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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Part D. Protection From Abuse Proceedings.

back to top§ 1045. Relief available; duration of orders, modification and termination

(a) After consideration of a petition for a protective order, the Court may grant relief as follows:
(1) Restrain the respondent from committing acts of domestic violence, as defined in § 1041 of this title;
(2) Restrain the respondent from contacting or attempting to contact the petitioner;
(3) Grant exclusive possession of the residence or household to the petitioner or other resident, regardless of in whose name the residence is titled or leased. Such relief shall not affect title to any real property;
(4) Order that the petitioner be given temporary possession of specified personal property solely or jointly owned by respondent or petitioner, including but not limited to, motor vehicles, checkbooks, keys and other personal effects;
(5) Grant temporary custody of the children of the parties to the petitioner or to another family member. Either party may request visitation at any time during the proceeding. The Court may provide for visitation by separate interim visitation order pursuant to Title 13, which order shall be binding upon and enforceable against both parties. Such interim visitation order may include third-party supervision of any visitation, if necessary, in accordance with Chapters 7 and 19 of Title 13;
(6) Order the respondent to pay support for the petitioner and/or for the parties' children, in accordance with Chapter 5 of Title 13, including temporary housing costs;
(7) Order the respondent to pay to the petitioner or any other family member monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of domestic violence committed by the respondent, including medical, dental and counseling expenses, loss of earnings or other support, cost of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged or taken, moving or other travel expenses and litigation costs, including attorney's fees;
(8) Order the respondent to temporarily relinquish to the sheriff, constable or to a police officer the respondent's firearms and to refrain from purchasing or receiving additional firearms for the duration of the order;
(9) Prohibit the respondent from transferring, encumbering, concealing or in any way disposing of specified property owned or leased by parties;
(10) Order the respondent, petitioner and other protected class members, individually and/or as a group, to participate in treatment or counseling programs;
(11) Issue an order directing any law-enforcement agency to forthwith search for and seize firearms of the respondent upon a showing by the petitioner that the respondent has possession of a firearm, and
a. Petitioner can describe, with sufficient particularity, both the type and location of the firearm or firearms; and
b. Respondent has used or threatened to use a firearm against the petitioner, or the petitioner expresses a fear that the respondent may use a firearm against them;
(12) Grant any other reasonable relief necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of future domestic violence.
(b) Relief granted under this section shall be effective for a fixed period of time not to exceed 1 year, except that relief granted under paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section may be entered for a fixed period of time not to exceed 2 years, unless a longer period of time is ordered pursuant to subsection (c) or (f) of this section.
(c) An order issued under this part may be extended, or terms of the order modified, upon motion of either party. Hearings on such motions shall be scheduled within 30 days after proof of service on the respondent is filed. Such motions may be heard on an emergency basis if filed in accordance with § 1043 of this title. Orders may be extended only after the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic violence has occurred since the entry of the order, a violation of the order has occurred, if the respondent consents to the extension of the order or for good cause shown.
(d) Only the Court shall modify an order issued under this part and the reconciliation of the parties shall have no effect on the validity of any of the provisions of such an order. The protective order may be modified or rescinded during the term of the order upon motion, after notice to all parties affected and a hearing.
(e) Any subsequent support, custody or visitation order entered by the Court in any proceeding brought pursuant to Title 13 shall supersede any relevant provisions regarding those issues which are included in a protection from abuse order, without the need to modify such protective order.
(f) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, upon a finding that aggravating circumstances exist, the Court may grant no contact relief pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section for as long as reasonably necessary to prevent further acts of abuse or domestic violence, up to and including the entry of a permanent order of the Court. An order entered pursuant to this subsection may only be modified or amended upon motion of a party for good cause shown. For purposes of this subsection, aggravating circumstances shall mean physical injury or serious physical injury to the petitioner caused by the respondent; the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument against the petitioner by the respondent; a history of repeated violations of prior protective orders by the respondent; prior convictions for crimes against the petitioner by the respondent; the exposure of any member of the petitioner's family or household to physical injury or serious physical injury by the respondent; or any other acts of abuse which the Court believes constitute an immediate and ongoing danger to the petitioner or any member of the petitioner's family or household.
69 Laws 1993, ch. 160, § 2; 69 Laws 1994, ch. 335, § 1; 71 Laws 1997, ch. 137, §§ 2-4, eff. July 3, 1997; 76 Laws 2008, ch. 195, § 1, eff. March 20, 2008; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 352, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 12, 2010; 79 Laws 2014, ch. 337, § 1, eff. July 21, 2014.