About Us

Message From President Judge Vaughn Fiscal Year 2006

Former President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr.

Welcome to the website of the Superior Court of Delaware!

As Superior Court celebrates its 175th Anniversary in Fiscal Year 2007, we look back to our origins and review our present day challenges. It was under the Constitution of 1832 that Superior Court came to be. Ever since that time, the Court has been in the business of pursuing justice-only more so today.

In 1832, four judges were appointed to the Superior Court bench. According to "The Abstract of the Fifth Census," the total population in 1832 for the State of Delaware was 76,748. Today, 19 judges are appointed to the bench, and the U.S. Census estimates 843,524 citizens reside in the State. Superior Court has a long, strong, heritage, one that we carry proudly into the future.

This year, Superior Court is recognized for the fifth year in row as the premier court of general jurisdiction in the country by The Harris Poll State Liability Systems Ranking Study. For the third year in a row, the Superior Court has undergone a change in judicial officers. On August 31, 2005, Hon. Richard S. Gebelein, Attorney General for the State before coming to the bench, retired from Superior Court to assume the role of International Judge. Thereafter, Hon. M. Jane Brady, the first woman to serve as Attorney General, who also came to the bench from that office.

Statewide filings totaled 20,977, a six percent increase (+1,126 cases) over last year; dispositions totaled 20,077, a two percent increase (+296 cases). The number of non-first degree murder cases moving through the system within allotted time frames remains consistent. Of the number of first-degree murder cases moving through the system, 81% are within the standard. A total of 16 murder first cases went to trial: eight capital murder cases and eight non-capital murder cases.

During fiscal year 2006, a change was made in the assignment of civil and criminal cases in New Castle County. For some years prior to that date, three judges were assigned to criminal cases only and ten tried both civil and criminal cases on a rotating basis. Effective January 1, 2006, all thirteen judges try both civil and criminal cases on a rotating basis. During the six month period from January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006, the number of pending criminal cases in New Castle County declined by 215 (12%).

Our website's Listserv, with 18 separate Listservs, has increased its membership to 1,750, 35 percent more over last year. The Web feedback helpdesk responded to 292 citizens (28 percent more) who had questions regarding how to locate information regarding the Court's forms, opinions and orders, fees, records, and jury duty.

Superior Court's core values of unity, neutrality, integrity, timeliness, equality, and dedication keep us UNITED. In the pursuit of justice, our vision is to provide superior service to the public. We take pride in the work we do, and we never forget we are accountable to the citizens of the State of Delaware for the work we do.

President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr.