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Delaware Docket Newsletter

Summer 2014

We are pleased to present the Summer 2014 issue of the Delaware Docket, the Newsletter of the Delaware Judiciary, which is published semi-annually to provide updates on activities and events in the Judicial community. All are welcome to suggest topics, contribute articles for future editions, and provide suggestions on the newsletter. Please use the links below to navigate the current issue or view the printable pdf versionpdf icon.

Managing Editors: Patricia Griffin, State Court Administrator, and Amy Quinlan, Deputy State Court Administrator
Articles Editor: Ashley Tucker, Staff Attorney
Features Editor: Robin Freeman, Research and Planning Coordinator
Layout Editor: Connie Magee, Executive Assistant

Featured Stories

Chief Justice Strine Presses for Innovative Approach to Future Challenges Facing Judicial Branch
In his first State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., laid out his priorities for the Judicial Branch to members of the Bench and Bar at the annual meeting on June 4, 2014.

Governor Honors Capitol Police and Judicial Branch Employees for Courageous Acts During Courthouse Shooting
On May 8, 2014, Governor Jack A. Markell and Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn recognized the recipients of the Delaware Award for Excellence and Commitment in State Service in a ceremony in Dover at the Delaware Technical Community College’s Terry Campus.

Judicial Branch Employees Recognized

New Judges Take Office / Family Court Commissioners Join the Bench

The Courts Mourn the Death of Judge Vincent A. Bifferato, Sr.
Judge Bifferato served on the Superior Court bench from 1968 until 2000. Judge Biff, as he was lovingly referred to in the courthouse, was a legal lion in Delaware.

Delaware Judiciary Recognized

Superior Court Veterans Treatment Court Hosts Mentor Training
On April 16, 2014, Resident Judge William L. Witham, Jr., and Judge Jan R. Jurden, both of the Delaware Superior Court, hosted an afternoon training for veterans who wish to serve as volunteer mentors in the Veterans Treatment Courts in Kent and New Castle Counties.

Family Court Launches Enhancement Project Initiative
On April 3 and 4, 2014, in an ongoing effort to improve systems and processes, the Family Court of Delaware launched an Enhancement Project focusing on issues related to domestic violence in partnership with the Battered Women’s Justice Project, the National Institute of Justice, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

May Brings Young Minds to the Courthouse
Employees and regulars of the New Castle County Courthouse may have noticed the presence of numerous young visitors as forty-five fifth graders from All Saints Catholic School came to the courthouse on May 6, 2014 to learn about the duties of Capitol Police Officers and witness the daily activities of the New Castle County Courthouse.

Singapore's Chief Justice Visits Delaware's Courts
On April 3, 2014, Justice Henry duPont Ridgely and Vice Chancellor Donald Parsons, Jr., welcomed Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon of Singapore to the New Castle County Courthouse for a day of cross-cultural exchange.

Offices of the Chief Justice and Administrative Office of the Courts Relocate as Part of Long-Term Vision for Judicial Facilities Statewide
The Chambers of Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., are situated in the Renaissance Centre across from the New Castle County Courthouse (NCCCH). The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will relocate from the courthouse into the Renaissance Centre in early August.

Second Annual Sisters in Success Conference Held at Baylor Women's Correctional Institution
Delaware’s First Lady, Carla Markell, returned to present the keynote address for the second annual Sisters in Success Conference on Monday, May 12, 2014 at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution.

U.S. Marshal Papili Recognized
Members of the New Castle County Courthouse Operations Policy Committee presented a tribute to District of Delaware United States Marshal Joseph A. Papili upon his retirement from the Marshal’s office in March 2014. 

High School Students Try The Case of State of Delaware v. Cameron Paul
This year, the Charter School of Wilmington had the honor of representing Delaware in the national competition which was held May 8 to May 10, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Update to Testamentary Trust Accounting Procedures in the Court of Chancery
With a recent amendment to 12 Del. C. §3521, trust beneficiaries can waive the need for future judicial accountings. 

Law Day 2014 Celebrated Through iCivics Presentations
For the third year in a row, the Women and the Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, in conjunction with the Supreme Court of Delaware, coordinated iCivics presentations in public elementary and middle schools throughout the State of Delaware during the month of May.

OSCCE Expands Payment Kiosk Program
The Office of State Court Collections Enforcement (OSCCE) has announced plans to expand its successful payment kiosk system in the next six months.

Nationally Renowned Judicial Ethics Expert Presents at Family Court
On April 10, 2014, the judges and commissioners of Family Court welcomed for a day-long training nationally-renowned judicial ethics expert Cynthia Gray.

Superior Court Rule 61 Amended
On June 4, 2014, Superior Court amended several provisions of its Criminal Rule 61, including section (a), which was amended to clarify that only movants who are currently in custody and are challenging the judgment for which they are in custody may file a motion under Criminal Rule 61. 

Justice of the Peace Court Holds Enhancing Procedural Fairness Training
On March 26, 2014, the Justice of the Peace Court held a training for judges, managers, and police officer liaisons on the topic of procedural justice.

JIC Staff Upgrades Judiciary To Windows
JIC recently completed the upgrade of 1,189 judicial branch computers and laptops from Windows XP to Windows 7. The upgrade was necessitated by Microsoft’s announcement last spring that it would no longer support Windows XP.

William Penn v. Lord Baltimore Goes on the Road
William Penn v. Lord Baltimore, a theatrical adaption of Justice Randy Holland’s historical book, Delaware’s Destiny as Determined by Lewes, was presented at the Terry Carey American Inn of Court in Milford on January 15, 2014 and again at the Melson-Arsht Inn of Court in Wilmington on April 8, 2014.

Kent County Family Court Mural
Details of the 20-foot-long mural gracing Family Court Judge Mardi F. Pyott’s Kent County courtroom. 

Superior Court Mental Health Court Launches Peer Mentor Program
Superior Court Mental Health Court launched its Peer Mentor Program in January 2014.

The New Castle County Courthouse Lobby Gets Long-Awaited Facelift
The New Castle County Courthouse is finally ready for its makeover. The long-awaited renovations to the front lobby of the courthouse began on May 27, 2014 and should be completed in August 2014. 

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