting a person to whom this section applies as an adult under §§ 921 and 1010 of this title.82 Del. Laws, c. 137, § 1;
(a) Upon petition filed by the youth, or the youth’s attorney on behalf of the youth, or the youth’s present or former representative, guardian ad litem, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, the Court may enter an order to extend jurisdiction over a youth who was an abused, dependent or neglected child in DSCYF custody at the time the youth attains 18 years of age or any time thereafter. The petition seeking extended jurisdiction shall be filed not later than 6 months prior to the youth’s twenty-first birthday nor more than 30 days prior to the youth’s eighteenth birthday.
(b) When a petition for extended jurisdiction is filed, the petition shall be served upon DSCYF. Within 20 days of service, DSCYF shall file an answer indicating whether DSCYF supports the petition or requests a hearing. If requested by DSCYF, the Court shall schedule a hearing to address the petition. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be sent to the youth as petitioner and DSCYF as respondent. Following either an answer by DSCYF supporting the petition or a hearing on the petition, the Court may enter an order extending jurisdiction over the youth.
(c) The purpose of extended jurisdiction is to enable youth who are provided developmentally appropriate, comprehensive independent living services from age 14 to 21 to assist with their successful transition into adulthood under the John H. Chafee Independence Act (P.L. 106-169) or the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351), and other relevant services, to have a legal mechanism for Family Court review of the appropriateness of such services. Extended jurisdiction may continue until the youth attains 21 years of age. Notwithstanding extended jurisdiction, the youth shall attain the age of majority at age 18, and DSCYF custody shall terminate at that time by operation of law.
(d) The reasonableness of the services to be offered and coordinated by the DSCYF to the youth, including financial, housing, medical, employment, training, education and other appropriate services, shall be contingent upon the limits of the appropriations made to or by the State for this purpose. If funding for a particular service has not been appropriated, or has been exhausted, there shall be no requirement that DSCYF provide the service. The DSCYF Secretary, or the Secretary’s designee, shall certify to the Court by affidavit the availability of funding for the particular youth.
(e) Where the Court has extended jurisdiction over a youth, the Court may conduct reviews upon motion of any party, or sua sponte, and prior to termination of the order extending jurisdiction. Reviews should occur as often as needed with a date established at the prior review, however, reviews must occur at least annually. If the youth agrees, the appointment of the youth’s attorney or Court Appointed Special Advocate shall also be extended, and the representation of the youth shall be client-directed. Prior to each review, notice shall be provided by DSCYF to any contracted providers serving the youth. At each review, the Court shall, at a minimum, evaluate the youth’s independent living services, and make findings, where applicable, regarding:
(1) Financial stability;
(3) Medical benefits, including access to health care and other public benefits;
(4) Employment and training;
(5) Education; and
(6) Community and individual connections to help support the youth.
(f) Extended jurisdiction terminates by operation of law when the youth attains 21 years of age or sooner upon a finding that:
(1) The youth no longer consents to the Court’s extended jurisdiction;
(2) The youth no longer consents to the continued assistance of DSCYF;
(3) The youth has failed to cooperate with DSCYF; or
(4) For other good cause shown.77 Del. Laws, c. 385, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 1;
(a) At a proceeding or upon a motion involving a child found in this State who is alleged to be abused, dependent, neglected, or delinquent, the Court may appoint an education decision maker for the child if it finds any of the following:
(1) The child has no parent or guardian.
(2) A parent or guardian of the child voluntarily consents to the appointment of an education decision maker.
(3) After notice to the parent or guardian and an opportunity for a parent or guardian to be heard, that the child is an abused child, dependent child, neglected child, or delinquent child and it is in the child’s best interests to limit a parent’s or guardian’s right to make decisions regarding the child’s education.
(b) The Court may limit the authority of a parent or guardian to make education decisions only to the extent necessary to protect the child’s best interests and may cancel, reinstate, or change the education decision maker at any proceeding or upon a motion if the Court makes specific findings that it is in the child’s best interests to do so.
(c) The Court shall determine whether there is a responsible adult who is a relative or other adult known to the child who is available and willing to serve as the child’s education decision maker. The Court may appoint the child’s attorney or Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer to serve as the education decision maker. The Court may not appoint the child’s defense attorney in a delinquency proceeding to serve as the education decision maker.
(d) The Court shall provide notice to an education decision maker of all Court proceedings involving the child to which the education decision maker is appointed.
(e) Unless a child qualifies for special education services under 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et. seq., 34 C.F.R. § 104.3 (j), Chapter 31 of Title 14, and corresponding Department of Education regulations, the child’s education decision maker must do all of the following:
(1) Make appropriate inquiries and take appropriate action regarding all of the following:
a. The child’s educational stability or educational placement.
b. All school discipline matters.
c. Transition planning for independent living.
d. Education services and accommodations that will allow the child to meet state standards.
(2) Notify the Division of Family Services (“DFS”) if a child who is in the custody of the Department under Chapter 25 of Title 13 is suspected of having a disability. Upon notification, DFS shall request an educational surrogate parent for special education purposes from the Department of Education under § 3132 of Title 14.
(3) Consent to or prohibit the release of information from the child’s school records as a parent in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and 34 C.F.R. § 99.3 (1974).
(f) (1) An education decision maker may serve as an educational surrogate parent if the education decision maker meets the qualifications under § 3132 of Title 14.
(2) If a child is already assigned an educational surrogate parent, the Court may appoint an education decision maker to make all educational decisions relating to the child that are not the responsibility of the educational surrogate parent in accordance with state and federal law.
(g) An education decision maker must make all education decisions based on the best interests of the child.81 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 1;
(a) Purpose. — The purpose of jurisdiction under this section is to extend Family Court’s jurisdiction under Chapter 50 of Title 16 over a specific category of youths.
(b) Scope. — (1) This section applies only to a youth who was under DSCYF custody when the youth attained 18 years of age and both of the following apply:
a. At the time of attaining 18 years of age, the youth was identified or diagnosed with a mental condition as defined in § 5001 of Title 16.
b. After attaining 18 years of age, but prior to attaining the age of 26 years of age, the youth is subject to proceedings in Superior Court under Chapter 50 of Title 16.
(2) Family Court’s jurisdiction under this section:
a. May continue until the youth attains 26 years of age.
b. Does not affect the youth attaining the age of majority on his or her eighteenth birthday, and DSCYF custody of a youth terminates by operation of law when the youth attains 18 years of age.
c. May be concurrent with jurisdiction under § 928 or § 929 of this title.
(c) Procedure. — (1) In any proceeding under Chapter 50 of Title 16 involving a youth who meets the criteria of this section, the Superior Court may, upon notification by the youth or by its own initiative, transfer the case to the Family Court for further proceedings under Chapter 50 of Title 16. Transfer of a case may occur in conjunction with the youth’s first appearance in the Superior Court or as soon as practicable thereafter.
(2) When a youth under the jurisdiction of the Family Court under this section attains 26 years of age, the Family Court shall transfer that youth’s case to the Superior Court.
(3) The Family Court and the Superior Court may establish procedures for all of the following:
a. The identification of youths who meet the criteria of this section.
b. The transfer of cases between the 2 Courts.
(4) Upon transfer of a case under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Family Court shall utilize and apply the same procedure and legal standard in Chapter 50 of Title 16 that the Superior Court would otherwise apply to an individual of the same age as the youth.81 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1;