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Delaware Laws | Title 10 Courts and Judicial Procedures
CHAPTER 9. THE FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
Subchapter III. Procedure

(10 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 930; 58 Del. Laws, c. 491; 64 Del. Laws, c. 326, Sec.Sec. 1, 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 243, Sec. 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 150, Sec.Sec. 1, 2.) (1414)

Sec. 1002. Delinquent child not criminal; prosecution limited. (1415)(Text)

Except as provided in Sec. 1010, no child shall be deemed a criminal by virtue of an allegation or adjudication of delinquency, nor shall a child be charged with or prosecuted for a crime in any other court. In this Court the nature of the hearing and all other proceedings shall be in the interest of rather than against the child. Except as otherwise provided, there shall be no proceedings other than appellate proceedings in any court other than this Court in the interest of a child alleged to be dependent, neglected, or delinquent. However, if a child reaches its 18th birthday prior to an adjudication on a charge of delinquency arising from acts which would constitute a felony were the child charged as an adult under the laws of this State, then the Family Court shall retain jurisdiction for the sole purpose of transferring the matter to the Superior Court for prosecution as an adult. Any such transfer under this section shall not be subject to Sec. 1011 of this title. (1416)

(10 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 931; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, Sec. 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 205, Sec. 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (1417)

Sec. 1003. Commencement; parties. (1418)(Text)

Any person having knowledge of a child within the State who appears to be neglected, dependent or delinquent may file with the Clerk of the Court a petition in writing setting forth the facts verified by affidavit. Neither the Attorney General nor any Deputy Attorneys are required to appear in any proceeding before a Master involving a petition alleging an act of delinquency, but, at the Attorney General's sole discretion, may appear in any such proceeding. (1419)

(10 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 932; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, Sec. 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 413, Sec. 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, Sec. 1.) (1420)

Sec. 1004. Duties of officer having child in custody. (1421)(Text)

A peace officer may take into custody a child the officer believes to be dependent, neglected or delinquent. Any peace officer having taken such a child into custody shall immediately notify the child's custodian citing the reasons therefor. If the custodian refuses to accept the child or cannot be located or cannot provide necessary care for the child, the peace officer shall: (1422)

(1) When the child is not charged with a delinquent act, immediately contact the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, who shall be responsible for further pursuing the whereabouts of the custodian or providing shelter and care for the child in a shelter home, foster home, group home, private agency home or other appropriate facility for children. The child shall be placed in a manner consistent with Sec. 1009(e) of this title. After making every reasonable effort to locate the custodian, the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families may release the child to the child's custodian or forthwith file with the Court a petition for custody alleging dependency or neglect. (1423)

(2) When the child has been charged with a delinquent act, take the child directly before the Court if the Court is in session or take the child before a court or commissioner for disposition in accordance with Sec. 1005 of this title. After taking the child into custody, the peace officer shall forthwith file with the Court a sworn complaint alleging delinquency with a report for the reason of the child's apprehension. (1424)

(10 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 933; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, Sec. 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 334, Sec. 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, Sec. 7; 66 Del. Laws, c. 13, Sec. 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, Sec. 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 136, Sec. 6.) (1425)

Sec. 1005. Other courts; issuance of warrants; powers and duties. (1426)(Text)

(a) Any judge of any state or municipal court or any official designated for such purpose may issue a warrant directing a peace officer to take into custody a child alleged to be delinquent. (1427)

(b) Any judge of any court of this State, including justices of the peace and local aldermen, before whom a child is brought by a peace officer: (1428)

(1) May release the child on the child's own recognizance, or on that of a person having the child's care, to appear before the court when notified so to do; (1429)

(2) May require the child to furnish reasonable cash or property bail or other surety for the child's appearance before the court when notified so to do; (1430)

(3) May order the child detained in a facility designated by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families pursuant to Sec. 1007(a) of this title provided that no means less restrictive of the child's liberty gives reasonable assurance that the child will attend the adjudicatory hearing; and provided, that the alternatives delineated in Sec. 1007(b)(5) of this title have been considered; and provided, that such detention shall continue only until the next session of the Family Court; (1431)

(4) Shall notify the person having the care of the child, if an address be known, of the child's having been taken into custody, the reason therefor, and the disposition of the matter; (1432)

(5) Shall file with this Court forthwith a petition in accordance with Sec. 1003 on forms furnished by this Court. (1433)

(10 Del. C. 1953, Sec. 934; 58 Del. Laws, c. 114, Sec. 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, Sec. 20; 67 Del. Laws, c. 158, Sec. 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 390, Sec. 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 392, Sec. 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 335, Sec. 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (1434)

Sec. 1006. Process; service; return; interim order; investigation. (1435)(Text)

(a) Following commencement of any action concerning a child, the child and the child's custodian shall be brought into the Court by summons or other process. If no custodian can be located, the child's guardian, or some suitable person (preferably a near relative) appointed by the Court to act in behalf of the child shall be notified to appear. (1436)

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