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Legal Information: Delaware

Statutes: Delaware

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Updated: 
April 8, 2020

§ 1041. Definitions

The following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Abuse” means conduct which constitutes 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;

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;

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; or

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

(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.