WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Delaware

Statutes: Delaware

View all
March 26, 2024

§ 512. Jurisdiction and powers of Commissioners of the Superior Court

(a) Each Commissioner serving under this chapter shall have:

(1) All powers and duties conferred or imposed upon Commissioners by law or by the Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure for the Superior Court;

(2) The power to administer oaths and affirmations, issue orders pursuant to Chapter 21 of Title 11 concerning release or detention of persons pending trial, and take acknowledgements, affidavits and depositions;

(3) The power to accept pleas of not guilty to any offense within the jurisdiction of the Superior Court and to appoint counsel to represent indigent defendants;

(4) The power to accept a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor or violation and, with the consent of the parties, to enter a sentence thereon.

(b) Commissioners may be designated to perform the following with the approval of the President Judge or his or her designee:

(1)a. A judge may designate a Commissioner to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the Court, except a motion for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, to dismiss or quash an indictment or information made by the defendant, to suppress evidence in a criminal case, to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and to involuntarily dismiss an action. A judge of the Court may reconsider any pretrial matter under this paragraph (b)(1)a. where it has been shown that the Commissioner’s order is based upon findings of fact that are clearly erroneous, or is contrary to law or an abuse of discretion.

b. A judge may also designate a Commissioner to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit to a judge of the Court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the Court, of any motion excepted in paragraph (b)(1)a. of this section or of applications for postconviction relief made by individuals convicted of criminal offenses.

c. The Commissioner shall file proposed findings and recommendations under paragraph (b)(1)b. of this section with the Court and shall mail copies forthwith to all parties.

d. Within 10 days after being served with a copy of proposed findings and recommendations under paragraph (b)(1)b. of this section any party may serve and file written objections to such proposed findings and recommendations as provided by rules of Court. A judge of the Court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the Court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Commissioner. The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the Commissioner with instructions.

(2) A judge may also designate a Commissioner to serve as a special master or master pro hac vice pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Court.

(3) A Commissioner may be assigned such additional duties by the President Judge, including assignment to the Court of Common Pleas upon designation by the Chief Justice, as are not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the State. A Commissioner designated to sit in the Court of Common Pleas may exercise in that court the powers and duties set forth in paragraphs (a)(2), (4) and (b)(1) of this section.