How long does an order of relinquishment last?
The initial order, issued by the Justice of the Peace Court, will last for approximately 30 days. During that time, the Department of Justice will decide whether to file another petition in the Superior Court to ask for a longer-term order of relinquishment.1 If the Department of Justice does file the petition, a court date will be held within approximately 15 days. The person (respondent) does have the right to be notified before the Superior Court hearing and to be present in court to object to the order being issued against him/her.2 The law doesn’t specifically state how long an order of relinquishment issued by the Superior Court can last but it is intended to be a longer-term order than the initial 30-day order.
Note: If the Department of Justice does not file a petition with the Superior Court within the timeframe allowed by law (which is usually 30 days unless an extension is given), the Justice of the Peace Court’s order would expire and the law enforcement agency must return the firearms or ammunition to the respondent.3
1 11 Del. Code § 1448C(b)(2), (b)(3)
2 11 Del. Code § 1448C(c)(2)
3 11 Del. Code § 1448C(b)(3)