Magistrates, known as Justices of the Peace, are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The initial term is four years while potential reappointments are for six year terms.
When an opening occurs, the Governor appoints the new Justice of the Peace from a list of recommended candidates compiled by the Governor's Magistrate Screening Committee. The nomination is then submitted to the Delaware State Senate for confirmation.
Governor's Magistrate Screening Committee
The Committee was established by executive order. Of its nine members, five may be attorneys. The Department of State, Division of Professional Regulation provides administrative services to the Committee.
How applicants are screened
Screenings are initiated on an "as needed" basis. Notices soliciting applications are published in newspapers and posted in public buildings, such as libraries and post offices, throughout the State. The only prerequisite for filing an application is attainment of age 25 and reside in Delaware.
The first step in the screening is an examination. Applicants are notified of the date and time when the examination will be given. The examination consists of a battery of written tests. These tests assess whether an applicant possesses qualities needed by a judge. Legal knowledge is not tested.
Applicants who attain a minimum ranking determined by the Committee progress to the next step of the screening, an interview with members of the Committee.
At the conclusion of the interviews, the Committee compiles the list of recommended candidates. These candidates' applications are forwarded to the Governor's office for consideration when an opening occurs.
How to file an application
Applications are accepted only when a screening is initiated. To request notification when the next screening is initiated, individuals may call (302) 744-4500, email customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write:
The Governor's Magistrate Screening Committee
c/o Division of Professional Regulation
Cannon Building, Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover, DE 19904