TITLE 10

Courts and Judicial Procedure

Organization, Powers, Jurisdiction and Operation of Courts

CHAPTER 18. EMERGENCY INTERIM JUDICIAL SUCCESSION


This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Emergency Interim Judicial Succession Act."

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1801; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149.;

Because of the possibility of an attack upon the United States of unprecedented size and destructiveness, and in order, in the event of such attack, to assure continuity of government through legally constituted leadership, authority and responsibility in offices of the government of the State; to provide for the effective operation of governments during an emergency; and to facilitate the early resumption of functions temporarily suspended, it is found and declared to be necessary to provide for special emergency judges who can exercise the powers and discharge the duties of judicial offices in the event regular judges are unavailable.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1802; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149.;

Unless otherwise clearly required by the context, as used in this chapter:

(1) "Attack" means any attack or series of attacks by an enemy of the United States causing, or which may cause, substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the United States in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological, or biological means or other weapons or processes.

(2) "Emergency interim successor" means a person designated pursuant to this chapter, in the event the officer is unavailable, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of an office until a successor is appointed and qualified as may be provided by the Constitution, statutes, charters and ordinances or until the lawful incumbent is able to resume the exercise of the powers and discharge the duties of the office.

(3) "Unavailable" means either that vacancy in office exists, or that the lawful incumbent of the office is absent or unable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1803; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149.;

In the event that any judge of any court of record is unavailable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of his or her office, and in the event no other judge authorized to act in the event of absence, disability or vacancy or no special judge appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or statutes is available to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of such office, the duties of the office shall be discharged and the powers exercised by the special emergency judges provided for by this section.

The Governor shall designate for each member of the Supreme Court and the Superior Court special emergency judges in the number of not less than 3 nor more than 7 for each member of the said courts, and shall specify the order of their succession.

Such special emergency judges shall, in the order specified, exercise the powers and discharge the duties of such office in case of the unavailability of the regular judge or judges or persons immediately preceding them in the designation. The designation authority shall review and revise, as necessary, designations made pursuant to this chapter to insure their current status.

Said special emergency judges shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers of such office until such time as a vacancy which may exist shall be filled in accordance with the Constitution and statutes or until the regular judge or one preceding the designee in the order of succession becomes available to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of office.

No person shall be designated or serve as a special emergency judge unless he or she may under the Constitution and laws of this State hold the office of the judge to whose powers and duties he or she is designated to succeed.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1804; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

At the time of their designation, special emergency judges shall take such oath as may be required for them to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office to which they may succeed. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person, as a prerequisite to the exercise of the powers or discharge of the duties of an office to which he or she succeeds, shall be required to comply with any other provision of law relative to taking office.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1805; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149; 70 Del Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Officials authorized to act as special emergency judges are empowered to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of an office as authorized in this chapter only after an attack upon the United States, as defined in § 1803 of this title, has occurred. The General Assembly by concurrent resolution, may at any time terminate the authority of said special emergency judges to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of office as provided in this chapter.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1806; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149.;

Until such time as the persons designated as special emergency judges are authorized to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of an office in accordance with this chapter including § 1806 of this title, said persons shall serve in their designated capacities at the pleasure of the designating authority and may be removed or replaced by said designating authority at any time, with or without cause.

10 Del. C. 1953, § 1807; 53 Del. Laws, c. 149.;