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Delaware Docket Newsletter

SUPERIOR COURT CREATES MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE DORMANT DOCKET

With mortgage foreclosures increasing dramatically, the Superior Court has created new procedures for such cases which allow for time for parties, who so choose, to engage in negotiations and cure the default. Normally, civil actions in the Superior Court are dismissed, following notification to the parties, if there has been no action in the case for a six month period of time. However, the newly created mortgage foreclosure dormant docket permits the plaintiff to request that a mortgage foreclosure action be moved from the active docket to the mortgage foreclosure dormant docket where it may remain for up to twenty-four months. This is helpful because it frequently takes a substantial period of time for the process of negotiating and performing agreements under which the property owner may cure the alleged default and prevent foreclosure.

At any time while an action is on the dormant docket, any party may request that the action be moved back to the active docket. After an action has been pending twenty-four months on the dormant docket, it will be dismissed without further notice, without prejudice, unless prior to that a party seeks to extend the twenty-four month period for good cause shown. If an action is moved from the dormant docket to the active docket, it may not be removed again unless approved by the Court upon good cause shown and upon such terms and conditions as the Court may establish.

The mortgage foreclosure docket was created by an administrative directive issued by President Judge James T. Vaughn, Jr. on October 27, 2008 and applies to all actions pending as of that date or filed thereafter. The Directive will expire after five years, unless extended, or sooner if rescinded.

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