§ 6501 Power of courts; form and effect of declaration.
Except where the Constitution of this State provides otherwise, courts of record within their respective jurisdictions shall have power to declare rights, status and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. No action or proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment or decree is prayed for. The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and effect, and such declaration shall have the force and effect of a final judgment or decree.
§ 6502 Power to construe.
Any person interested under a deed, will, written contract or other writings constituting a contract, or whose rights, status or other legal relations are affected by a statute, municipal ordinance, contract or franchise, may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument, statute, ordinance, contract or franchise and obtain a declaration of rights, status or other legal relations thereunder.
§ 6503 Construction of contract before or after breach.
A contract may be construed either before or after there has been a breach thereof.
§ 6504 Persons entitled to declaration of rights or legal relations in respect to trust or estate of decedent.
Any person interested as or through an executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or fiduciary, creditor, devisee, legatee, heir, next-of-kin or cestui que trust, in the administration of a trust, or of the estate of a decedent, an infant, a person with a mental condition, may have a declaration of rights or legal relations in respect thereto:
(1) To ascertain any class of creditors, devisees, legatees, heirs, next-of-kin or others; or
(2) To direct the executors, administrators or trustees to do or abstain from doing any particular act in their fiduciary capacity; or
(3) To determine any question arising in the administration of the estate or trust, including questions of construction of wills and other writings.
§ 6505 Enumeration not exclusive.
The enumeration in §§ 6502, 6503 and 6504 of this title does not limit nor restrict the exercise of the general powers conferred in § 6501 of this title, in any proceeding where declaratory relief is sought in which a judgment or decree will terminate the controversy or remove an uncertainty.
§ 6506 Discretionary relief.
The court may refuse to render or enter a declaratory judgment or decree where such judgment or decree, if rendered or entered, will not terminate the uncertainty or controversy giving rise to the proceeding.
§ 6507 Review.
All orders, judgments and decrees under this chapter may be reviewed as other orders, judgments and decrees.
§ 6508 Supplementary relief.
Further relief based on a declaratory judgment or decree may be granted whenever necessary or proper. The application therefor shall be by petition to a court having jurisdiction to grant the relief. If the application be deemed sufficient, the court shall, on reasonable notice, require any adverse party whose rights have been adjudicated by the declaratory judgment or decree, to show cause why further relief should not be granted forthwith.
§ 6509 Determination of issues of fact.
When a proceeding under this chapter involves the determination of an issue of fact, such issue may be tried and determined in the same manner as issues of fact are tried and determined in other civil actions in the court in which the proceeding is pending.
§ 6510 Costs.
In any proceeding under this chapter the court may make such award of costs as may seem equitable and just.
§ 6511 Parties.
When declaratory relief is sought, all persons shall be made parties who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration, and no declaration shall prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the proceeding. In any proceeding which involves the validity of a municipal ordinance or franchise, such municipality shall be made a party, and shall be entitled to be heard, and if the statute, ordinance or franchise is alleged unconstitutional, the Attorney General of the State shall also be served with a copy of the proceeding and be entitled to be heard.
§ 6512 Purpose and construction of chapter.
This chapter is declared to be remedial; its purpose is to settle and to afford relief from uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, status and other legal relations; and is to be liberally construed and administered.
§ 6513 "Person'' construed.
The word "person'', wherever used in this chapter, shall be construed to mean any person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society, or municipal or other corporation of any character whatsoever.