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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Part E. Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders

back to top§ 1049B. Judicial enforcement of order

(a) A person authorized by the law of this State to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in the Court. The Court shall enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that the Court would lack power to provide but for this section. The Court shall enforce the order whether the order was obtained by independent action or in another proceeding if it is an order issued in response to a complaint, petition or motion filed by or on behalf of an individual seeking protection. In a proceeding to enforce a foreign protection order, the Court shall follow the procedures of this State for the enforcement of protection orders.

(b) The Court may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by the tribunal of a state that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order.

(c) The Court shall enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order which govern custody and visitation if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing state.

(d) A foreign protection order is valid if it:

(1) Identifies the protected individual and the respondent;

(2) Is currently in effect;

(3) Was issued by a tribunal that had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under the law of the issuing state; and

(4) Was issued after the respondent was given reasonable notice and had an opportunity to be heard before the tribunal issued the order, or in the case of an order ex parte, the respondent was given notice and had an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable time after the order was issued, consistent with the rights of the respondent to due process.

(e) A foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity.

(f) Absence of any of the criteria for validity of a foreign protection order is an affirmative defense in an action seeking enforcement of the order.

(g) The Court may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if:

(1) The respondent filed a written pleading seeking a protection order from the tribunal of the issuing state; and

(2) The tribunal of the issuing state made specific findings in favor of the respondent.

(73 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.)