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Article IV, Delaware Constitution

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Delaware Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIScheduleClosing
Article IV of the Delaware Constitution is entitled Judiciary It has 38 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Creation of Courts

The judicial power of this State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, a Superior Court, a Court of Chancery, an Orphans' Court, a Register's Court, Justices of the Peace, and such other courts as the General Assembly, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members elected to each House, shall have by law established prior to the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective or shall from time to time by law establish after such time.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Justices of Supreme Court and Other State Judges; Qualifications; Residence; Precedence; Retiree Sitting Temporarily

There shall be five Justices of the Supreme Court who shall be citizens of the State and learned in the law. One of them shall be the Chief Justice who shall be designated as such by his appointment and who when present shall preside at all sittings of the Court. In the absence of the Chief Justice the Justice present who is senior in length of service shall preside. If it is otherwise impossible to determine seniority among the Justices, they shall determine it by lot and certify accordingly to the Governor.

There shall be seven other State Judges who shall be citizens of the State and learned in the law. One of them shall be Chancellor, one of them Vice-Chancellor, one of them President Judge of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court, and the remainder of them Associate Judges of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court. Three of said Associate Judges shall be Resident Associate Judges and one of them shall after appointment reside in each county of the State.

There shall also be such number of additional Vice-Chancellors and Associate Judges as may hereinafter be provided for by Act of the General Assembly. Each of such Vice-Chancellors and Associate Judges shall be citizens of the State and learned in the law. If it is otherwise impossible to determine seniority of service among the Vice-Chancellors or among the said Associate Judges, they shall determine it by lot respectively and certify accordingly to the Governor.

The tenure and status of the Justices of the Supreme Court and State Judges as shall have been appointed as provided for by the Constitution or by Act of the General Assembly prior to the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective shall in no wise be affected.

A former State Judge or a former Justice of the Supreme Court, who is retired and is receiving a state judicial pension and who assents to active judicial duty and who is not engaged in the practice of law, upon designation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, shall be authorized to sit temporarily in the court from which he retired or in any other court to which he could be designated under the Constitution and statues of the State if he still held the judicial position from which he retired. Any person so designated shall receive compensation as the General Assembly shall provide. Nothing herein shall authorize the designation of any former State Judge or a former Justice of the Supreme Court to sit in the Supreme Court except temporarily to fill up the number of that Court to the required quorum. The term "State Judge" as used in this paragraph means a Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Court or a President Judge or Associate Judge of the Superior Court.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Appointment of Judges; Terms of Office; Vacancies; Political Representation; Confirmation of Appointment


The Justices of the Supreme Court, the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors, and the President Judge and Associate Judges of the Superior Court shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, for the term of twelve years each, and the persons so appointed shall enter upon the discharge of the duties of their respective offices upon taking the oath of office prescribed by this Constitution. The Governor shall submit his appointment within sixty (60) days after the occurrence of a vacancy however caused. If a vacancy shall occur, by expiration of term or otherwise, at a time when the Senate shall not be in session, the Governor shall within (60) days after the happening of any such vacancy convene the Senate for the purpose of confirming his appointment to fill said vacancy and the transaction of such other executive business as may come before it. Such vacancy shall be filled as aforesaid for the full term. Notwithstanding a vacancy, whether occurring when the Senate is or is not in session, an incumbent whose term has expired shall hold over in office until the incumbent, or a new appointee, is confirmed and takes the oath of office for the next term, but in no event shall an incumbent whose term has expired hold over in office for more than sixty (60) days after the expiration of the term. In all instances the term of a new or reappointed Justice of the Supreme Court, Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor, President Judge or Associate Judge of the Superior Court shall begin on the date that the oath of office is taken, thus qualifying the individual to serve, but the appointment shall be forfeit if such oath is not taken within thirty (30) days of confirmation. (6-28-83)

Appointments to the offices of the State Judiciary shall at all times be subject to all of the following limitations:

First, three of the five Justices of the Supreme Court in office at the same time, shall be of one major political party, and two of said Justices shall be of the other major political party.

Second, at any time when the total number of Judges of the Superior Court and Orphans' Court shall be an even number not more than one-half of the members of all such offices shall be of the same political party; and at any time when the number of such offices shall be an odd number, then not more than a bare majority of the members of all such offices shall be of the same major political party, the remaining members of such offices shall be of the other major political party.

Third, at any time when the total number of the offices of the Justices of the Supreme Court, the Judges of the Superior Court and Orphans' Court, the Chancellor and all the Vice-Chancellors shall be an even number, not more than one-half of the members of all such offices shall be of the same major political party; and at any time when the total number of such offices shall be an odd number, then not more than a bare majority of the members of all such offices shall be of the same major political party; the remaining members of the Courts above enumerated shall be of the other major political party.

Fourth, before sending the name of any person to the Senate for confirmation as the appointment of the Governor to a vacancy in any Judicial Office as aforesaid, the Governor shall, not less than ten (10) days before sending the name of such person to the Senate for confirmation, address a public letter to the President of the Senate informing him that he intends to submit to the Senate for confirmation as an appointment to such vacancy the name of the person he intends to appoint.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Compensation of Judges; Method of Payment; Receipt of Other Fees or Holding Other Office

The Justices of the Supreme Court, the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors, and the President Judge and Associate Judges of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court shall respectively receive from the State for their services compensations which shall be fixed by law and paid monthly and they shall not receive any fees or perquisites in addition to their salaries for business done by them except as provided by law. They shall hold no other office of profit.

Section 5

Text of Section 5

Composition of Superior Court and Orphans' Court; Presiding Judge; Quorum


The President Judge of the Superior Court and the Orphans' Court and the Associate Judges thereof shall compose the Superior Court and the Orphans' Court, as hereinafter prescribed. In each of the said courts the President Judge when present shall preside, and in his absence the senior Associate Judge present shall preside.

One judge shall constitute a quorum of the said courts, respectively, except in the Superior Court sitting to try cases of prosecution under Section 8 of Article V of this Constitution, when two Judges shall constitute a quorum. One Judge may open and adjourn any of said courts.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Sections of Superior Court and Orphans' Courts


Subject to the provisions of Section 5 of this Article two or more sessions of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court may at the same time be held in the same County or in different counties.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Jurisdiction of Superior Court

The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of all causes of a civil nature, real, personal and mixed, at common law and all other the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the formerly existing Superior Court; and also shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the formerly existing Court of General Sessions of the Peace and Jail Delivery; and also shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the formerly existing Court of General Sessions; and also shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the formerly existing Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Definitions of Particular Terms


The phrase "Supreme Court" as used in Section 4 of Article V of this Constitution and the phrases "Superior Court," "Court of General Sessions of the Peace and jail Delivery," "Court of Oyer and Terminer" and "Court of General Sessions" wherever found in the law of this State, elsewhere than in this amended Article IV of this Constitution, shall be read as and taken to mean, and hereafter printed as, the Superior Court provided for in this amended Article IV of this Constitution; and the phrase "Chief Justice" wherever found in the law of this State existing at the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective, elsewhere than in this amended Article IV of this Constitution, shall be read as and taken to mean, and hereafter printed as President Judge of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court, as provided for in this amended Article IV of this Constitution.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Jurisdiction of Orphans' Court


Court shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the Orphans' Court.

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Composition and Jurisdiction of Court of Chancery; Initiation and Decisions in Causes and Proceedings

The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors shall hold the Court of Chancery. One of them, respectively, shall sit alone in that court. This court shall have all the jurisdiction and powers vested by the laws of this State in the Court of Chancery. In any cause or matter in the Court of Chancery that is initiated by an application to a Judge of that Court, the application may be made directly to the Chancellor or a Vice-Chancellor. Causes or proceedings in the Court of Chancery shall be decided, and orders or decrees therein shall be made by the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors who hears them, respectively.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction as follows:

(1) (a) To receive appeals from the Superior Court in civil causes and to determine finally all matters of appeal in the interlocutory or final judgments and other proceedings of said Superior Court in civil causes: Provided that on appeal from a verdict of a jury, the findings of the jury, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive.

(1) (b) To receive appeals from the Superior Court in criminal causes, upon application of the accused in all cases in which the sentence shall be death, imprisonment exceeding one month, or fine exceeding One Hundred Dollars, and in such other cases as shall be provided by law; and to determine finally all matters of appeal on the judgments and proceedings of said Superior Court in criminal causes: Provided, however, that appeals from the Superior Court in cases of prosecution under Section 8 of Article V of this Constitution shall be governed by the provisions of that Section.

(2) Wherever in this Constitution reference is made to a writ of error or a proceeding in error to the Superior Court, such reference shall be construed as referring to the appeal provided for in Section (1) (a) and Section (1) (b) of this Article.

(3) To receive appeals from the Superior Court in cases of prosecution under Section 8 of Article V of this Constitution and to determine finally all matters of appeal in such cases.

(4) To receive appeals from the Court of Chancery and to determine finally all matters of appeal in the interlocutory or final decrees and other proceedings in chancery.

(5) To receive appeals from the Orphans' Court and to determine finally all matters of appeal in the interlocutory or final decrees and judgments and other proceedings in the Orphans' Court.

(6) To issue writs of prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari and mandamus to the Superior Court, the Court of Chancery and the Orphans' court, or any of the Judges of the said courts and also to any inferior court or courts established or to be established by law and to any of the Judges thereof and to issue all orders, rules and processes proper to give effect to the same. The General Assembly shall have power to provide by law in what manner the jurisdiction and power hereby conferred may be exercised in vacation and whether by one or more Justices of the Supreme Court.

(7) To issue such temporary writs or orders in causes pending on appeal, or on writ of error, as may be necessary to protect the rights of parties and any Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise this power when the court is not in session.

(8) To exercise such other jurisdiction by way of appeal, writ of error or of certiorari as the General Assembly may from time to time confer upon it. (9) To hear and determine questions of law certified to it by other Delaware courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, or the highest appellate court of any other state, where it appears to the Supreme Court that there are important and urgent reasons for an immediate determination of such questions by it. The Supreme Court may, by rules, define generally the conditions under which questions may be certified to it and prescribe methods of certification. (1-28-93)

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Composition of Supreme Court; Designation of Temporary Justices; Quorum; Opening and Adjourning Court


A quorum of the Supreme Court shall consist of not less than three Justices. The entire Court shall sit in any criminal case in which the accused has been sentenced to death and in such other civil and criminal cases as the Court, by rule, or the General Assembly, upon the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, shall determine. In case of a lack of quorum by reason of vacancies in their number, incapacity, or disqualification to sit by reason of interest, or to constitute a three-member panel of the Court, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or in case of his absence from the State, disqualification, incapacity, or if there be a vacancy in that office, the next qualified and available Justice, who by seniority is next in rank to the Chief Justice, shall have the power to designate judges from among the judges of the constitutional courts to sit in the Supreme Court temporarily to satisfy the number of Justices required by law. It shall be the duty of the judges of the constitutional courts so designated to sit accordingly. No judge shall be so designated to sit in the Supreme Court in any cause in which he sat below. Any one of the Justices of the Supreme Court may open and adjourn court. (1/13/94)

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Administrative Head of Courts; Supervisory Powers; Designation of Judges to Sit in Court of Chancery, the Superior Court or the Orphans' Court


The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or in case of his absence from the State, disqualification, incapacity, or if there be a vacancy in that office, the next qualified and available Justice who by seniority is next in rank to the Chief Justice shall be administrative head of all the courts in the State, and shall have general administrative and supervisory powers over all the courts. Such powers shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

(l) Upon the approval of a majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court to adopt rules for the administration of justice and the conduct of the business of any or all the courts in this State: Provided, however, that any other of the courts in this State may from time to time, subject to the exercise of the power in this paragraph (l) conferred upon the Justices of the Supreme Court, adopt rules of pleading practice and procedure applicable to such Court.

(2) Upon written request made by the Chancellor, or in his absence or incapacity by the next qualified and available Vice-Chancellor who by seniority is next in rank to the Chancellor, or upon the written request made by the President Judge of the Superior Court, or in his absence or incapacity by the next qualified and available Associate Judge who by seniority is next in rank to the President Judge, to designate one or more of the State Judges (including the Justices of the Supreme Court) to sit in the Court of Chancery or the Superior Court, as the case may be, and to hear and decide such causes in such Court and for such period of time as shall be designated. It shall be the duty of the State Judge so designated to serve according to such designation as a Judge of the Court designated. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be deemed to limit in any manner the powers conferred upon the judges of the Superior Court under Section l4 of this Article. (1/13/94)

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Power of Law Judges to Grant Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunction

The President Judge of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court or any associate Judge shall have power, in the absence of the Chancellor and all the Vice-Chancellors from the county where any suit in equity may be instituted or during the temporary disability of the Chancellor and all the Vice-Chancellors, to grant restraining orders, and the said President Judge or any Associate Judge shall have power, during the absence of the chancellor and all the Vice-Chancellors from the State or his and their temporary disability, to grant preliminary injunctions pursuant to the rules and practice of the Court of Chancery; provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to confer general jurisdiction over the case.

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Judges Ad Litem; Limitation and Expiration of Commission; Compensation; Persons Not Disqualified


The Governor shall have power to commission a judge or judges ad litem to sit in any cause in any of said Courts when by reason by legal exception to the Judges authorized to sit therein, or for other cause, there are not a sufficient number of Judges available to hold such Court. The commission in such case shall confine the office to the cause and it shall expire on the determination of the cause. The judge so appointed shall receive reasonable compensation to be fixed by the General Assembly. A member of Congress, or any person holding or exercising an office under the United States, shall not be disqualified from being appointed a judge ad litem.

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Scope of Jurisdiction and Process; Costs

The jurisdiction of each of the aforesaid courts shall be co-extensive with the State. Process may be issued out of each court, in any county, into every county. No costs shall be awarded against any party to a cause by reason of the fact that suit is brought in a county other than that in which the defendant or defendants may reside at the time of bringing suit.

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Jurisdictional Changes by General Assembly; Appeals to Supreme Court

The General Assembly, notwithstanding anything contained in this Article, shall have power to repeal or alter any Act of the General Assembly giving jurisdiction to the former Court of Oyer and Terminer, the former Superior Court, the Former Court of General Sessions of the Peace and Jail Delivery, the former Court of General Sessions, the Superior Court hereby established, the Orphans' Court or the Court of Chancery, in any matter, or giving any power to either of the said courts. The General Assembly shall also have power to confer upon the Superior Court, the Orphans' Court and the Court of Chancery jurisdiction and powers in addition to those hereinbefore mentioned. Until the General Assembly shall otherwise direct, there shall be an appeal to the Supreme Court in all cases in which there is an appeal, according to any Act of the General Assembly, to the former Court of Errors and Appeals or to the former Supreme Court of this State.

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Powers of Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, and Judges

Until the General Assembly shall otherwise provide, the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors, respectively, shall exercise all the powers which any law of this State vests in the Chancellor, besides the general powers of the Court of Chancery, and the President Judge of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court and the Associate Judges of said Courts shall each singly exercise all the powers which any law of this State vests in the Judges singly of the former Superior Court, whether as members of the Court or otherwise.

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Instructions to Jury

Judges shall not charge juries with respect to matters of fact, but may state the questions of fact in issue and declare the law.

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Trial by Court of Issues of Fact in Civil Causes

In civil causes where matters of fact are at issue, if the parties agree, such matters of fact shall be tried by the court, and judgement rendered upon their decision thereon as upon a verdict by a jury.

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Amendments in Civil Pleadings and Proceedings by Superior Court; Examination of Witnesses and Parties

In civil causes, when pending, the Superior Court shall have the power, before judgment, of directing, upon such terms as it shall deem reasonable, amendments in pleadings and legal proceedings, so that by error in any of them, the determination of causes, according to their real merits, shall not be hindered; and also of directing the examination of witnesses and parties litigant.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Payment into Court Pending Action for Debt or Damages; Costs

At any time pending an action for debt or damages, the defendant may bring into court a sum of money for discharging the same, together with the costs then accrued and the plaintiff not accepting the same, if upon the final decision of the cause, he shall not recover a greater sum than that so paid into court for him, he shall not recover any costs accruing after such payment, except where the plaintiff is an executor or administrator.

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Survival of Action; Executor or Administrator as Party; Continuance

By the death of any party, no suit in chancery or at law, where the cause of action survives, shall abate, but, until the General Assembly shall otherwise provide, suggestion of such death being entered of record, the executor or administrator of a deceased petitioner or plaintiff may prosecute the said suit; and if a respondent or defendant dies, the executor or administrator being duly serviced with a scire facias thirty (30) days before the return thereof shall be considered as a party to the suit, in the same manner as if he had voluntarily made himself a party; and in any of those cases, the court shall pass a decree, or render judgment for or against executors or administrators as to right appertains. But where an executor or administrator of a deceased respondent or defendant becomes a party, the court upon motion shall grant such a continuance of the cause as to the judges shall appear proper.

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Security for Stay of Proceedings on Appeal or Writ of Error

Whenever a person, not being an executor or administrator, appeals or applies to the Supreme Court for a writ of error, such appeal or writ shall be no stay of proceedings in the court below unless the appellant or plaintiff in error shall give sufficient security to be approved by the court below or by a Judge of the Supreme Court that the appellant or plaintiff in error shall prosecute respectively his appeal or writ to effect, and pay the condemnation money and all costs, or otherwise abide the decree in appeal or the judgment in error, if he fails to make his plea good.

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Time for Writ of Error on Confession of Judgment; Exceptions

Repealed, 51, Del. Laws, c. 78.

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Prothonotary as Clerk of Superior Court; Powers and Duties; Entry of Testatum Fieri Facias


The Prothonotary of each county shall be the Clerk of the Superior Court in and for the county in which he holds office. He may issue process, take recognizance of bail and enter judgments, according to law and the practice of the Court. No judgment in one county shall bind lands or tenements in another until a testatum fieri facias being issued shall be entered of record in the office of the Prothonotary of the County wherein the lands or tenements are situated. Such Prothonotary shall perform all duties heretofore performed by the Clerk of the Peace as Clerk of the former Court of General Sessions and the former Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Clerk of Supreme Court; Term of Office and Compensation

The Supreme Court shall have the power to appoint a Clerk to hold office at the pleasure of the said Court. He shall receive from the State for his services a compensation which shall be fixed from time to time by the said Court and paid monthly.

Section 28

Text of Section 28:

Criminal Jurisdiction of Interior Courts and Justices of the Peace; Regulation of Jurisdiction; Indictment; Jury Trial; Appeals

The General Assembly may by law give to any inferior courts by it established or to be established, or to one or more Justices of the Peace, jurisdiction of the criminal matters following, that is to say--assaults and batteries, carrying concealed a deadly weapon disturbing meetings held for the purpose of religious worship, nuisances, and such other misdemeanors as the General Assembly may from time to time, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House, prescribe.

The General Assembly may by law regulate this jurisdiction, and provide that the proceedings shall be with or without indictment by grand jury, or trial by petit jury, and may grant or deny the privilege of appeal to the Superior Court; provided, however, that there shall be an appeal to this Superior Court in all cases in which the sentence shall be imprisonment exceeding one (1) month, or a fine exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

Section 29

Text of Section 29:

Justices of the Peace; Term of Office

There shall be appointed, as hereinafter provided, such number of persons to the office of Justice of the Peace as shall be directed by law, who shall be commissioned for four (4) years.

Section 30

Text of Section 30:

Justices of the Peace and Judges of Legislative Courts; Appointment by Governor; Terms of Office

Justices of the Peace and the Judges of such Courts as the General Assembly may establish, or shall have established prior to the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective, pursuant to the provisions of Section 1 or Section 28 of this Article, shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, for such terms as shall be fixed by this Constitution or by law.

Section 31

Text of Section 31:

Registers of Wills; Depositions of Witnesses; Process; Appeals to Orphans' Court; Disqualification of Register for Interest

The Registers of Wills of the several counties shall respectively hold the Register's Court in each county. Upon the litigation of a cause the depositions of the witnesses examined shall be taken at large in writing and made part of the proceedings in the cause. This court may issue process throughout the State. Appeals may be taken from a Register's Court to the Orphans' Court. In cases where a Register of Wills is interested in questions concerning the probate of wills, the granting of letters of administration, or executors' or administrators' accounts, the cognizance thereof shall belong to the Orphans' Court.

Section 32

Text of Section 32:

Adjustment and Settlement of Executors' and Administrators' Accounts; Notice; Hearing of Exceptions in Orphans' Court; Transfer of Jurisdiction; Appeals

An executor or administrator shall file every account with the Register of Wills for the County, who shall, as soon as conveniently may be, carefully examine the particulars with the proofs thereof, in the presence of such executor or administrator, and shall adjust and settle the same according to the right of the matter and the law of the land; which account so settled shall remain in his office for inspection; and the executor, or administrator, shall within three (3) months after such settlement give notice in writing to all persons entitled to shares of the estate, or to their guardians, respectively, if residing within the State, that the account is lodged in the said office for inspection.

Exceptions may be made by persons concerned to both sides of every such account, either denying the justice of the allowances made to the accountant or alleging further charges against him; and the exceptions shall be heard in the Orphans' Court for the county; and thereupon the account shall be adjusted and settled according to the right of the matter and the law of the land.

The General Assembly shall have the power to transfer to the Orphans' Court all or part of the jurisdiction by this Constitution vested in the Register of Wills and to vest in the Orphans' Court all or a part of such jurisdiction and to provide for appeals from that Court exercising such jurisdiction.

Section 33

Text of Section 33:

Style of Process and Public Acts; Prosecutions in Name of State.


The style in all process and public acts shall be THE STATE OF DELAWARE. Prosections shall be carried on in the name of the State.

Section 34

Text of Section 34:

Continuation in Office and Designation of Certain Judicial Officers

The Chancellor, Chief Justice and Associate Judges in office at and immediately before the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective shall hold their respective offices until the expiration of their terms respectively and shall receive the compensation provided by law. They shall, however, be hereafter designated as follows:

The Chancellor shall continue to be designated as Chancellor;

The Chief Justice shall hereafter be designated as President Judge of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court;

The Associate Judges shall hereafter be designated as Associate Judges of the Superior Court and of the Orphans' Court.

The Vice-Chancellor in office at and immediately before the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective shall hold his office until the expiration of the period of twelve years from the date of the commission for the office of Vice-Chancellor held by him at the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective and shall receive the compensation provided by law. He shall continue to be designated as Vice-Chancellor.

Section 35

Text of Section 35:

Proceedings Pending at Time of 1951 Amendment; Books, Records and Papers; Effect of Amended Article on Court of Chancery

All writs of error and appeals and proceedings pending, at the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective, in the Supreme Court as heretofore constituted shall be proceeded within the Supreme Court hereby established, and all the books, records and papers of the said Supreme Court as heretofore constituted shall be the books, records and papers of the Supreme Court hereby established.

All suits, proceedings and matters pending, at the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective, in the Superior Court as heretofore constituted shall be proceeded within the Superior Court hereby established and all the books, records and papers of the said Superior Court as heretofore constituted shall be the books, records and papers of the Superior Court hereby established.

All indictments, proceedings and matters of a criminal nature pending in the former Court of General Sessions and in the former Court of Oyer and Terminer, at the time this amended Article IV of this Constitution becomes effective, and all books, records and papers of said former Court of General Sessions and former Court of Oyer and Terminer shall be transferred to the Superior Court hereby established, and the said indictments, proceedings and matters pending shall be proceeded with to final judgment and determination in the said Superior Court hereby established.

The Court of Chancery is not affected by this amended Article IV of this Constitution otherwise than by the provisions with respect to a Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors.

Section 36

Text of Section 36:

Abolition of Orphans' Court; Transfer of Jurisdiction and Powers

The General Assembly shall have power to transfer to such court or courts as it deems appropriate all or any part of the jurisdiction, powers and junctions of the Orphans' Court and all or any part of the matters pending before the Orphans' Court, and to abolish the Orphans' Court.

Amendments

(July 1, 1970.)

Section 37

Text of Section 37:

Court on the Judiciary

A Court on the Judiciary is hereby created consisting of the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the Chancellor, and the President Judge of the Superior Court.

Any judicial officer appointed by the Governor may be censured or removed or retired by the Court on the Judiciary as herein provided.

A judicial officer may be censured or removed by virtue of this section for willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to perform his duties, the commission after appointment of an offense involving moral turpitude, or other persistent misconduct in violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics as adopted by the Delaware Supreme Court from time to time.

A judicial officer may be retired by virtue of this section for permanent mental or physical disability interfering with the proper performance of the duties of his office.

No judicial officer shall be censured or removed or retired under this section unless he has been served with a written statement of the charges against him, or of the grounds of his retirement, and shall have had an opportunity to be heard in accordance with due process of law. The affirmative concurrence of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Court on the Judiciary shall be necessary for the censure or removal or retirement of a judicial officer. The Court on the Judiciary shall be convened for appropriate action upon the order of the Chief Justice, or upon the order of any other three members of the court on the Judiciary. All hearings and other proceedings of the Court on the Judiciary shall be private, and all records except a final order of removal or retirement shall be confidential, unless the judicial officer involved shall otherwise request.

Upon an order of removal, the judicial officer shall thereby be removed from office, all of his authority, rights and privileges as a judicial officer shall cease from the date of the order, and a vacancy shall be deemed to exist as of that date. Upon an order of retirement, the judicial officer shall thereby be retired with such rights and privileges as may be provided by law for the disability retirement of a judicial officer, and a vacancy shall be deemed to exist as of the date of retirement.

In the absence or disqualification of a member of the Court on the Judiciary, the Chief Justice, or in his absence or disqualification the Senior Associate Justice, shall appoint a substitute member pro tempore.

The Court on the Judiciary shall have:

(a) the power to summon witnesses to appear and testify under oath and to compel the production of books, papers and documents, and

(b) the power to adopt rules establishing procedures for the investigation and trial of a judicial officer hereunder.

Section 38

Text of Section 38:

Retired Judges and Justices; Temporary Assignment

A former State Judge or a former Justice of the Supreme Court, who is retired and is receiving a state judicial pension and who assents to active judicial duty and who is not engaged in the practice of law, upon designation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or in case of his absence from the State, disqualification, incapacity, or if there be a vacancy in that office, upon designation of the next qualified and available Justice, who by seniority is next in rank to the Chief Justice, shall be authorized to sit temporarily in the court from which he retired or in any other court to which he could be designated under the Constitution and statutes of the State if he still held the judicial position from which he retired. Any person so designated shall receive compensation as the General Assembly shall provide. Nothing herein shall authorize the designation of any former State Judge or a former Justice of the Supreme Court to sit in the Supreme Court except temporarily to fill up the number of that Court to the required quorum. The term "State Judge" as used in this section means a Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Court or a President Judge or Associate Judge of the Superior Court. (1/13/94)

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