Delaware Docket Newsletter
Summer 2009

We are pleased to present the Summer 2009 issue of the Delaware Docket, the Newsletter of the Delaware Judiciary, which is published semi-annually to provide updates on activities and events in the Judicial community. All are welcome to suggest topics, contribute articles for future editions, and provide suggestions on the newsletter. Please use the links below to navigate the current issue or view the printable pdf version .

Patricia Griffin, State Court Administrator and Managing Editor
Christine H. Sudell, Deputy State Court Administrator and Articles Editor
Connie Magee, Executive Assistant and Layout Editor


The Delaware Judicial Branch Responds to FY 2010 Budget and Employee Pay Cuts
Fiscal Year 2010 is anticipated to be another difficult fiscal year for the State and the Delaware courts, coming on the “heels” of 2009’s budget challenges. The FY 2010 State budget, which went into effect on July 1, 2009, implemented significant and painful fiscal reductions, including a 2.5% pay cut for Judicial Branch employees.

Court of Chancery Pursues New Initiatives
Guardians and trustees will soon have a new tool to assist them in filing required accountings with the Court of Chancery. The accountings are reports to the Court of all income, investments, and expenditures made on behalf of the ward or estate and must be filed periodically to ensure the proper use of funds.

Kent County Courthouse Beam Signing Ceremony
Demonstrating how well the three branches of government work together, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Chief Justice Myron T. Steele and Representative E. Bradford Bennett at the beam signing ceremony for the Kent County Courthouse on June 25, 2009.

Superior Court Provides New Tool for Web Site Users
Finding the information you need on the Internet can sometimes be difficult, but the Superior Court is helping to solve this problem on its web site with its new online answer desk, iCourtClerk©.

Delaware Judiciary Recognized

Diversity Clerkship Program
Five law students from throughout the country are working in the Delaware Supreme Court and Court of Chancery this summer as part of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law Diversity Clerkship Program.

Justice Holland at International Law Forum
Justice Randy J. Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court was a featured panelist on May 30, 2009 at the Qatar Law Forum in Doha, Qatar.

Office of State Court Collections Reaches New Records
Using a new tax intercept program, the Office of State Court Collections Enforcement (OSCCE) has reached new records in the dollar amounts they have collected on behalf of Delaware courts and agencies.

From Classroom to Courtroom
Acting as prosecutor, defense attorney, or witness in a mock trial was one of many highlights for teachers participating in the “From Classroom to Courtroom” project held in the New Castle County Courthouse June 22-24th.

Justice of the Peace Accepts Traffic Tickets Online Payments
Paying a traffic ticket has become more convenient with the Justice of the Peace Court’s recent introduction of online ticket payment. Available for traffic tickets issued on or after July 1, 2009, the new web-based payment option can be accessed through the State of Delaware and the Justice of the Peace Court’s home page

Delaware Courts Participate in Fugitive Safe Surrender Project
Coming from as far away as San Francisco and Houston, as well as Delaware and surrounding states, over 1,000 individuals surrendered, and over $14,000 in fines and fees were collected in Wilmington April 29-May 2, 2009, as part of the Fugitive Safe Surrender Project.

Fairness for all Task Force Focuses on Self-Represented Civil Litigants
Every day in courtrooms throughout Delaware, individuals in civil cases are representing themselves without the assistance of an attorney.  What challenges for these litigants, the court system, and others are created by this situation and how can these challenges best be met? 

Lawdragon: I Love Delaware Judges
Delaware’s Judiciary is “the finest bench, pound for pound in the United States,” concludes a recent article in the Lawdragon legal magazine, entitled “I Love Delaware Judges” which showcases the strength and expertise of Delaware judges and the Delaware Bar in the corporate area.

Karen Taylor Named Judicial Branch 2008 Employee of the Year
Chief Justice Myron T. Steele announced that Karen Taylor of Superior Court was named the Judicial Branch 2008 Employee of the Year.

Family Court Provides Access to Automated Online Filing
In partnership with nCourt, an Atlanta based government services company, the court developed an automated and secure filing system which is funded by the users who pay a small convenience fee.

Supreme Court Task Force on Criminal Justice Mental Health Releases Interim Report
Since December, the Delaware Supreme Court Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Health has been hard at work identifying issues faced by people with mental illnesses and exploring ways to improve the treatment of the mentally ill within Delaware’s criminal justice system.

Judicial Emergency Act Signed
New legislation designed to clarify the authority of the Chief Justice during an emergency was signed by the Governor on May 19, 2009.

Limited Pro Bono Assistance Program
The program, which is a joint effort of the Administrative Office of the Courts and Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, is designed to assist self-represented litigants by providing a fifteen minute consultation with an attorney to obtain answers to specific legal questions concerning their case.