Delaware Judicial System and Court System: How Does it Work?
Organization of the courts
The Supreme Court, The Court of Chancery, Superior Courts, Family Courts, Court of Common Pleas and Justice of the Peace Courts form the judicial system in the state of Delaware. The Chief Justice is the head of the judicial system in the state. The Chief Court Administrator handles all the related administrative matters.
Delaware Supreme Court
In the state of Delaware, the highest court is the Supreme Court. It is the highest court of appeal and hears appeals against the decisions of the Court of Chancery, Superior Court and Family Courts. The Chief Justice presides over the Supreme Court.
A panel of three judges hears cases. Cases are usually decided based on motions, briefs, and arguments. Majority of the case decisions of the Delaware Supreme Court is by briefs submitted by the attorneys. Apart from appeals, the Supreme Court also hears original cases related to mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition.
Delaware Court of Chancery
The Court of Chancery is a court of law which handles matters related to trusts, estates, corporate matters, the title of land, real estate and issues related to contracts. It is well-known for handling all commercial related cases. Since Delaware is home to some corporate organizations, there are many judgments related to corporate matters like mergers and acquisitions. The Court of Chancery hears these cases and appealed to the Supreme Court.
Throughout the USA, the courts have made a name thanks to the corporate law related decisions. Because of this almost 60% of companies that have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange have registered in Delaware. The business-friendly legal system here is appreciated throughout the country.
Delaware Superior Court
This is the general jurisdiction court, which handles all civil and criminal cases. For civil cases on Delaware, there are no limits for awarding damages. The Superior Court also hears all appeals from the Court of Common Pleas and Family Courts.
Delaware Family Court
This court deals with all issues related to families. It includes divorce, child custody and also juvenile issues. Any appeal related to juveniles is directly made to the supreme court. All other appeals against this court’s decision go to the Superior Court.
Delaware Court of Common Pleas
This court handles cases related to civil matters. Only those cases, where the amount in issue is the Court of Common Pleas hears less than $50,000. Criminal cases, except those of drug-related and traffic-related offenses, are heard in this court. It also hears all preliminary criminal trial cases.
Delaware Justice of the Peace Court
The Justice of the Peace Court is the initial level and is at the base of the judicial pyramid. It handles civil cases where the amount disputed is less than $15,000. In criminal matters, the court handles traffic cases, except felonies. It also handles minor misdemeanors.
Delaware Board of Bar Examiners
One of the wings of the Supreme Court of Delaware is the Board of Bar Examiners. This board is responsible for admission to the Delaware Bar. The Board conducts examinations for admission to the bar and declares the results so that new attorneys could be admitted to the bar.
Delaware Federal Court
Like in all other states, Delaware has two judicial systems. One is the state judicial system where the law of the state of Delaware and the Constitution of Delaware is administered. The Federal Court has jurisdiction over cases related to Federal Laws. The US District Court for the District of Delaware handles federal cases. The Federal court is known for handling cases related to patents and commercial matters.