§ 9001B Assumption of authority by State.
The offices of the Prothonotaries of New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County, as heretofore established, shall hereafter be under the authority and jurisdiction of the State.
§ 9002B Definitions.
As used in this subchapter, "state row offices" or "state row officers" means the Prothonotaries of New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County.
§ 9003B Location of offices.
The State shall provide and assign office space for the respective state row offices and, whenever occasion requires, may change such space and assign different space. The state row officers shall occupy, and their offices shall be located in, the space assigned to them from time to time by the State.
§ 9004B Record books and supplies.
The State shall provide for the state row offices, the necessary record books, cases, seals and supplies for the use of the offices, for the preservation and security of the public records, the convenience of business and for public accommodation.
§ 9005B Records.
The state row officers shall keep all records, books, papers and other things belonging to their offices, in their respective offices.
§ 9006B Days open; duty to attend office; deputies.
(a) State row offices shall be open each day except legal holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.
(b) A state row officer shall not refuse or neglect to attend at the office for the transaction of business, as required in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) A deputy of any state row officer may attend for the performance of such services as required in subsection (a) of this section, as are strictly ministerial.
§ 9007B Disposition of fees.
All the fees, costs, allowances and other perquisites which are taxable and paid to any state row offices for any official service rendered by any such offices shall be for the sole use of the State and when received shall be paid to the State Treasurer.
§ 9008B Duty to account for fees.
(a) Every state row officer in each of the counties shall collect all fees, costs and allowances by law taxable by or payable to such officer, without any deduction, abatement or remission, except fees, costs and allowances payable by the State to such officers and shall keep in a properly indexed record an itemized account showing the amount of each fee, item of cost and allowance by law taxable by or payable to such officer and the service for which the same was rendered or charged, the date of payment and the name of the person paying the same. On or before the 15th day of each month, every such officer shall file with the State Treasurer an account of all fees, costs and allowances received by the State Treasurer in the preceding month, which account shall be so itemized that it may be compared with the fees, costs and allowances as entered in the record.
(b) The correctness of the accounts so rendered shall be verified by the affidavit of the officer rendering the same. Each of the officers shall also, on or before the 15th day in each month, pay over to the State Treasurer all the fees, costs and allowances so received from any source, which shall be payable to the State Treasurer as provided in § 9007A of this title.
§ 9009B Fee records; inspection and examination.
The fee records mentioned in this chapter shall be a part of the records of the office for which it is kept and shall be at all times open to inspection and examination.
§ 9010B Audit of fees.
The State Auditor shall, not less than biannually, audit, inspect and examine the books, accounts, papers, records and dockets of the several state row officers and ascertain the amount due to the State in fees.
§ 9011B Liability for fees.
Each state row officer is made liable upon a respective official bond, for the payment to the State Treasurer of all the fees which the officer shall collect. All the official bonds to be entered into by the officers shall contain the following condition: "And if the said ______ shall truly and without delay pay over to the State Treasurer all of the fees which it shall be his or her duty to collect and which are to be paid to the State Treasurer." The State shall cause proceedings to be brought on any of the bonds for the breach of the foregoing condition for the recovery of the penalty therein.
§ 9012B Penalties for failure to collect and pay over fees.
(a) If any state row officer fails, neglects or refuses for 10 days to pay over all fees, costs, allowances and perquisites the officer receives and collects for use of the State, or fails to collect the fees required to be paid by law, or demands or receives from any person any fee or allowance greater than is provided by law, the officer shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. Such officer shall also be liable in a civil action for the amount of such fees, costs, allowances and perquisites as the officer may have thus illegally withheld.
(b) Whenever any officer is convicted under this section, the officer's conviction shall operate as a forfeiture of the office, and the officer shall be removed from office by the Governor within 10 days from the date of such conviction.
§ 9013B Bonds of state row officers.
(a) Every state row officer elected or appointed for any county shall, at the next term of the Superior Court in that county, after the officer's election or appointment, before entering upon the duties of the office, become bound to the State with sufficient surety by a joint and several obligation in the penalty of $3,000 with condition "that if the above named ______ who has been duly elected (or appointed) to be ______ shall and do well and diligently execute the office of ______ as aforesaid and duly and faithfully fulfill and perform all the trusts and duties to the said office appertaining, and truly and without delay deliver to the officer's successor in office, the seal and all the books, records and papers belonging to said office safe and undefaced, and if the said ______ shall truly and without delay pay over to the State Treasurer all the fees which it shall be the officer's duty to collect and which are to be paid to the State Treasurer, then this obligation shall be void and of no effect, or else shall remain in full force and virtue."
(b) The obligations required by this section shall be forthwith delivered to the recorder of deeds in and for the county in which such officer sits to be recorded and filed.
§ 9014B Cancellations of bonds.
The several bonds and recognizances of the several officers provided for in this subchapter shall be cancelled 3 years after the expiration of the terms of office of the several officers and shall after such time cease to be a lien on any property of any kind of the several officers or their respective bondspersons.
§ 9015B Satisfaction of bonds.
The bonds filed and recorded in the offices of the recorders of deeds in this State shall at the time designated in this subchapter be marked by the recorder "cancelled" and under the word "cancelled" the recorder shall sign the recorder's name as recorder and shall affix the official seal of office. The bond filed and recorded in the offices of the Prothonotaries of the Superior Courts in this State shall at the time designated in this subchapter be marked by the Prothonotary "cancelled" and under the word "cancelled" the Prothonotary shall sign the Prothonotary's name as Prothonotary and shall affix the official seal of office, and the original bonds shall be returned to the obligors, or if they are deceased, to their legal representatives.
§ 9016B Violation of bond requirements; penalty.
Whoever, being an officer within the provisions of this subchapter, neglects to comply with §§ 9013A-9015A of this title shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, and shall, ipso facto, forfeit the office.
§ 9017B Mileage payments.
The authorized mileage rate for officers or employees of the several counties who receive mileage from the State shall be 20 cents per mile.
§ 9018B Posting of fee lists.
Every state row officer who keeps a public office shall post in some convenient and conspicuous place therein a printed or written list of the fees prescribed in this chapter, as they relate to the officer.
§ 9019B Deputy Prothonotaries.
(a) The state row officers each may select and employ 1 deputy Prothonotary who shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing officeholder. The provisions of this section shall not authorize any elected officeholder to increase the number of employees in any of the state row offices.
(b) The compensation to be paid the deputy Prothonotary shall be set by the appointing officeholder.
§ 9020B Jurisdiction.
The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of offenses under this chapter.