TITLE 10

Courts and Judicial Procedure

Organization, Powers, Jurisdiction and Operation of Courts

CHAPTER 9. THE FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE

Subchapter III. Procedure


10 Del. C. 1953, § 930; 58 Del. Laws, c. 491; 64 Del. Laws, c. 326, §§ 1, 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 243, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 150, §§ 1, 2; repealed by 78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.;

Except as provided in § 1010 of this title, no child shall be deemed a criminal by virtue of an allegation or adjudication of delinquency, nor shall a child be charged with or prosecuted for a crime in any other court. In this Court the nature of the hearing and all other proceedings shall be in the interest of rather than against the child. Except as otherwise provided, there shall be no proceedings other than appellate proceedings in any court other than this Court in the interest of a child alleged to be dependent, neglected, or delinquent. However, if a child reaches its eighteenth birthday prior to an adjudication on a charge of delinquency arising from acts which would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, then the Family Court shall retain jurisdiction for the sole purpose of transferring the matter to the Superior Court for prosecution as an adult. Any such transfer under this section shall not be subject to § 1011 of this title.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 931; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 205, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any person having knowledge of a child within the State who appears to be neglected, dependent or delinquent may file with the Clerk of the Court a petition in writing setting forth the facts verified by affidavit. Neither the Attorney General nor any Deputy Attorneys are required to appear in any proceeding before a Master involving a petition alleging an act of delinquency, but, at the Attorney General's sole discretion, may appear in any such proceeding.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 932; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

A peace officer may take into custody a child the officer believes to be dependent, neglected or delinquent. Any peace officer having taken such a child into custody shall immediately notify the child's custodian citing the reasons therefor. If the custodian refuses to accept the child or cannot be located or cannot provide necessary care for the child, the peace officer shall:

(1) When the child is not charged with a delinquent act, immediately contact the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, who shall be responsible for further pursuing the whereabouts of the custodian or providing shelter and care for the child in a shelter home, foster home, group home, private agency home or other appropriate facility for children. The child shall be placed in a manner consistent with § 1009(e) of this title. After making every reasonable effort to locate the custodian, the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families may release the child to the child's custodian or forthwith file with the Court a petition for custody alleging dependency or neglect.

(2) When the child has been charged with a delinquent act, take the child directly before the Court if the Court is in session or take the child before a court or commissioner for disposition in accordance with § 1005 of this title. After taking the child into custody, the peace officer shall forthwith file with the Court a sworn complaint alleging delinquency with a report for the reason of the child's apprehension.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 933; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 7; 66 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 6.;

(a) Any judge of any state or municipal court or any official designated for such purpose may issue a warrant directing a peace officer to take into custody a child alleged to be delinquent.

(b) Any judge of any court of this State, including justices of the peace and local aldermen, before whom a child is brought by a peace officer:

(1) May release the child on the child's own recognizance, or on that of a person having the child's care, to appear before the court when notified so to do;

(2) May require the child to furnish reasonable cash or property bail or other surety for the child's appearance before the court when notified so to do;

(3) May order the child detained in a facility designated by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families pursuant to § 1007(a) of this title provided that no means less restrictive of the child's liberty gives reasonable assurance that the child will attend the adjudicatory hearing; and provided, that the alternatives delineated in § 1007(b)(5) of this title have been considered; and provided, that such detention shall continue only until the next session of the Family Court;

(4) Shall notify the person having the care of the child, if an address be known, of the child's having been taken into custody, the reason therefor, and the disposition of the matter;

(5) Shall file with this Court forthwith a petition in accordance with § 1003 of this title on forms furnished by this Court.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 934; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 20; 67 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 390, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 392, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Following commencement of any action concerning a child, the child and the child's custodian shall be brought into the Court by summons or other process. If no custodian can be located, the child's guardian, or some suitable person (preferably a near relative) appointed by the Court to act in behalf of the child shall be notified to appear.

(b) A summons or other process of the Court may be served by any probation officer, sheriff, county, town, or city constable or police officer within the officer's or constable's jurisdiction, either by reading the same to the person to be served, or by delivering a copy thereof to the person or by leaving a copy thereof at the person's usual place of abode in the presence of an adult person.

(c) The return of such summons or other process with the indorsement of service by the serving officer in accordance herewith shall be sufficient proof thereof.

(d) Where no custodian or interested close relative can be located, the Court may make such interim order as the interest of the child may require.

(e) In delinquency proceedings after the child has been adjudged delinquent and at any time in all other proceedings concerning a child the Court may accept a study relating to the child previously made by any recognized welfare agency, or may order a study made.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 935; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Pending adjudication no child alleged to be delinquent may be placed in secure detention operated by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families unless the Court determines that no means less restrictive of the child's liberty gives reasonable assurance that the child will attend the adjudicatory hearing and:

(1) The child is a fugitive from another jurisdiction on a delinquency petition; or

(2) The child is charged with an offense, which, if committed by an adult would constitute a felony, including offenses contained within this title, Title 11, and Chapter 47 of Title 16, the Uniform Controlled Substance Act; or

(3) The child is charged with an offense, which, if committed by an adult would constitute a class A misdemeanor, provided that offense involved violence, a sexual offense, unlawful imprisonment, or a weapons offense; or

(4) The child has, in the past, failed to appear at a delinquency hearing and circumstances indicate the child will likely fail to appear for further proceedings, or, absent a prior history of failure to appear, circumstances demonstrate a substantial probability that the child will fail to appear at a subsequent hearing; or

(5) The child is alleged to be intimidating 1 or more witnesses or otherwise unlawfully interfering with the administration of justice; or

(6) The child has escaped from a secure or nonsecure detention facility, or has demonstrated a pattern of repeated failure to comply with court-ordered placement pursuant to a delinquency petition in an out-of-home residential or foster care setting; or

(7) The child has incurred new charges while a resident, as a result of a prior delinquency petition, of a nonsecure detention facility, out-of-home residential or foster care setting and the parent, guardian, custodian or facility refuses to take custody of the child; or

(8) The child has breached a condition of release; or,

(9) Having been released pending adjudication on prior charges for which the child could have been detained, the child is alleged to have committed additional changes on which the child would not normally be permissibly held in secure detention under this section.

(b) Prior to making a decision of secure detention pending adjudication the Court shall consider and, where appropriate, employ any of the following alternatives:

(1) Release on the child's own recognizance;

(2) Release to parents, guardian, custodian or other willing member of the child's family acceptable to the Court;

(3) Release on bail, with or without conditions;

(4) Release with imposition of restrictions on activities, associations, movements and residence reasonably related to securing the appearance of the child at the next hearing;

(5) Release to a nonsecure detention alternative developed by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families such as home detention, daily monitoring, intensive home base services with supervision, foster placement, or a nonsecure residential setting.

(c) If the Court places a child in secure detention pending adjudication, the Court shall state in writing the basis for its detention determination pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and the reasons for not employing any of the secure detention alternatives under subsection (b) of this section. In the event that a risk assessment instrument has been completed for the child for the pending offense, with the resulting presumptive disposition being to release the child, or hold the child in a nonsecure detention facility, the Court shall further state in writing the basis for overriding that presumption.

(d) If a child has been placed in secure detention pending adjudication on a commitment from the Justice of the Peace Court, an initial hearing to determine the appropriateness of detention and to review conditions of release shall be held the next day the Family Court is in session.

(e) A detention review with counsel shall be heard within 14 days of the initial detention hearing and if detention is continued, detention review hearings shall be held thereafter at intervals not to exceed 30 days.

(f) When a juvenile is detained pending adjudication the adjudicatory hearing shall be held no later than 30 days from the date of detention. If no adjudicatory hearing is held within 30 days, upon motion by a juvenile, the Court shall within 72 hours fix a date for the adjudicatory hearing unless it grants a continuance of the hearing for good cause shown.

(g) Pending adjudication the Court may release a child alleged to be dependent or neglected to the custodian; or, where the welfare of the child appears to require such action, place the child in the care of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families or any suitable person or agency; provided, however, that if the child is placed with someone other than a relative, the Court may require an evaluation and report from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(h) In any instance in which a person responsible for the custody and care of a child refuses to take custody pending adjudication of that child, the Family Court may order the person legally liable therefore to pay for the child's care during the period of placement outside the person's own home.

(i) Pending adjudication, the Court may defer proceedings pending further investigation, medical or other examination, or where the interest of a child will thereby be served.

(j) For purposes of subsections (a)-(c) of this section above, the term "the Court" shall mean both the Justice of the Peace Court and the Family Court. In all other subsections the term shall mean the Family Court only.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 936; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, §§ 6, 20; 67 Del. Laws, c. 390, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 375, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 24, § 1.;

(a) Definitions. — For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) "Competency evaluator" shall mean an expert qualified by training and experience to conduct juvenile competency evaluations, familiar with juvenile competency standards, and familiar with juvenile treatment programs and services.

(2) "Not competent" shall mean a child who is unable to understand the nature of the proceedings against the child, or to give evidence in the child's own defense or to instruct counsel on the child's own behalf.

(b) Procedure to determine competency; competency evaluation.

(1) The issue of whether a child within Family Court jurisdiction, and not subject to § 1010(a) or (c)(3) of this title, is competent to proceed to trial may be raised by any party by the filing of a written motion or may be raised by the Court sua sponte. The motion shall state with specificity the facts that support the request for a competency evaluation. Any issues related to competency that are raised post adjudication shall be raised and decided by the Court based on applicable Family Court Rules and case law. The issue of whether a child subject to § 1010(a) or (c)(3) of this title is competent to proceed shall be determined by the Superior Court consistent with the rules and procedures of that Court and any other applicable law.

(2) If the Court determines that there are facts that support the completion of a competency evaluation, the prosecution of the case shall be stayed and the Court shall order that a competency evaluation be performed by a competency evaluator.

(3) The competency evaluation shall be performed and submitted to the Court within 30 days of the date that the competency evaluation is ordered by the Court if the child is in secure or nonsecure detention, and within 60 days if the child is not detained. Pending completion of the competency evaluation and a final determination of competency by the Court, the child's bail, placement, and conditions of bail shall continue to be determined pursuant to § 1007 of this title, and the applicable bail guidelines. The Court may order the competency evaluation to be performed on an outpatient basis or may place the child in a secure or nonsecure facility in order to facilitate the completion of the evaluation after considering less restrictive alternatives pursuant to § 1007 of this title.

(4) The competency evaluation submitted by the competency evaluator to the Court shall:

a. Specifically address the child's ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against the child, the ability of the child to give evidence in the child's own behalf, and the ability of the child to instruct counsel on the child's own behalf; and

b. Note any mental disorders or incapacities, developmental disabilities, cognitive impairments, and/or chronological immaturity or any other factor affecting competency, and recommend appropriate treatment or services; and

c. Specify any conditions that will not result in the restoration or acquisition of competency even with treatment.

Statements made by the child as part of the competency evaluation may not later be admitted as evidence at trial.

(5) Upon completion of the competency evaluation:

a. The parties may stipulate that the child is either competent or not competent and submit a stipulation to the Court for approval; or

b. Either party may retain their own competency evaluator to perform an additional evaluation; or

c. Either party may request that the Court hold a competency hearing.

(c) Court findings.

(1) If the Court rules after a stipulation or competency hearing that a child is competent, the prosecution of the case shall resume. If the Court rules that the child is not competent, the Court shall then make a finding of whether competency can be timely restored or acquired. If there is a reasonable expectation that competency can be timely restored or acquired, the Court shall order appropriate treatment or services based on the findings and recommendations contained in the competency evaluation. The underlying bases for a finding that a child is not competent may include, but are not limited to, significant mental disorder or incapacity, significant developmental delay, significant cognitive impairment, and/or chronological immaturity. A child's age alone may not serve as the basis for a finding that a child is not competent. The finding must be based on the individual child's capacities for competency.

(2) While the child undergoes treatment or services, bail, conditions of bail and placement shall continue to be determined pursuant to § 1007 of this title, and applicable bail guidelines. Prior to making a bail decision, the Court shall consider less restrictive alternatives pursuant to § 1007 of this title, and if the Court places or continues to place a child in secure detention, the Court shall state in writing the basis for its detention decision. The Court shall schedule review hearings to evaluate whether competency has been restored or acquired at least every 6 months. The Court may order further competency evaluations to assist the Court in determining whether competency has been restored or acquired. When the Court determines that competency has been restored or acquired, the prosecution of the case shall resume.

(3) If the Court finds that a child is not competent and is unable to have competency timely restored or acquired, the Court, after a hearing to consider the best interests of the child and the safety of the community, shall:

a. Dismiss nonviolent misdemeanor charges within 6 to 12 months;

b. Dismiss violent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony charges within 12 to 24 months;

c. Dismiss violent felony charges at age 18, unless the child was under age 14 at the time of arrest for violent felonies in which case the Court shall consider dismissal of violent felonies within 18 to 36 months.

The Court shall hold review hearings at least every 6 months until the case is dismissed, and may continue to order appropriate services until the case is dismissed.

(d) Limitation on competency finding. — Any finding by the Court regarding the competency of a child is limited to the specific delinquency proceedings at issue when competency is raised, and that finding shall not be the basis for any determination of competency in another court, competency as a witness in any proceeding, or competency to be proceeded against in another delinquency proceedings or any other proceedings in this Court.

78 Del. Laws, c. 241, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 6.;

(a) There is hereby established a Committee on Dispositional Guidelines for Juveniles.

(b) The members of the Committee shall include the following persons or their designees:

(1) The Chief Judge of the Family Court;

(2) Family Court Judge, designated by the Chief Judge;

(3) Secretary, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(4) Director, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Service;

(5) Attorney General;

(6) Public Defender;

(7) Executive Director, Criminal Justice Council;

(8) Executive Director, Delaware Council on Crime and Justice;

(9) Executive Vice President, Child, Inc.;

(10) Designee of the United Way of Delaware;

(11) Chair, Child Placement Review Board;

(12) Governor's Assistant for Criminal Justice;

(13) Chairperson of the Senate Committee of Children, Youth and Families;

(14) Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Resources;

(15) Executive Director, Delaware Volunteer Legal Service.

(c) The Committee is hereby directed to develop recommendations on guidelines for use in determining dispositions for juvenile offenders. The guidelines shall include clear, consistent and objective criteria for determining that the rehabilitation plan for a youth should include a period of secure incarceration. Such guidelines shall reflect the General Assembly's intent that only chronic or violent juvenile offenders require secure incarceration, and that other adjudicated youth are more appropriately and effectively served through less restrictive programs.

(d) The Committee shall also develop guidelines for the process to be used by the Family Court and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families in reaching dispositional decisions, which shall include:

(1) Consideration of the instant offense(s) for which the youth has been adjudicated;

(2) Consideration of the youth's prior record of delinquency;

(3) The availability of less restrictive interventions which will protect public safety and provide the youth an opportunity for rehabilitation.

(e) The Committee shall develop a list of services required to provide a full continuum of placement and/or treatment options for adjudicated delinquent youth. In developing this list, the Committee shall:

(1) Review available data from both the Family Court and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families concerning the characteristics of youth who come to the attention of these agencies;

(2) Review existing programs and services of the Family Court, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, and other social service agencies within the State;

(3) Review relevant information describing dispositional practices and services from other states and from the professional literature; and

(4) Consult with experts both within and outside the State.

(f) The Committee shall prepare a written report and recommendations and shall forward any recommendations requiring legislative action to the appropriate committee(s) of the General Assembly by January 1, 1991.

67 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 338, § 3.;

(a) Where the evidence supports such holding, the Court may declare a child to be dependent, neglected, abused, as those terms are defined by § 902 of Title 16, or delinquent. In declaring a child to be dependent, neglected or abused pursuant to this section, the Court shall give priority to ensuring the well-being and safety of the child.

(b) Following an adjudication by the Court in which it declares a child to be dependent or neglected, the Court may:

(1) Defer proceedings pending further investigation, medical or other examinations, or where the interests of the child will thereby be served;

(2) Allow a child to remain in his or her own home with or without court supervision;

(3) Grant custody of a child to any person or agency where satisfactory arrangements can be made but, in the event the child is placed in a home of an "adult individual" who fails to meet the definition of a "relative" in § 901 of this title, § 351 of Title 31 shall apply;

(4) Refer the child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for protective supervision;

(5) Grant custody of a child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for foster home placement;

(6) Grant the care or custody of a child to any licensed child-placing agency in this State that will accept the child, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(7) Grant the care or custody of a child to any division of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families provided by the State for the care of children;

(8) Grant the care or custody of a child to any private institution within or without the State that cares for children, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(9) Grant the care or custody of a child to any religious child-caring agency or institution, preferably of the child's religious faith or that of the parents, or either of them, within or without the State provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(10) Commit a child with a mental disorder or incapacity, or child with an intellectual disability for observation or treatment to any appropriate institution within the State, or to any institution without the State provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(11) Order such other treatment, rehabilitation or care as in the opinion of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families would best serve the needs of the child and society.

(c) Following an adjudication in which the Court declares that a child is delinquent, it may:

(1) Defer proceedings pending further investigation, medical or other examinations, or where the interests of the child will thereby be served, and release the child upon the child's own recognizance or upon the recognizance of a custodian or near relative, or upon bond with surety, to appear whenever and wherever notified to do so, or where the required bond is not provided, detain the child in a facility of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(2) Allow a child to remain in the child's own home with or without Court supervision;

(3) Place a child on probation;

(4) Fine a child;

(5) Order a child to make monetary restitution in whole or in part as the Court determines for out-of-pocket costs, losses or damages caused by the delinquent act of the child where the amount thereof can be ascertained;

(6) Award a judgment in favor of any municipal corporation, county, town, school district or agency of the State, or any person, partnership, corporation or association, or any religious organization whether incorporated or not, and against the parents or guardians of the delinquent child for the same or greater amount ordered against the delinquent child but not to exceed $5,000, provided that the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence presented that:

a. The parents or guardians knew of the child's delinquent nature; and

b. The parents or guardians failed to take reasonable measures to control the child;

(7) Require that any restitution ordered against the delinquent child precede the liability of the parents or guardians for the monetary damages caused by the child's delinquent act;

(8) Require, in the absence of objections by the victim of the delinquent act of the child, that any restitution ordered against the delinquent child may be discharged in an appropriate community service arrangement with the understanding that failure to complete the community service work in good faith shall result in the reversion of this obligation to the monetary basis originally ordered by the Court;

(9) Award custody of a child to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(10) Commit a child with a mental disorder or incapacity, or child with an intellectual disability for observation or treatment to any appropriate institution within the State, or to any institution without the State provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(11) Grant the care or custody of a child to any private institution within or without the State that cares for children, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made;

(12) Order the Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Transportation to:

a. Revoke or suspend the driving privileges or operator's license possessed by the child;

b. Postpone the child's eligibility to obtain driving privileges or an operator's license if the child does not possess such privilege or license; or

c. Enter immediately all traffic, alcohol and/or drug adjudications of any minor on a driving record created by the Division of Motor Vehicles notwithstanding the minor's driver's license status, age and/or eligibility for a driver's license

in any case for a period not less than 3 months nor more than 4 years;

(13) Grant custody of a person who is charged with an act of delinquency prior to reaching the age of 18 years but becomes 18 years of age prior to disposition of the charge, to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families;

(14) Order the child to be placed under house arrest under the same requirements set forth in § 4332 and subchapter IX of Chapter 43 of Title 11;

(15) Order such other treatment, rehabilitation or care as in the opinion of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families would best serve the needs of the child and society.

(16) Following an adjudication in which the Court declares that a child is delinquent and sentences the child to participate in the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program, the Court may impose such conditions upon the parent, guardian or custodian of the person adjudicated as the Court deems necessary to assist the person adjudicated in receiving all the treatment, rehabilitation or care ordered by the Court as best serving the needs of the child and society under this section or, in the opinion of the Court, as will enhance the ability of such parent, guardian or custodian in providing the child with adequate support, guidance and supervision necessary to meet the child's physical, mental or emotional health and well-being, provided that such parent, guardian or custodian has been previously served by summons in accordance with § 1006 of this title;

(17) When the Court sentences a child to participate in counseling, mental health treatment or to a Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services consultation or assessment as required, the Court shall be authorized, in addition to any other disposition authorized by this section, to order such child's parents, guardian or custodian to participate in counseling as determined by the Court or as recommended by the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services. Such counseling shall be designed to assist in deterring future delinquent or unruly actions or other conduct or conditions which would be harmful to the child or society. If the child is court-ordered into a detention facility or residential treatment facility, the Court may order the parents, guardian or custodian to participate in any treatment or counseling program recommended by the facility;

(18) Order any and all registrations or relief therefrom as required under § 4123 of Title 11 where the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent of an offense that would otherwise render the juvenile a sex offender under § 4121(a)(4) of Title 11;

(19) Notwithstanding any provision of law or court rule to the contrary, and except for any assessment imposed pursuant to Chapter 90 of Title 11, waive or suspend payment of any fine, cost or penalty assessment, including those otherwise deemed mandatory or not subject to waiver or suspension, as part of the sentence imposed on a delinquent child.

The authority given the Court by paragraphs (c)(5), (6), (7) and (8) of this section shall be in addition to any other existing statutory or common law remedy.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the phrase "provided satisfactory arrangements can be made" shall mean that the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families has approved payment for the placement of a child based upon a contract between an agency or institution and the Department or that such a placement can provide a child with the necessary and/or appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation in the judgment of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(e) Subject to the provisions governing amenability pursuant to § 1010 of this title, the Court shall commit a delinquent child to the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families under such circumstances and for such periods of time as hereinafter provided:

(1) Any child who has been adjudicated delinquent by this Court of 1 or more offenses which would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, and who shall thereafter within 12 months commit 1 or more offenses occurring subsequent to the said adjudication which offense or offenses would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, and thereafter be adjudged delinquent of said offense or offenses, is declared a child in need of mandated institutional treatment, and this Court shall commit the child so designated to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for at least a 6-month period of institutional confinement;

(2) A child committed to the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families pursuant to this subsection shall not be released from institutional confinement on pass, on extended leave or to aftercare during the first 6 months of said commitment unless the Director of Youth Rehabilitation Services, in the Director's discretion, determines that it is in the best interest of the child's treatment to participate in programs which may require the child to leave the institution; thereafter, a child committed to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families pursuant to this subsection shall not be released from institutional confinement on pass, on extended leave or to aftercare, unless the Judge of the Family Court who originally executed the commitment order or a Judge of the Family Court designated by the Chief Judge shall, upon a petition filed by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (or its duly authorized representative), the child, the parent(s) or guardian of said child, or by the Court's own initiative, with notice to the Attorney General, determine by a preponderance of the evidence presented at a hearing that the child has so progressed in a course of mandated institutional treatment that release would best serve both the welfare of the public and the interest of the child or unless the Director of Youth Rehabilitation Services, in the Director's discretion, determines that it is in the best interest of the child's treatment to participate in programs which may require the child to leave the institution;

(3) Where a child has been declared in need of mandated institutional treatment in accordance with paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section, and the child is subsequently charged with having committed 1 or more offenses which offense or offenses occurred subsequent to the child having been declared a child in need of mandated institutional treatment, the Court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the child is amenable to the rehabilitative processes of the Court pursuant to § 1010(c) of this title. "Offense" in this paragraph shall mean all offenses which would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, with the exception of a charge of escape pursuant to subpart E of subchapter VI of Chapter 5 of Title 11;

(4) Whenever a child appears before the Court on charges which would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, said child and any parent, guardian or custodian of said child who is present shall be specifically advised of the operation of this subsection;

(5) Nothing hereinbefore provided shall be construed as prohibiting the Court, upon petition and recommendation of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, from securing for any child otherwise subject to the mandatory commitment provisions of this subsection such care and treatment as it deems necessary for diagnosed mental disorders or incapacities, or intellectual disabilities, provided that the provisions for such treatment shall not deter the Court from imposing such mandatory term of commitment as is applicable under this subsection unless the same shall be sooner suspended in accordance with paragraph (e)(6) of this section;

(6) As used in this subsection, "child" shall mean any juvenile who is charged with an act or course of conduct occurring on or after the child's 14th birthday which causes this subsection to be applicable;

(7) A copy of each and every order or disposition of the Court respecting a child committed pursuant to this subsection shall be made available to the victim or victims of the delinquent acts giving rise to the commitment upon written request to the Court therefor.

(f) Following adjudication or election by the juvenile in lieu of trial pursuant to § 4177B of Title 21, the Court must order the Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Transportation after an adjudication of delinquency in violation of § 4177 of Title 21, or election by the juvenile in lieu of trial pursuant to § 4177B of Title 21 to:

(1) Revoke or suspend the driving privileges or operator's license possessed by such child until that child reaches the age when legally allowed to consume intoxicating liquor. This revocation or suspension shall not be subject to waiver except after a minimum period of 6 months from the date of the license is received by the Motor Vehicle Division, and then only if the child successfully completes a course of instruction similar to that required by § 4177B of Title 21 and has demonstrated a critical need for the return of restricted driving privileges.

(2) A critical need shall include loss of a meaningful employment opportunity, or loss of a school opportunity, or any other urgent need of the child or the child's immediate family the continuation of which is critical to the best interests of the child but only if and for so long as no other member of the immediate family is realistically capable of satisfying such urgent need.

(3) The Division of Motor Vehicles shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to verify the existence of a critical need, to permit the return of only so much of the privileges as are necessary to reasonably satisfy such critical need.

(4) Any person whose driver's license has been revoked and to whom a conditional/restricted license has been issued, under this chapter, and who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of this State contrary to the conditions placed upon such conditional/restricted license during the period of such conditional/restricted license, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $200.

(5) The Department, upon receiving a record of conviction of any person upon the charge of operating a motor vehicle in violation of the conditions imposed upon said conditional/restricted license during the period of such conditional/restricted license, shall forthwith direct such person to surrender said conditional/restricted license to the Department until the age when legally allowed to consume intoxicating liquor.

(g) A child who is adjudicated delinquent on charges which would constitute a violation of § 2701 of Title 21 if the child were charged as an adult shall be prohibited from receiving a temporary instruction permit or an operator's license until the later of the child's 17th birthday or 1 year from the date of adjudication.

(h) No adjudication upon the status of a child shall be deemed a conviction nor shall it be deemed to imply that a child is a criminal except as provided in § 1010 of this title, any other provision of this Code, any court rule or rule of procedure or otherwise as determined by any court to be warranted in the interest of justice.

(i) Neither the adjudication nor any evidence given in any case shall be admissible against such child in any future civil or criminal proceeding in any court except for the purpose of a presentence investigation ordered by this or any other court, or as provided for by any other provision of this Code, any court rule or rule of procedure or otherwise as determined by any court to be warranted in the interest of justice.

(j)(1) For the purpose of this subsection, the following definitions shall apply:

a. "Adjudication" or "adjudicated" — for the purposes of this subsection (j), "adjudication" or "adjudicated" shall mean any type of adjudication of delinquency contained within the definition of "conviction" or "convicted" pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 16, and shall include a probation before adjudication plea or admission, and a mental health or drug court deferred plea regardless of whether the plea or charge was subsequently discharged or dismissed under such programs.

b. "Facility" means any residential shelter, group home, foster home, treatment center, individualized residential treatment home ("IRT"), institution or any other place designated as a temporary or permanent residential placement for children located in the State, excluding accredited or licensed hospitals.

c. "Felony level offense" means any delinquent act constituting a felony under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.

d. "Mixing" means placement by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families of any child charged with or adjudicated of a felony level juvenile offense, or adjudicated of any serious misdemeanor level juvenile offense, in the same facility with dependent or neglected children who have not committed or been charged with any delinquent act.

e. "Repeat offender" means any child adjudicated delinquent of 3 or more serious misdemeanor level juvenile offenses occurring within 24 months of the request for mixing.

f. "Serious misdemeanor level juvenile offense" means any delinquent act constituting the following misdemeanors or any court adjudicated violation of probation or juvenile aftercare or parole in which the underlying adjudication is any of the following misdemeanors, whether under the laws of this State, any similar laws in other states, or the United States:

Section 501 of Title 11 (Criminal Solicitation in the Third Degree)

Section 601 of Title 11 (Offensive Touching)

Section 602 of Title 11 (Menacing)

Section 611 of Title 11 (Assault in the Third Degree)

Section 621 of Title 11 (Terroristic Threatening)

Section 625 of Title 11 (Unlawfully Administering Drugs)

Section 628A of Title 11 (Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree)

Section 763 of Title 11 (Sexual Harassment)

Sections 764-765 of Title 11 (Indecent Exposure in the First or Second Degree)

Section 766 of Title 11 (Incest)

Section 767 of Title 11 (Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Third Degree)

Section 781 of Title 11 (Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree)

Section 804 of Title 11 (Reckless Burning or Exploding)

Section 1102 of Title 11 (Endangering the Welfare of a Child)

Section 1251 of Title 11 (Escape in the Third Degree)

Section 1257 of Title 11 (Resisting Arrest With Force or Violence)

Section 1311 of Title 11 (Harassment)

Section 1341 of Title 11 (Lewdness)

Section 1443 of Title 11 (Carrying a Concealed Dangerous Instrument).

(2) No dependent or neglected child shall be placed in a secure or nonsecure detention or correctional facility unless charged with or found to have committed a delinquent act. Except for youth placed, detained, or sentenced pursuant to § 2103A or § 4204A of Title 11 and except for youth otherwise properly proceeded against as adults in Superior Court, no child shall be placed in an adult detention or adult correctional facility.

(3) There shall be no mixing unless the following requirements are met:

a. When a child is charged with or found to have committed a felony level juvenile offense or is a repeat offender, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families must obtain a court order authorizing such placement, after the Secretary or a Division Director of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families or their designee shall recommend such placement in writing. Before authorizing mixing, the Family Court must specifically find that the proposed placement of the child offender is not expected to present an unreasonable and unmanageable physical risk to other children in the facility and that the placement is not contrary to the best interests of the other children in the facility.

b. When a child who is not a repeat offender is found to have committed a serious misdemeanor level juvenile offense, no mixing shall occur unless the Secretary or a Division Director of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, or their designee, after review of the case, certifies in writing that the proposed placement of the child offender is not expected to present an unreasonable and unmanageable physical risk to other children in the facility and that the placement is not contrary to the best interests of the other children in the facility.

(4)a. A court order approving mixing may be requested via a motion in a dependency/neglect proceeding or in the delinquency proceeding concerning the child who needs to be mixed. The court may decide such motion without a hearing, and such motions may be requested, heard and decided via oral motion to the court during any hearing or trial concerning the child.

b. Where the date of placement could not have been reasonably determined in advance of placement, facilities and agencies which are subject to this subsection (j) may provisionally place a child in such facility, pending a later determination by the Family Court or the Secretary or Division Director of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families or their designee, whichever may be applicable. Where such provisional placement has been made, a request for mixing approval that requires a Family Court order under paragraph (j)(3)a. of this section shall be filed with the Family Court no later than the second business day after such placement is made. In all other provisional placements, the Secretary or Division Director or their designee shall make the written certifications required by this subsection (j) no later than the second business day after such placement is made.

(5) All placements which result in mixing shall be reviewed within 5 working days by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. Subsequently, such placement shall be reviewed after 2 months, and regularly thereafter. The 2-month review shall be made by the Child Placement Review Board. The purpose of the review shall be to determine whether, under the placement, the child offender continues to not present an unreasonable and unmanageable physical risk to other children in the facility, and that such placement is not contrary to the best interests of the other children in the facility.

(k) Subject to the provisions governing amenability pursuant to § 1010 of this title, the Court shall commit a delinquent child to the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families if the child who has been adjudicated delinquent by this Court of 1 or more offenses which would constitute either possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony or robbery 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) were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State. Such child is declared a child in need of mandated institutional treatment, and this Court shall commit the child so designated to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families for at least a 12-month period of institutional confinement.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 937; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 307, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 657, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 658, §§ 1, 2; 61 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 377, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 331, §§ 1, 2; 63 Del. Laws, c. 87, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, §§ 6, 8, 20, 22-24; 65 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§ 1, 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 13, §§ 1, 3; 66 Del. Laws, c. 125, §§ 1-3; 66 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 3; 66 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 410, §§ 1-5; 67 Del. Laws, c. 429, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 445, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 14; 72 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 338, § 4; 73 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 3; 74 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 27; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 2, 3, 138; 74 Del. Laws, c. 345, § 3; 75 Del. Laws, c. 369, §§ 1, 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 390, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 198, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 327, § 210; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 19-21; 79 Del. Laws, c. 123, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 206, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 303, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 7.;

After accepting an admission or a plea of nolo contendere to an act of delinquency, the court may, prior to entering an adjudication of delinquency, under § 1009 of this title and with the consent of the child and the State, stay the declaration of delinquency, defer further proceedings, and place the child on probation before adjudication subject to the same limitations and upon the same terms and conditions as are applied to adult criminal offenders in § 4218 of Title 11.

75 Del. Laws, c. 364, § 1.;

(a) A child shall be proceeded against as an adult where:

(1) The acts alleged to have been committed constitute first- or second-degree murder, rape in the first degree or rape in the second 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) or kidnapping in the first degree, or any attempt to commit said crimes;

(2) The child is not amenable to the rehabilitative processes available to the Court;

(3) The child has previously been adjudicated delinquent of 1 or more offenses which would constitute a felony were he or she charged as an adult under the laws of this State, and has reached his or her sixteenth birthday and the acts which form the basis of the current allegations constitute 1 or more of the following offenses: conspiracy first degree, rape in the third degree, arson first degree, burglary first degree, home invasion, §§ 4752 and 4753 of Title 16 or any attempt to commit any of the offenses set forth in this paragraph;

(4) The General Assembly has heretofore or shall hereafter so provide.

(b) In all cases specified in subsection (a) of this section the Court shall, upon application, hold a preliminary hearing and, if the facts warrant, thereafter refer the child to the Superior Court or to any other court having jurisdiction over the offense for trial as an adult.

(c)(1) In determining whether a child is amenable to the rehabilitative processes of the Court, the Court shall take into consideration, among others, the following factors which are deemed to be nonexclusive:

a. Whether, in view of the age and other personal characteristics of the child, the people of Delaware may best be protected and the child may best be made a useful member of society by some form of correctional treatment which the Family Court lacks power to assign; or

b. Whether it is alleged death or serious personal injury was inflicted by the child upon anyone in the course of commission of the offense or in immediate flight therefrom; or

c. Whether the child has been convicted of any prior criminal offense; or

d. Whether the child has previously been subjected to any form of correctional treatment by the Family Court; or

e. Whether it is alleged a dangerous instrument was used by the child; or

f. Whether other participants in the same offense are being tried as adult offenders.

(2) The Court shall defer further proceedings in the Family Court and shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the child is amenable to the rehabilitative process of the Court:

a. Upon motion of the Court, whenever a child is charged with delinquency;

b. Upon motion of the Attorney General, whenever a child has reached his or her fourteenth birthday and is thereafter charged with being delinquent; or

c. Whenever a child has reached his or her fourteenth birthday, and is thereafter charged in accordance with § 1009(c)(5) of this title.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or title to the contrary, any child who has previously been declared to be nonamenable to the rehabilitative processes of the Court pursuant to this section, or who has previously been the subject of a denied application for transfer pursuant to § 1011 of this title, and who thereafter is charged with being delinquent shall be referred to the Superior Court or to any other court having jurisdiction over the offense for trial as an adult.

If it decides that the child is amenable, it may proceed to hear the case. If it decides that the child is not amenable, it shall refer the child to the Superior Court or to any other court having jurisdiction over the offense for trial as an adult.

(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of this title to the contrary, in any case in which the Superior Court has jurisdiction over a child, the 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.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or title to the contrary, when a child has reached his or her fifteenth birthday and is thereafter charged with being delinquent by having committed any offense which would constitute a felony were he or she charged as an adult under the laws of this State, said offense occurring while the child was an escapee from any Level IV or V facility operated for or by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, upon motion of the Attorney General, or upon its own motion, the Court shall defer further proceedings in the Family Court and shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the child should be referred to the Superior Court for trial as an adult. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the Court finds that evidence demonstrates that there is a fair likelihood that the child may be convicted of the charge or charges, it shall refer the child to the Superior Court for trial as an adult. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the Court determines that there is no fair likelihood of conviction, the case shall remain within the jurisdiction of the Family Court, subject to all other provisions of this section and title.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 938; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 657, § 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 269, § 15; 69 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 596, §§ 2-6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 598, §§ 1-3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 285, §§ 25, 26; 73 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 28, 33; 75 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 252, § 3.;

(a) In any case in which the Superior Court has jurisdiction over a child, the Attorney General may transfer the case to the Family Court for trial and disposition if, in the Attorney General's opinion, the interests of justice would be best served.

(b) Upon application of the defendant in any case where the Superior Court has original jurisdiction over a child, the Court may transfer the case to the Family Court for trial and disposition if, in the opinion of the Court, the interests of justice would be best served by such transfer. Before ordering any such transfer, the Superior Court shall hold a hearing at which it may consider evidence as to the following factors and such other factors which, in the judgment of the Court are deemed relevant:

(1) The nature of the present offense and the extent and nature of the defendant's prior record, if any;

(2) The nature of past treatment and rehabilitative efforts and the nature of the defendant's response thereto, if any; and

(3) Whether the interests of society and the defendant would be best served by trial in the Family Court or in the Superior Court.

(c)(1) The hearing described in subsection (b) of this section shall be held by the Superior Court only upon timely application of the defendant. Such application shall be deemed timely if made within 30 days of arraignment. No enlargement of said time period shall be permitted. Failure of the defendant to make application within the 30-day period shall constitute a waiver of his or her rights under this section.

(2) The hearing shall be held by the Superior Court as soon after such application is made as is practicable. Within 90 days of the arraignment, the Superior Court shall announce its decision as to whether the case is to be transferred to the Family Court; however, the Court's failure to do so shall not be considered as providing a basis for transferring the case to the Family Court, for dismissing the charges, or for providing any other form of relief.

(d) In the event the case is transferred by the Superior Court under this section, the case shall proceed as if it had been initially brought in the Family Court, and the Family Court shall have jurisdiction of the case, anything to the contrary in this chapter notwithstanding.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or title to the contrary, the Superior Court shall retain jurisdiction over any case involving a child where the child has previously been declared to be nonamenable to the rehabilitative processes of the Family Court pursuant to § 1010 of this title, or where the child has previously been the subject of a denied application for transfer pursuant to this section, or where the child has previously been convicted as an adult of any felony as set forth in Title 11 or 16.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 939; 58 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 598, §§ 4, 5; 73 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 1.;

(a) A child who has been referred to the Program by the Attorney General may qualify for the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program.

(b) At the time of arraignment of any person qualifying under subsection (a) of this section for the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program and who elects to apply under this section shall admit to the offense by entering a plea of delinquency. The Court shall order the child to participate in a substance abuse evaluation to be conducted by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, and to comply with any treatment recommended by that agency, and any other sentencing conditions deemed appropriate.

(c) After the entry of a judgment of delinquency against a child participating in the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program, a judge or commissioner shall vacate the judgment of delinquency and sentence pertaining thereto 6 months after the Court is satisfied that the child has completed the terms and obligations of the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program and has complied with the conditions of probation imposed at the time of adjudication.

(d) Any child actively participating in the Family Court Adjudicated Drug Court Program as a result of a Family Court misdemeanor adjudication may motion the Court for permission to apply for a Level I Learner's Permit or driver's license under the following terms.

(1) That no driving privileges, prior driver's license and/or conditional driver's license have been otherwise revoked within the preceding 12 months;

(2) That at least 60 days or the length of time prior to licensure required by 23 U.S.C. § 159, whichever is longer, has elapsed since the beginning of the child's active participation in the Family Court Adjudicated Juvenile Drug Court Program and the child has completed at least 12 hours of treatment through the drug treatment provider;

(3) In the event that the Court grants the request, and if the child is otherwise qualified, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall grant the child a Level I Learner's Permit or reinstate the child's driving privileges as specified in the Court order; and

(4) Except for a Level I Learner's Permit, the Court may restrict the driving privileges granted under this section. These restrictions may include but are not limited to the right to drive to school, work or to the office of a treatment provider.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 21 or Title 4 to the contrary, the adjudication of delinquency in this Program shall not result in the revocation or suspension of a driving license or driving privileges, but the child shall be determined "not eligible" for licensing by the Court until the child obtains a Court order granting a motion submitted pursuant to this Section.

73 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 135, §§ 1, 2.;

Any individual who receives a Delaware gubernatorial pardon shall, as an effect of said pardon, automatically have that individual's juvenile record, if any, expunged.

75 Del. Laws, c. 146, § 1.;

The General Assembly finds that juvenile arrest records are a hindrance to a person's present and future ability to obtain employment, obtain an education, or to obtain credit. This subchapter is intended to protect children and citizens from unwarranted damage which may occur as a result of a juvenile arrest record, even if the arrest resulted in an adjudication of delinquency.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2.;

(a) A child, through his or her parent or guardian, or upon becoming an adult, may file a petition seeking to expunge the child's juvenile arrest record. For the purposes of §§ 1016-1019 of this title, the child or person seeking an expungement shall be deemed "the petitioner." All such petitions shall be filed in the Family Court in the county where the most recent case was terminated, disposed of, or concluded, setting forth the relevant facts and requesting expungement of the police records and court records, including any electronic records, relating to the charge or charges.

(b) The petitioner shall attach a copy of that petitioner's criminal history as maintained by the State Bureau of Identification to any petition requesting expungement filed pursuant to this subchapter. The State Bureau of Identification may charge a reasonable fee in providing a certified copy of the petitioner's criminal history. The Court shall summarily reject any petition for expungement that does not include the petitioner's criminal history.

(c) The Family Court must consider the entire juvenile arrest record in granting or denying the petition, consistent with sections §§ 1017 and 1018 of this title. The Court shall either grant the petition, ordering the expungement of the petitioner's entire juvenile arrest record, or deny the petition. The Court may not order that only a portion of the petitioner's juvenile arrest record be expunged, unless the State, pursuant to § 1018(e) of this title in the interests of justice, petitions the Court to expunge an arrest that would otherwise not qualify for immediate and mandatory expungement under this subchapter. The Court may order expungement of charges originating in a different county.

(d) The Family Court shall establish a reasonable fee schedule for the filing of a petition of expungement pursuant to this subchapter.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 1.;

For purposes of juvenile expungement, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Adjudication of delinquency" means a finding of guilt or nolo contendere entered by the Court for a charge or charges following a plea or trial.

(2) "Case" means a charge or set of charges related to a complaint or incident that are or could be properly joined for prosecution.

(3) "Felony sex offense" means a delinquent act constituting any felony offense listed in § 4121(a)(4) of Title 11.

(4) "Misdemeanor sex offense" means a delinquent act constituting any misdemeanor offense listed in § 4121(a)(4) of Title 11.

(5) "Prior adjudication of delinquency" means an adjudication of delinquency entered by the Court, that occurs prior to the commission of a separate and distinct offense.

(6) "Subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction" means an adjudication of delinquency or an adult conviction resulting from the commission of a separate and distinct offense that occurs after a prior adjudication of delinquency.

(7) "Terminated in favor of the child" means:

a. The child is acquitted of all charges related to the case; or

b. A nolle prosequi is entered on all charges related to the case; or

c. The charges have been otherwise dismissed for any reason, including, but not limited to dismissals following successful completion of arbitration, probation before adjudication of delinquency, or any court-approved diversion program.

(8) "Violent felony" means a delinquent act constituting any offense listed in § 4201 of Title 11.

(9) "Violent misdemeanor" means a delinquent act constituting 1 of the misdemeanors enumerated under § 603, § 611, § 621, § 628, § 781, § 1257, or § 1325 of Title 11.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 2.;

(a) The Family Court shall grant a petition for expungement if:

(1) A child is charged with the commission of 1 or more crimes designated as a misdemeanor or violation in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23, or a county or municipal code, ordinance, or regulation which is the same as, or equivalent to, any offense defined in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23, and the case is terminated in favor of the child, provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges.

(2) A child is charged with the commission of 1 or more crimes designated as a felony in Title 11 or 16, and the case is terminated in favor of the child, provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that at least 1 year has passed following the date the case was terminated, disposed of, or concluded in Family Court.

(3) A child has no more than 1 adjudication of delinquency in a case where the crime or crimes for which the child was adjudicated delinquent are designated as felonies or misdemeanors or violations in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23, or a county or municipal code, ordinance, or regulation which is the same as, or equivalent to, any offenses enumerated in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23 excepting violent felonies and misdemeanor or felony sex offenses, and provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that at least 3 years have passed following the date the adjudication of delinquency was entered in Family Court.

(b) The petitioner is not required to provide a copy of the petition to the Attorney General, when filing an expungement petition pursuant to this section.

(c) If an order expunging the records is granted by the Court, all the police and court records, including any electronic records, specified in the order shall, within 60 days of the order, be removed from the files, and placed in the control of the Supervisor of the State Bureau of Identification who shall be designated to retain control over all expunged records, and who shall insure that the records or the information contained therein is not released for any reason except as specified in this subchapter. A court or police agency that receives a notice of expungement from the State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Bureau with written confirmation of the completion of the expungement. The State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Court that entered the order with written confirmation of the execution of the order. In response to requests from nonlaw-enforcement officers for information or records on the person who was arrested, the law-enforcement officers and departments shall reply, with respect to the arrest and proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record. No order requiring an expungement of any record shall be entered or enforced if such order is contrary to the provisions of this subchapter. The State Bureau of Identification shall promptly notify the Court if it is unable to comply with any order issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(d) An offense for which records have been expunged pursuant to this section does not have to be disclosed as an arrest by the petitioner for any reason.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 3.;

(a) The Family Court may grant a petition for expungement if:

(1) A child is charged in a case with the commission of an offense designated as a felony in Title 11 or 16, and the case is terminated in favor of the child, provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that less than 1 year has passed following the date the case was terminated, disposed of, or concluded in Family Court.

(2) A child has no more than 1 adjudication of delinquency in a case where the offense or offenses for which the child was adjudicated delinquent are misdemeanor sex offenses, provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that at least 3 years have passed following the date the adjudication of delinquency was entered in Family Court.

(3) A child has no more than 2 adjudications of delinquency involving separate and distinct cases where the offenses for which the child was adjudicated delinquent are designated as misdemeanors or violations in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23, or a county or municipal code, ordinance, or regulation which is the same as, or equivalent to, any offenses enumerated in Title 4, 7, 11, 16 or 23, excepting violent misdemeanors, provided the petitioner has no prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided the petitioner has no other subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that at least 5 years have passed following the date the second adjudication of delinquency was entered in Family Court.

(4) A child has no more than 1 adjudication of delinquency in a case where the offense or offenses for which the child was adjudicated delinquent are designated as violent felonies or felony sex offenses excepting rape first degree (§ 773 of Title 11), rape second degree (§ 772 of Title 11), arson first degree (§ 803 of Title 11), robbery first degree (§ 832 of Title 11), burglary first degree (§ 826 of Title 11), and home invasion (§ 826A of Title 11), provided the petitioner has no other prior adjudication of delinquency, and provided that the petitioner has no subsequent adjudication of delinquency or adult conviction, and provided that the petitioner has no pending criminal charges, and provided that more than 5 years have passed following the date the adjudication of delinquency was entered in Family Court.

(b) The petitioner shall cause a copy of any petition filed under this section to be served upon the Attorney General, who may file an objection or answer to the petition within 30 days thereafter.

(c) Unless the Court believes a hearing is necessary, petitions filed pursuant to this section shall be disposed of without a hearing. If the Court finds that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest of the petitioner causes, or may cause, circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner, it shall enter an order requiring the expungement of the police and court records, including any electronic records relating to the charge or case. Otherwise, it shall deny the petition. Although the Court will recognize a rebuttable presumption that juvenile records cause a manifest injustice for the petitioner, the burden shall nevertheless be on the petitioner to allege specific facts in support of that petitioner's allegation of manifest injustice, and the burden shall be on the petitioner to prove such manifest injustice by a preponderance of the evidence.

(d) The State shall be made party defendant to the proceeding. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Court may appeal, as provided by law in civil cases.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter or any other statute or rule to the contrary, the Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee responsible for prosecuting a delinquency action may petition the Court to expunge the instant arrest record of a child if at the time of a state motion to dismiss or entry of a nolle prosequi in the case, the State has determined that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest of the child for the matter dismissed or for which a nolle prosequi was entered may cause circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to the juvenile.

(f) If an order expunging the records is granted by the Court, all the police and court records, including any electronic records, specified in the order shall, within 60 days of the order, be removed from the files, and placed in the control of the Supervisor of the State Bureau of Identification who shall be designated to retain control over all expunged records, and who shall insure that the records or the information contained therein is not released for any reason except as specified in this subchapter. A court or police agency that receives a notice of expungement from the State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Bureau with written confirmation of the completion of the expungement. The State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Court that entered the order with written confirmation of the execution of the order. In response to requests from nonlaw-enforcement officers for information or records on the person who was arrested, law-enforcement officers and departments shall reply, with respect to the arrest and proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record. No order requiring an expungement of any record shall be entered or enforced if such order is contrary to the provisions of this subchapter. The State Bureau of Identification shall promptly notify the Court if it is unable to comply with any order issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter or any other statute or any other statute or rule to the contrary, the police records and the court records, including any electronic records, relating to any charge set forth in Title 21, or in any county or municipal code, ordinance, or regulation which is the same as, or equivalent to, any offense enumerated in Title 21, shall not be expunged pursuant to this subchapter.

(h) An offense for which records have been expunged pursuant to this section does not have to be disclosed as an arrest by the petitioner for any reason.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 252, § 4; 78 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 4.;

(a) Except for disclosure to law-enforcement officers acting in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity or for the purpose of an employment application as an employee of a law-enforcement agency, it shall be unlawful for any person having or acquiring access to an expunged court or police record to open or review it or to disclose to another person any information from it without an order from the Court which ordered the record expunged. In addition to such other lawful purposes as may be prescribed by statute or otherwise, criminal justice agencies shall have access to records of expunged probations before adjudication of delinquency, arbitration and past participation in the First Offenders Controlled Substance Diversion Program or a court-supervised drug diversion program for the purpose of determining whether a person is eligible for a probation before judgment, or probation before adjudication of delinquency as set forth in § 1009A of this title and § 4218 of Title 11, or for participation in the First Offenders Controlled Substance Diversion Program, as set forth in § 4767 of Title 16, or for participation in a court-supervised drug diversion program.

(b) Where disclosure to law-enforcement officers is permitted by subsection (a) of this section, such disclosure shall apply for the purpose of investigating particular criminal activity in which the person, whose records have been expunged, is considered a suspect and the crime being investigated is a felony, or pursuant to an investigation of an employment application as an employee of a law-enforcement agency.

(c) Nothing contained in this section shall require the destruction of photographs or fingerprints taken in connection with any felony arrest and which are utilized solely by law-enforcement officers in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity.

(d) Nothing herein shall require the destruction of court records or records of the Department of Justice. However, all such records, including docket books, relating to a charge which has been the subject of an expungement order shall be handled and stored so as to ensure that they are not open to public inspection or disclosure.

(e) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(f) For a period of 3 years following the date the Court grants a petition for expungement, the State Bureau of Identification shall make available to criminal justice agencies such electronic records as will enable criminal justice agencies to determine whether a child or person who seeks to participate in arbitration, a court-supervised diversion program, or probation before adjudication of delinquency, or probation before judgment, has done so before and had their record expunged.

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2.;

78 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 2; repealed by 78 Del. Laws, c. 343, § 5, eff. July 18, 2012.;

(a) Prosecution of a person subject to the jurisdiction of the Court who has reached the person's eighteenth birthday prior to the time of commission of the offense shall be without trial by jury and may be prosecuted either by an information or a complaint. Neither the Attorney General nor any of the Deputy Attorneys General is required to appear to prosecute any such criminal case before a Master.

(b) A summons or other process may be employed to command the appearance of such person before the Court.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, such person may be released on the person's own recognizance; or under such bail as a Judge of the Court may require pending disposition of the case; or, in default of bail, such person may be committed to the Department of Services to Children, Youth, and Their Families or to the Department of Correction, pending disposition of the case.

(d) In connection with either a secured release or an unsecured release, a Judge of the Court may impose one or more of the following conditions:

(1) Require the person to return to the Court at any time upon notice, and submit to the orders and processes of the Court;

(2) Place the person in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise the person;

(3) Place the person under the supervision of a presentence officer, probation officer or pretrial services officer;

(4) Place restrictions on the travel, associations, activities, consumption of alcoholic beverages, drugs or barbiturates or place of abode of the person during the period of release;

(5) Require the person to have no contact or restricted contact with the victim, victim's family, victim's residence, place of employment, school or location of offense;

(6) Require periodic reports from the person to an appropriate agency or officer of the Court, including the attorney for the accused;

(7) Require psychiatric or medical treatment of the person;

(8) Require the person to provide suitable support for the person's family under supervision of an office of the Court;

(9) Require a person, who has been convicted, to duly prosecute any post-conviction remedies or appeals; and if the case is affirmed, or is reversed and remanded, such person shall forthwith surrender to the Court;

(10) Impose any other condition deemed reasonably necessary to assure appearance as required, and to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(e) If the person is committed, in lieu of bail, a Judge of the Court may require such person, while in custody, to have no contact with the victim or with the victim's family.

(f) The accused, or the Attorney General, may apply to the Court for any modification of any determination by the Court as to the decision of the type of release, the amount and nature of the bond or surety or the conditions of release.

(g) Where a Judge modifies any bail amount, such Judge shall review conditions and may impose any conditions as are set forth in this section, including specific considerations for the safety of the victim and the community.

(h) If the accused has furnished surety, a Judge of the Court shall, at that time, review conditions and may impose conditions as are set forth in this section including specific considerations for the safety of the victim and the community.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 940; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 300, § 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 413, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) When any adult shall have been arrested for any offense within the jurisdiction of this Court, the arresting officer may bring the person directly to the Court in the appropriate county if it be in session, unless a Judge of the Court directs otherwise, or, if the Court is not in session, before any other criminal court.

(b) Such Court shall inquire into the matter and shall hold the accused on the accused's own recognizance or on bail, with or without surety, and may bind material witnesses for their appearance before this Court at its next session or at such time as they may be notified by this Court to appear; and in default of bail, the accused and material witnesses shall be committed to the Department of Health and Social Services to be delivered to this Court at its next session. All recognizances and bail bonds shall be forthwith forwarded to the Court in the appropriate county.

(c) The accused shall, upon application, be granted a preliminary hearing.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 941; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Where the facts warrant the Court may adjudge an adult guilty of the offense charged and may:

(1) Impose the penalty provided by law; or

(2) Suspend the penalty, or any part thereof, and place the person on probation under such terms and conditions as the Court deems proper.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 942; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

(a) For the purposes of this section, "domestic violence" shall be considered as any act or acts committed by an adult member of a family against 1 or more members of the person's family, as that term is defined in § 901(12) of this title, which constitute any of the following criminal offenses under Title 11: offensive touching (§ 601); menacing (§ 602); reckless endangering in the second degree (§ 603); assault in the third degree (§ 611); terroristic threatening (§ 621); vehicular assault in the second degree ([former] § 628); sexual harassment (§ 763); unlawful sexual contact in the third degree (§ 767); unlawful imprisonment in the second degree (§ 781); coercion (§ 791); reckless burning or exploding (§ 804); criminal mischief classified as a misdemeanor (§ 811); criminal trespass in the first, second or third degree (§§ 821, 822, 823); harassment (§ 1311); or aggravated harassment (former § 1312).

(b) Those acts of domestic violence for which an offender may elect to apply for first offender status under this rule shall be limited to the following criminal offenses under Title 11: offensive touching (§ 601); menacing (§ 602); sexual harassment (§ 763); criminal mischief classified as a misdemeanor (§ 811); criminal trespass in the first, second or third degree (§§ 821, 822, 823); harassment (§ 1311); or aggravated harassment (former § 1312).

(c) Any adult who:

(1) Has not been convicted of a violent felony or any domestic violence offense under Title 11 listed in subsection (a) of this section, or under any statute of the United States or of any state thereof including the District of Columbia relating to a violent felony or acts of domestic violence substantially similar to those criminal offenses listed in subsection (a) of this section;

(2) Has not previously been afforded first offender treatment or other diversion programs for domestic violence;

(3) Has been charged with a domestic violence offense listed in subsection (b) of this section; and

(4) Has appeared at Family Court for a bail review/domestic violence interview,

may qualify for the first offense election at the time of arraignment.

(d) At the time of arraignment any person qualifying under subsection (c) of this section as a first offender and who elects to apply under this section shall admit to the offense by entering a plea of guilty, as a first offender. The court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and shall place the offender on probation for a period of 1 year upon terms and conditions of which shall include but not be limited to:

(1) Enrollment with a counseling service for the purposes of evaluation and such counseling services as the evaluation counselor deems necessary;

(2) Satisfactory completion of the counseling program;

(3) Evaluation for alcohol and other drug abuse, and successful completion of a course of treatment as may be indicated by the evaluation;

(4) Restitution, where appropriate, to the victim;

(5) No unlawful contact with the victim during the period of probation; and

(6) Other such terms and conditions as the Court may impose.

(e) If a term or condition of probation is violated, including failure to appear for evaluation at an assigned evaluating agency, the offender shall be brought before the Court, or if the offender fails to appear before the Court, in either case, upon a determination by the Court that the terms have been violated, the Court shall enter an adjudication of guilty and proceed as otherwise provided under Title 11.

(f) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, including, but not limited to, satisfactory completion of courses of instruction and/or programs of counseling/rehabilitation, and payment of all costs and fees, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the offender and shall simultaneously therewith submit to the Attorney General a report thereof which shall be retained by the Attorney General for use in future proceedings, if required.

(g) Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of this section or for purposes of disqualification or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime, except the additional penalties imposed for second or subsequent offenses under Title 11.

(h) Any person who elects to apply for first offender status shall by said application be deemed to have waived the right to a speedy trial and further agrees to pay the cost of prosecution as a condition. If a person elects not to apply for first offender status or if the application is not accepted, the matter shall be promptly scheduled for trial.

(i) There may be only 1 discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any person.

69 Del. Laws, c. 157, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) If an adult person is charged with the commission of a crime or crimes and the case is terminated in favor of the accused, the person may request the expungement of the police records and the court records relating to the case pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a case shall be deemed to be "terminated in favor of the accused" only if:

(1) The accused is acquitted of all charges related to the case;

(2) A nolle prosequi is entered on all charges related to the case;

(3) The accused is placed on probation before judgment, fulfills the terms and conditions of probation, and the court enters an order discharging the person from probation; or

(4) All charges related to the case are otherwise dismissed.

(c) For the purposes of this section "case" means a charge or set of charges related to a complaint or incident that are or could be properly joined for prosecution.

(d) If an adult is charged with the commission of a crime which is designated as a misdemeanor or violation in Title 4, 7, 11, 16, or 23, excepting those crimes specifically exempted in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and the case is terminated in favor of the accused, and the person has not previously been convicted of another criminal offense, upon an appropriate request to the State Bureau of Identification by such person the police records and court records, including any electronic records, relating to the charge or charges shall be expunged if the person has not been convicted of any crime since the date upon which the case was terminated in favor of the accused.

(1) If the State Bureau of Identification determines that expungement is mandated pursuant to the terms of this paragraph, it shall promptly so notify the courts and police agencies where records pertaining to the case are located or maintained, and any court where the case was terminated, disposed of or concluded. All records appropriately specified in the expungement request shall, within 60 days of the determination that such request is mandated pursuant to the terms of this section, be removed from the files, and placed in the control of the Supervisor of the State Bureau of Identification who shall be designated to retain control over all expunged records, and who shall ensure that the records or the information contained therein is not released for any reason except as specified in this subchapter. Criminal justice agencies as defined in § 8502(5) of Title 11 shall, however, have access to records of expunged probations before judgment for the specific purpose of determining whether a person is eligible for a probation before judgment, as set forth in § 4218 of Title 11. A court or a police agency which receives a notice of expungement from the State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Bureau with written confirmation of the completion of the expungement. In response to requests from nonlaw-enforcement officers for information or records on the person who was arrested, the law-enforcement officers and departments shall reply, with respect to the arrest and proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record.

(2) Mandatory expungement pursuant to this subsection shall not be applicable to the records of any case in which the defendant was charged with one or more of the following crimes:

a. Any misdemeanor designated as a sex offense pursuant to § 761 of Title 11;

b. Any misdemeanor set forth in subpart A of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 11;

c. Unlawful imprisonment pursuant to § 781 of Title 11;

d. Interference with custody pursuant to § 785 of Title 11;

e. Coercion pursuant to § 791 of Title 11;

f. Trespassing with intent to peer or peep, pursuant to § 820 of Title 11;

g. Endangering the welfare of a child, pursuant to § 1102 of Title 11;

h. Crime against a vulnerable adult, pursuant to § 1105 of Title 11;

i. Any misdemeanor set forth in subparts A, B, C or F of subchapter VI of Chapter 5 of Title 11;

j. Any misdemeanor or violation set forth in Chapter 85 of Title 11;

k. Patient abuse, pursuant to § 1136 of Title 16;

l. Operation of a vessel or boat while under the influence, pursuant to § 2302 of Title 23.

(3) At the time the application requesting expungement is filed with the State Bureau of Identification, the applicant shall pay a reasonable fee to the State Bureau of Identification. The applicant shall attach a copy of that applicant's criminal history as maintained by the State Bureau of Identification to any application requesting expungement filed pursuant to this section. The State Bureau of Identification shall summarily reject any application for expungement that does not include the applicant's criminal history without further notice to the applicant.

(4) The State Bureau of Identification shall be authorized to promulgate reasonable regulations and a reasonable fee schedule to accomplish the purposes of this subsection.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (d) of this section to the contrary, if a person is charged with the commission of a crime and the case is terminated in favor of the accused, the person may file a petition in the Family Court in the county where the case was terminated, disposed of or concluded setting forth the relevant facts and requesting expungement of the police records and the court records relating to the charge or charges. Discretionary expungement pursuant to this section shall not be applicable to the records of any case that may be expunged pursuant to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, provided, however, that where a person was charged with a criminal offense where discretionary expungement pursuant to this subsection applies, but also was charged, within the same case, with a criminal offense where mandatory expungement pursuant to this section applies, such person must file a petition in the Family Court pursuant to this section.

(1) After the petition requesting expungement is filed with the Family Court, the petitioner shall cause a copy of the petition to be served upon the Attorney General, who may file an objection or answer to the petition within 30 days after it is served on the Attorney General. The petitioner shall attach a copy of that petitioner's criminal history as maintained by the State Bureau of Identification to any petition requesting expungement filed pursuant to this section. The Court shall summarily reject any petition for expungement that does not include the petitioner's criminal history.

(2) Unless the Court believes a hearing is necessary, petitions shall be disposed of without a hearing. If the Court finds that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating the arrest of the petitioner causes, or may cause, circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner, it shall enter an order requiring the expungement of the police and court records relating to the charge or case. Otherwise, it shall deny the petition. The burden shall be on the petitioner to allege specific facts in support of that petitioner's allegation of manifest injustice, and the burden shall be on the petitioner to prove such manifest injustice by a preponderance of the evidence. The fact that the petitioner has previously been convicted of a criminal offense, other than that referred to in the petition, shall be considered by the Court as prima facie evidence that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest in question does not constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner. A petition filed by the Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee pursuant to paragraph (e)(4) of this section shall be granted by the Court.

(3) The State shall be made party defendant to the proceeding. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Court may appeal, as provided by law in civil cases.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other statute or rule to the contrary, the Attorney General or designee responsible for prosecuting a criminal action may petition the Court to expunge the instant arrest record of a defendant if at the time of a state motion to dismiss or entry of nolle prosequi in the case, the prosecutor has determined that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest of the defendant for the matter dismissed or for which a nolle prosequi was entered may cause circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to the defendant.

(5) If an order expunging the records is granted by the Court, all the records specified in the order shall, within 60 days of the order, be removed from the files, and placed in the control of the Supervisor of the State Bureau of Identification who shall be designated to retain control over all expunged records, and who shall ensure that the records or the information contained therein is not released for any reason except as specified in this subchapter. A police agency which receives a notice of expungement from the State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Bureau with written confirmation of the completion of the expungement. The State Bureau of Identification shall provide the Court which entered the order with written confirmation of the execution of the order. In response to requests from nonlaw-enforcement officers for information or records on the person who was arrested, the law-enforcement officers and departments shall reply, with respect to the arrest and proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record. No order requiring an expungement of any record shall be entered or enforced if such order is contrary to the provisions of this subchapter. The State Bureau of Identification shall promptly notify the Court if it is unable to comply with any order issued pursuant to this subchapter.

(6) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other statute or rule to the contrary, the police records and the court records relating to any charge set forth in Title 21 of shall not be expunged pursuant to this section unless the charge or charges is 1 of these specifically enumerated offenses:

a. Driving after judgment prohibited, pursuant to § 2810 of Title 21;

b. Reckless driving, pursuant to § 4175 of Title 21;

c. Operation of a motor vehicle causing death, pursuant to § 4176A of Title 21;

d. Driving under the influence, pursuant to § 4177 of Title 21;

e. Operating a commercial vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration or while impaired by drugs, pursuant to § 4177M of Title 21.

(7) The Family Court shall establish a reasonable fee schedule for the filing of a petition of expungement pursuant to this section.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter or any other law to the contrary, a person who was convicted of a misdemeanor or violation excepting those crimes specifically exempted in subsection (g) of this section who is thereafter unconditionally pardoned by the Governor may request a discretionary expungement pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (e) of this section. The burden shall be on the petitioner to allege specific facts in support of the petitioner's allegation of manifest injustice, and the burden shall be on the petitioner to prove such manifest injustice by a preponderance of the evidence. The fact that the petitioner was convicted of the criminal offense that is the subject of the petitioner's expungement application shall be considered by the Court as prima facie evidence that the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to the arrest in question does not constitute a manifest injustice to the petitioner.

(g) Discretionary expungement following a pardon pursuant to this section shall not be applicable to the records of any case in which the defendant was charged with 1 or more of the following crimes:

(1) Any misdemeanor designated as a sex offense pursuant to § 761 of Title 11;

(2) Unlawful imprisonment pursuant to § 781 of Title 11;

(3) Interference with custody pursuant to § 785 of Title 11; or

(4) Coercion pursuant to § 791 of Title 11.

69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 150, §§ 3, 4; 76 Del. Laws, c. 392, § 6; 77 Del. Laws, c. 156, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 348, §§ 9-15; 77 Del. Laws, c. 416, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 211, § 1.;

Repealed by 77 Del. Laws, c. 348, § 16, effective October 10, 2010.;

(a) Except for disclosure to law-enforcement officers acting in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity or for the purpose of an employment application as an employee of a law-enforcement agency, it shall be unlawful for any person having or acquiring access to an expunged court or police record to open or review it or to disclose to another person any information from it without an order from the Court which ordered the record expunged.

(b) Where disclosure to law-enforcement officers in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity is permitted by subsection (a) of this section, such disclosure shall apply for the purpose of investigating particular criminal activity in which the person, whose records have been expunged, is considered a suspect and the crime being investigated is a felony; or pursuant to an investigation of an employment application as an employee of a law-enforcement agency.

(c) Nothing contained in this section shall require the destruction of photographs or fingerprints taken in connection with any felony arrest and which are utilized solely by law-enforcement officers in the lawful performance of their duties in investigating criminal activity.

(d) Nothing herein shall require the destruction of court records or records of the Department of Justice. However, all such records, including docket books, relating to a charge which has been the subject of a destruction order shall be so handled to ensure that they are not open to public inspection or disclosure.

(e) An offense for which records have been expunged pursuant to this section shall not have to be disclosed by the person as an arrest for any reason.

(f) Upon the granting by the Court for an order for the expungement of records in accordance with this subchapter, a copy of such order shall be forwarded to the United States Department of Justice.

(g) Any person who violates § 1025 of this title shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and shall be punished accordingly.

69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 392, § 7.;

In any civil action within the jurisdiction of this Court and upon the petition of a person properly before it, the Court may:

(1) Award the custody or possession of a child to any party to the action, establish visitation rights, and, in a proper case, order payment of support for the child;

(2) Order a child's custodian to exercise such care and perform such acts as may be reasonably necessary to insure that the child shall obey the law and receive necessary care;

(3) Consent to a child's employment, or to enlistment into the armed forces, or to receiving medical care as may be required by law;

(4) Order a person under a duty to do so to pay through the Court or the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or directly to the spouse/ex-spouse or to the custodian of the child reasonable support for the spouse and/or child. And in such cases as the Court may deem appropriate enter an order of final judgment as to any past due support which judgment shall not be subject to subsequent modification by the Court;

(5) In an action to prevent a family member from conduct that imperils the family relationship, order the defendant to desist from the acts complained of, or order individual or family counseling with the court staff or with any appropriate counseling agency, or enter such other order as may be required;

(6) May commit an adult with a mental disorder or incapacity, or intellectual disability for observation or treatment to any appropriate institution within the State, or to any institution without the State which will consent to receive the person.

(7) [Repealed.]

10 Del. C. 1953, § 950; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 279, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 647, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 243, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 173, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 378, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 7; 77 Del. Laws, c. 43, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 22; 79 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 8.;

The following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Abuse" means conduct which constitutes the following:

a. Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical injury or a sexual offense, as defined in § 761 of Title 11;

b. Intentionally or recklessly placing or attempting to place another person in reasonable apprehension of physical injury or sexual offense to such person or another;

c. Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying or taking the tangible property of another person;

d. Engaging in a course of alarming or distressing conduct in a manner which is likely to cause fear or emotional distress or to provoke a violent or disorderly response;

e. Trespassing on or in property of another person, or on or in property from which the trespasser has been excluded by court order;

f. Child abuse, as defined in Chapter 9 of Title 16;

g. Unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, interference with custody and coercion, as defined in Title 11; or

h. Any other conduct which a reasonable person under the circumstances would find threatening or harmful.

(2) "Domestic violence" means abuse perpetrated by 1 member against another member of the following protected classes:

a. Family, as that term is defined in § 901(12) of this title, regardless, however, of state of residence of the parties; or

b. Former spouses; persons cohabitating together who are holding themselves out as a couple, with or without a child in common; persons living separate and apart with a child in common; or persons in a current or former substantive dating relationship. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a substantive dating relationship. Factors to consider for a substantive dating relationship may include the length of the relationship, or the type of relationship, or the frequency of interaction between the parties.

(3) "Petitioner" means:

a. A person who is a member of a protected class and files a petition alleging domestic violence against such person or against such person's minor child or an adult who is impaired;

b. The Division of Child Protective Services acting in the interest of a minor child and files a petition alleging domestic violence; or

c. The Division of Adult Protective Services acting in the interest of an adult who is impaired and files a petition alleging domestic violence.

(4) "Protective order" means an order issued by the court to a respondent restraining said respondent from committing domestic violence against the petitioner, or a person in whose interest a petition is brought, and may include such measures as are necessary in order to prevent domestic violence.

(5) "Respondent" means the person alleged in the petition to have committed the domestic violence.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 137, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 47, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 23.;

(a) A request for relief from domestic violence is initiated by the filing of a verified petition by the petitioner, or by the Division of Child Protective Services or the Division of Adult Protective Services, asking the court to issue a protective order against the respondent.

(b) The petitioner need not reveal an address, place of residence, school or employment or the address or place where the petitioner's child or children receive child care or attend school, if it is alleged that disclosure of this information would endanger the petitioner. However, the Court may require the petitioner to reveal in confidence a current address or place of residence for the purpose of determining jurisdiction or venue.

(c) A petition for a protective order may be filed in any county where the petitioner resides, the respondent resides, the alleged domestic violence occurred, or where the petitioner is temporarily located away from the residence to avoid domestic violence.

(d) Forms and instructions for initiating a proceeding under this part shall be available from the Clerk of the Court. Assistance from court staff or court volunteers shall be available during business hours to assist the parties with all papers which may be filed in connection with a proceeding under this part. Any assistance or information provided by court staff or court volunteers under this part does not constitute the practice of law.

(e) All forms and instructions developed for use by the parties to a proceeding under this part shall contain simple, understandable language.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(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 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 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.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 442, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 24.;

(a) Upon receipt of a petition for a protective order, the Court shall order a hearing within 30 days.

(b) 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.

(c) Service of the protective order, as well as provision of copies to the parties, shall take place in accordance with § 1043(f) of this title.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

(a) After consideration of a petition for a protective order, the Court may grant relief as follows:

(1) Restrain the respondent from committing acts of domestic violence, as defined in § 1041 of this title;

(2) Restrain the respondent from contacting or attempting to contact the petitioner;

(3) Grant exclusive possession of the residence or household to the petitioner or other resident, regardless of in whose name the residence is titled or leased. Such relief shall not affect title to any real property;

(4) Order that the petitioner be given temporary possession of specified personal property solely or jointly owned by respondent or petitioner, including but not limited to, motor vehicles, checkbooks, keys and other personal effects;

(5) Grant temporary custody of the children of the parties to the petitioner or to another family member. Either party may request visitation at any time during the proceeding. The Court may provide for visitation by separate interim visitation order pursuant to Title 13, which order shall be binding upon and enforceable against both parties. Such interim visitation order may include third-party supervision of any visitation, if necessary, in accordance with Chapters 7 and 19 of Title 13;

(6) Order the respondent to pay support for the petitioner and/or for the parties' children, in accordance with Chapter 5 of Title 13, including temporary housing costs;

(7) Order the respondent to pay to the petitioner or any other family member monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of domestic violence committed by the respondent, including medical, dental and counseling expenses, loss of earnings or other support, cost of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged or taken, moving or other travel expenses and litigation costs, including attorney's fees;

(8) Order the respondent to temporarily relinquish to the sheriff, constable or to a police officer the respondent's firearms and to refrain from purchasing or receiving additional firearms for the duration of the order;

(9) Prohibit the respondent from transferring, encumbering, concealing or in any way disposing of specified property owned or leased by parties;

(10) Order the respondent, petitioner and other protected class members, individually and/or as a group, to participate in treatment or counseling programs;

(11) Issue an order directing any law-enforcement agency to forthwith search for and seize firearms of the respondent upon a showing by the petitioner that the respondent has possession of a firearm, and

a. Petitioner can describe, with sufficient particularity, both the type and location of the firearm or firearms; and

b. Respondent has used or threatened to use a firearm against the petitioner, or the petitioner expresses a fear that the respondent may use a firearm against them;

(12) Grant any other reasonable relief necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of future domestic violence.

(b) Relief granted under this section shall be effective for a fixed period of time not to exceed 1 year, except that relief granted under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section may be entered for a fixed period of time not to exceed 2 years, unless a longer period of time is ordered pursuant to subsection (c) or (f) of this section.

(c) An order issued under this part may be extended, or terms of the order modified, upon motion of either party. Hearings on such motions shall be scheduled within 30 days after proof of service on the respondent is filed. Such motions may be heard on an emergency basis if filed in accordance with § 1043 of this title. Orders may be extended only after the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic violence has occurred since the entry of the order, a violation of the order has occurred, if the respondent consents to the extension of the order or for good cause shown.

(d) Only the Court shall modify an order issued under this part and the reconciliation of the parties shall have no effect on the validity of any of the provisions of such an order. The protective order may be modified or rescinded during the term of the order upon motion, after notice to all parties affected and a hearing.

(e) Any subsequent support, custody or visitation order entered by the Court in any proceeding brought pursuant to Title 13 shall supersede any relevant provisions regarding those issues which are included in a protection from abuse order, without the need to modify such protective order.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, upon a finding that aggravating circumstances exist, the Court may grant no contact relief pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section for as long as reasonably necessary to prevent further acts of abuse or domestic violence, up to and including the entry of a permanent order of the Court. An order entered pursuant to this subsection may only be modified or amended upon motion of a party for good cause shown. For purposes of this subsection, aggravating circumstances shall mean physical injury or serious physical injury to the petitioner caused by the respondent; the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument against the petitioner by the respondent; a history of repeated violations of prior protective orders by the respondent; prior convictions for crimes against the petitioner by the respondent; the exposure of any member of the petitioner's family or household to physical injury or serious physical injury by the respondent; or any other acts of abuse which the Court believes constitute an immediate and ongoing danger to the petitioner or any member of the petitioner's family or household.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 137, §§ 2-4; 76 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 352, §§ 1, 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 337, § 1.;

(a) The Court may direct that pleadings and orders filed or issued under this part be served upon the respondent by the Sheriff or the Sheriff's deputy or by any person authorized by statute or court rule to serve process.

(b) A copy of a protective order granted under this part shall be entered into the Delaware Justice Information System by the Court on or before the next business day. Entry into the Delaware Justice Information System constitutes notice to all law-enforcement agencies of the existence of the order. The order is fully enforceable in any county of the State.

(c) A law-enforcement officer shall arrest, with or without a warrant, any individual whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated a protective order issued under this part or a valid foreign protection order under Part E of this subchapter and who has notice or knowledge of the protective order. Presentation of a protective order that identifies both the protected person and the respondent and, on its face, is currently in effect constitutes probable cause to believe that a protective order exists. The protective order may be either in tangible form or stored in DELJIS or other electronic medium if it is retrievable in perceivable form. Probable cause for arrest may be established by a good faith reliance on information contained in DELJIS. If a protective order is not presented, the law-enforcement officer may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a protective order exists.

(d) If a law-enforcement officer determines that an otherwise valid protective order cannot be enforced because the respondent has not been notified or served with the order, the officer shall inform the respondent of the order, make a reasonable effort to serve the order upon the respondent, and allow the respondent a reasonable opportunity to comply with the order before enforcing the order.

(e) The individual arrested shall be taken immediately before the Family Court. If the Family Court is not in session, the arrested person shall be taken before the nearest justice of the peace. In determining the amount of any bail, the justice of the peace or judicial officer shall take into consideration whether the defendant has previously violated a protective order.

(f) A law-enforcement officer is immune from civil and criminal liability for an act or omission arising out of the enforcement of a protective order or the detention or arrest of an alleged violator of a protective order if the act or omission was done in a good faith effort to comply with this part or in good faith reliance on information contained in DELJIS.

(g) The provisions of this section apply to the enforcement of foreign protection orders under Part E of this subchapter.

(h) All protective orders issued under this part shall state that violations may result in:

(1) A finding of contempt;

(2) Criminal prosecution; and

(3) Imprisonment or fine or both.

(i) It shall be unlawful for a respondent to knowingly violate a protective order. Violations shall be punishable as a class A misdemeanor. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the filing of a civil contempt petition by the petitioner for violations of a protective order issued under this part.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 63, §§ 3, 4; 73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 2.;

Nothing in this part shall preclude a petitioner or law-enforcement officer from filing criminal charges when probable cause exists.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

The Family Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings under this part.

69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

This part may be cited as the "Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act."

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

In this part:

(1) "Court" means the Family Court of the State of Delaware.

(2) "Foreign protection order" means a protection order issued by a tribunal of another state.

(3) "Issuing state" means the state whose tribunal issues a protection order.

(4) "Mutual foreign protection order" means a foreign protection order that includes provisions in favor of both protected individuals seeking enforcement of the order and the respondents.

(5) "Protected individual" means an individual protected by a protection order.

(6) "Protection order" means an injunction or other order issued by a tribunal under the domestic violence or family violence laws of the issuing state to prevent an individual from engaging in violent or threatening acts against, harassment of, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to another individual. The term includes an injunction or other order issued under the antistalking laws of the issuing state.

(7) "Respondent" means the individual against whom enforcement of a protection order is sought.

(8) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band that has jurisdiction to issue protection orders.

(9) "Tribunal" means a court, agency or other entity authorized by law to issue or modify a protection order.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

(a) A person authorized by the law of this State to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in the Court. The Court shall enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that the Court would lack power to provide but for this section. The Court shall enforce the order whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding if it is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition or motion filed by or on behalf of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protection order, the Court shall follow the procedures of this State for the enforcement of protection orders.

(b) The Court may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by the tribunal of a state that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order.

(c) The Court shall enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order which govern custody and visitation if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing state.

(d) A foreign protection order is valid if it:

(1) Identifies the protected individual and the respondent;

(2) Is currently in effect;

(3) Was issued by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under the law of the issuing state; and

(4) Was issued after the respondent was given reasonable notice and had an opportunity to be heard before the tribunal issued the order, or in the case of an order ex parte, the respondent was given notice and had an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time after the order was issued, consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.

(e) A foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity.

(f) Absence of any of the criteria for validity of a foreign protection order is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of the order.

(g) The Court may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if:

(1) The respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protection order from the tribunal of the issuing state; and

(2) The tribunal of the issuing state made specific findings in favor of the respondent.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

Pursuant to the provisions of § 1046 of this title, a law-enforcement officer of this State, upon determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists and that the order has been violated, shall enforce the order as if it were the order of a court of this State. Registration or filing of an order in this State is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protection order.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

(a) Any individual may register a foreign protection order in this State. To register a foreign protection order an individual shall present a certified copy of the order to the Court.

(b) Upon receipt of a foreign protection order, the Court shall register the order in accordance with this section. After the order is registered, the Court shall furnish to the individual registering the order a certified copy of the registered order.

(c) The Court shall register an order upon presentation of a copy of a protection order which has been certified by the issuing State. A registered foreign protection order that is inaccurate or is not currently in effect must be corrected or removed from the registry in accordance with the law of this State.

(d) An individual registering a foreign protection order shall file an affidavit by the protected individual stating that to the best of the protected individual's knowledge, the order is currently in effect.

(e) A foreign protection order registered under this part may be entered in any existing state or federal registry of protection orders in accordance with applicable law.

(f) A fee may not be charged for the registration of a foreign protection order.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

This State or a local governmental agency or a law-enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, clerk of court or any state or local governmental official acting in an official capacity is immune from civil and criminal liability for an act or omission arising out of the registration or enforcement of a foreign protection order or the detention or arrest of an alleged violator of a foreign protection order if the act or omission was done in good faith in an effort to comply with this part.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

A protected individual who pursues remedies under this part is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent.

73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

(a) From any order, ruling, decision or judgment of the Court in any civil proceeding, including any delinquency proceeding, there shall be the right of appeal as provided by law to the Supreme Court.

(b) From any order, ruling, decision or judgment of the Court in any criminal proceeding, there shall be the right of appeal in the first instance as provided by law to the Superior Court in the same county in which the case was adjudicated by the Court, with the further right of appeal as provided by law to the Supreme Court from an affirmance by the Superior Court of the order of the Court which was appealed, or from the entry of a judgment of conviction by the Superior Court upon a trial de novo on appeal to that Court.

(c) An appeal shall be taken within 30 days from the date of the disposition, or within such time as provided by law.

(d) No appeal shall stay the execution of any order of the Court unless such stay shall be specifically ordered by this Court in the first instance or by the appellate court.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 960; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

(a) Any order of the Court relative to the custody of any child shall be subject to review.

(b) The child's parent, guardian, next friend or any interested person or agency, at any time within 30 days after the date of such order, may appeal to the Supreme Court.

(c) In the case of an indigent person, the Court may, in its discretion, waive surety for costs upon affidavit by such person that the person is without funds and means of prosecuting the appeal.

(d) The taxing of costs shall be within the discretion of the Supreme Court.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 961; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 2; 68 Del. Laws, c. 53, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) An appeal may be taken by the State from the Family Court to an appellate court in the following instances:

(1) Appeal as of right.

a. The State shall have an absolute right to appeal to an appellate court a final order of the Family Court where the order constitutes a dismissal of a petition or information or any count thereof or the granting of any motion vacating any verdict or judgment of delinquency or conviction where the order of the Family Court is based upon the invalidity or construction of the statute upon which the petition or information is founded or where the order is based on lack of jurisdiction of the Family Court over the person or subject matter.

b. Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, the State shall have an absolute right to appeal to an appellate court from any order of the Family Court which grants an accused any of the following: a new trial or judgment of acquittal after a verdict or an adjudication of delinquency; a modification of a verdict or an adjudication of delinquency; an arrest of judgment; relief in any postconviction proceeding or in any action collaterally attacking a criminal judgment or an adjudication of delinquency; or any order or judgment declaring any act of the General Assembly, or any portion of such act, to be unconstitutional under either the Constitution of the United States or the State of Delaware, inoperative or unenforceable, except that no appeal shall lie where otherwise prohibited by the double jeopardy clause of the Constitution of the United States or of this State.

c. Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, the State shall have an absolute right to appeal to an appellate court any ruling of the Family Court on a question of law or procedure adverse to the State in any case in which the accused was convicted or adjudicated delinquent and appeals from the judgment, except that the decision or result of the State's appeal shall not affect the rights of the accused unless the accused, on his or her appeal, is awarded a new trial or a new sentencing hearing. Once the State perfects its cross-appeal, the appellate court shall review and rule upon the questions presented therein regardless of the disposition of the accused's appeal.

d. Notwithstanding any section of this chapter to the contrary, the State shall have an absolute right to appeal any sentence on the grounds that it is unauthorized by, or contrary to, any statute or court rule, in which case the decision or result of the State's appeal shall affect the rights of the accused.

e. Any appeal brought by the State pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)c. or d. of this section shall be personally authorized by either the Attorney General or the Chief Deputy Attorney General.

(2) Appeal in the discretion of the appellate court. — The State may apply to an appellate court to permit an appeal to determine a substantial question of law or procedure, and the appellate court may permit the appeal in its absolute discretion. The appellate court shall have the power to adopt rules governing the allowance of such an appeal; but in no event shall the decision or result of the appeal affect the rights of the appellee and he or she shall not be obligated to defend the appeal, but the appellate court may require the Public Defender of the State to defend the appeal and to argue the cause; provided, however, that if the order appealed from is an order suppressing or excluding substantial and material evidence the appellate court may permit an interlocutory appeal of any pretrial order, and if the order suppressing such evidence is reversed, the appellee may be subjected to a trial.

(b) The State's rights of appeal in a delinquency proceeding provided under subsection (a) of this section shall be to the Supreme Court. The State's rights of appeal in a criminal proceeding provided under subsection (a) of this section shall be to the Superior Court in the first instance, with further rights of appeal to the Supreme Court as are provided under subsection (a) of this section, from an affirmance by the Superior Court of the order of the Family Court which was appealed.

(c) The appeal or application for appeal shall be filed with the appellate court within 30 days from entry of the order appealed from, or, in any case in which the State elects to prosecute a cross appeal, notice of the cross appeal shall be filed within 30 days from the filing of a notice of appeal by the defendant.

(d) "Order" for purposes of this section includes any judgment, order, ruling, decision, memorandum, opinion, or equivalent entry of the Court appealed from which constitutes a fixed determination by such Court.

(e) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed so as to afford the State the broadest possible right to appeal in a criminal case, but only to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Delaware.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 962; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 481, §§ 4-6.;

(a) The Court may order any person within its jurisdiction examined by a licensed practitioner in the appropriate field, and if the examiner shall certify that treatment would be in the interest of the examined person and the public, order such treatment.

(b) The Court may, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard, order the examined person, or the person legally liable for the person's support, to repay the Court for its outlay on the person's behalf, such sum, in such manner, within the person's ability, as the Court determines.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 970; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Sufficient prosecutors and public defenders shall be assigned to the Court in each county as are required in the judgment of the Attorney General, the public defender and the Court.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 971; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

(a) All proceedings before the Court and all records of such proceedings may be private except to the extent that the Court may consider publication in the public interest except as provided below in subsection (b) of this section; provided, however, that proceedings in a crime classified as a felony shall be open to the public. Proceedings may, within the Court's discretion, be informal, but shall be consistent with decorum and the law.

(b) All records concerning any child shall be made available to the Superior Court and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, and whenever a child is arrested, convicted or acquitted for a crime classified by Title 11 as a felony, or a class A misdemeanor for juveniles ages 13 through 17, the Clerk of the Family Court, or any state or local police authority, shall release the name and address of the child and the name of the child's parents upon request by a responsible representative of public information media.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 972; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 20; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 23, § 1.;

(a) Effective September 7, 1971, the Family Court of the State in and for New Castle County and the Family Court for Kent and Sussex Counties are merged into 1 Family Court and shall not thereafter function as separate Courts.

(b) All employees of the Family Courts at the time of the merger are employees of the merged court, without diminution of rank, position, authority, or compensation by reason of enactment of this chapter.

(c) Any case within the jurisdiction of the Family Court previously adjudicated in any court active at the time of the merger was transferred to and continued in the merged court, and the records therein are the records of the merged court, which shall carry out such orders as were previously made in the case.

(d) No offense committed and no penalty or judgment incurred under the provisions of any law existing prior to the merger shall be affected by this chapter.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 973; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

(a) Jurisdiction shall be acquired over a party in any civil action by transmitting to the party a copy of the summons and the petition or complaint (the papers) by any of the following methods:

(1) By personal service; or

(2) By leaving a copy at the party's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion residing there; or

(3) By any form of mail; or

(4) In the manner prescribed by court rule; or

(5) In the manner directed by the Court, including publication, if other methods of service have failed or are deemed to have been inadequate.

(b) If a party to whom papers have been transmitted by ordinary mail shall fail to appear in the action and there shall be no reliable proof that such party has received notice thereof, then the Court shall order that further effort be made to provide notice to that party which may include notice by certified or registered mail, or by any other method for providing notice specified in subsection (a) of this section above.

(c) Jurisdiction shall be acquired over a minor by any of the above methods directed to the minor and to the minor's parent, custodian or guardian.

(d) If, for any particular action, another statute or rule adopted pursuant to statute prescribes a method or methods for acquiring jurisdiction over a party, then jurisdiction shall be acquired thereby.

(e) It is not necessary to transmit papers or otherwise provide notice to a party who has entered an appearance in the action.

63 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, § 1.;

The Court, in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction or in any delinquency proceeding against a child, may issue subpoenas and other warrants into any county in the State for summoning or bringing any person to give evidence in any matter triable before it and may enforce obedience by fine or imprisonment. Such subpoenas and warrants shall be in such form as may be prescribed by the rules of the Court.

73 Del. Laws, c. 130, § 3.;