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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Summer 2006


     Recently, representatives of the Judicial Branch and the Government Information Center have been meeting to discuss possible e-Government projects to help better serve the public. The first project under consideration is providing the capacity to research existing trade names for businesses online. Under Delaware law, any person, firm, or association that does business in the State must register its trade name with the Prothonotary of each county in which it does business (if the trade name does not disclose the actual names of the persons operating the business).

     Currently, each Prothonotary maintains a written docket of such trade names. Anyone wishing to obtain information concerning existing trade names or the ownership of businesses operating under a trade name must conduct a manual search of the docket in the Prothonotary’s Office. The new trade name initiative will permit online searching, providing a substantial time savings for those seeking this information. The project may also be extended to provide for online filing of trade name applications.

      In addition, a number of other potential joint e-Government initiatives are under consideration. These could include such projects as placing older Delaware Supreme Court opinions and orders online, web broadcasting of Supreme Court oral arguments, online filing of lawyer registrations, and online applications such as guardianship forms, name change filings or notary applications. The projects under consideration are functions that are not related to specific court cases, and therefore, are not included in the new case management system (known as “COTS”) currently under development for the Judicial Branch. These e-Government initiatives and the Judicial Branch’s partnership with the Government Information Center can strengthen connections between the public and Judicial Branch services.

     The Government Information Center is part of the Delaware Department of State and is charged with improving citizens’ access to State government through assisting State agencies in providing web-based information and access.