House Bill 250
150th General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 10 AND 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TRUANCY.
This Act is a recommendation of the Jurisdiction Improvement Committee established by the Delaware Supreme Court Order of November 7, 2017. The Act provides for the Justice of the Peace Court and Family Court to have concurrent jurisdiction over truancy matters and allows for a means of transfer from the Justice of the Peace Court to the Family Court for cases in which the Family Court already has open proceedings regarding the child or child’s family. Concurrent jurisdiction allows for judicial economy in consideration of such matters while at the same time allowing the Family Court to focus their resources on the more significant filings. This Act mandates that school principals attempt to confer with a truant child’s parents/guardians in an effort to address the child’s lack of attendance prior to filing a complaint with a court. The Act returns to Family Court the consideration of criminal contempt of students in truancy proceedings and removes subsections that are redundant as a result of § 1007C of Title 10. This Act clarifies that children adjudicated truant within the Justice of the Peace Court would have the right to appeal the finding to the Family Court. For truancy matters which result in adjudications truant within the Family Court, appeal rights will remain as is specified in 10 Del. C. § 1051. This Act also removes the requirement of a bond for an appeal. Finally, this Act identifies the criteria for determining whether a complaint will remain in the Justice of the Peace Court or be transferred to Family Court.