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Legal Information: Delaware

Statutes: Delaware

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March 26, 2024

§ 1041. Definitions

The following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Abuse” means conduct which constitutes any of the following:

a. Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical injury or a sexual offense, as defined in § 761 of Title 11.

b. Intentionally or recklessly placing or attempting to place another person in reasonable apprehension of physical injury or sexual offense to such person or another.

c. Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying, or taking the tangible property of another person, including:

1. Legal documents that are the property of another person.

2. Inflicting physical injury on any companion animal or service animal.

d. Engaging in a course of alarming or distressing conduct in a manner which is likely to cause fear or emotional distress or to provoke a violent or disorderly response, including conduct that is directed towards any companion animal or service animal.

e. Trespassing on or in property of another person, or on or in property from which the trespasser has been excluded by court order.

f. Child abuse, as defined in Chapter 9 of Title 16.

g. Unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, interference with custody, and coercion, as defined in Title 11.

h. Intentionally causing or attempting to cause an adult to be financially dependent by doing either or both of the following:

1. Maintaining overwhelming control over the individual’s financial resources, including withholding access to money or credit cards or forbidding attendance at school or employment without reasonable justification, and against the individual’s will.

2. Stealing or defrauding of money or assets, exploiting the victim’s resources for personal gain, or withholding physical resources such as food, clothing, necessary medications, or shelter.

i. Any other conduct which a reasonable person under the circumstances would find threatening or harmful.

j. 1. Any of the following acts when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, or intimidation of a person who has a close bond of affection to the companion animal as defined in paragraph (1)j.2. of this section:

A. Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury on the companion animal.

B. Engaging in conduct which is likely to cause the person to fear that the companion animal will be physically injured.

C. Engaging in cruelty to the companion animal under § 1325 of Title 11.

2. “Companion animal” means an animal kept primarily for companionship instead of as any of the following:

A. A working animal.

B. A service animal as defined in § 4502 of Title 6.

C. An animal kept primarily as a source of income, including livestock as defined in § 7700 of Title 3.

(2) “Domestic violence” means abuse perpetrated by 1 member against another member of the following protected classes:

a. Family, as that term is defined in § 901(12) of this title, regardless, however, of state of residence of the parties, or whether parental rights have been terminated; or

b. Former spouses; persons cohabitating together who are holding themselves out as a couple, with or without a child in common; persons living separate and apart with a child in common; or persons in a current or former substantive dating relationship. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a substantive dating relationship. Factors to consider for a substantive dating relationship may include the length of the relationship, or the type of relationship, or the frequency of interaction between the parties.

(3) “Petitioner” means:

a. A person who is a member of a protected class and files a petition alleging domestic violence against such person or against such person’s minor child or an adult who is impaired;

b. The Division of Child Protective Services acting in the interest of a minor child and files a petition alleging domestic violence; or

c. The Division of Adult Protective Services acting in the interest of an adult who is impaired and files a petition alleging domestic violence.

(4) “Protective order” means an order issued by the court to a respondent restraining said respondent from committing domestic violence against the petitioner, or a person in whose interest a petition is brought, and may include such measures as are necessary in order to prevent domestic violence.

(5) “Respondent” means the person alleged in the petition to have committed the domestic violence.