President Judge Vaughn
Fiscal Year 2006
|President Judge James T.
Welcome to the Web site of the Superior Court of Delaware!
As Superior Court celebrates its 175th Anniversary in Fiscal
Year 2007, we look back to our
origins and review our present day challenges. It was under the
Constitution of 1832 that Superior Court came to be. Ever since that
time, the Court has been in the business of pursuing justiceonly
more so today.
In 1832, four judges were appointed to the Superior Court bench. According
to "The Abstract of the Fifth Census," the total
population in 1832 for the State of Delaware was 76,748. Today, 19
judges are appointed to the bench, and the U.S. Census estimates 843,524
citizens reside in the State. Superior Court has a long, strong, heritage,
one that we carry proudly into the future.
This year, Superior Court is recognized for the fifth year in row
as the premier court of general jurisdiction in the country by The Harris Poll State Liability Systems Ranking Study. For the third
year in a row, the Superior Court has undergone a change in judicial
officers. On August 31, 2005, Hon.
Richard S. Gebelein, Attorney General for the State before coming
to the bench, retired from Superior Court to assume the role of International
Judge. Thereafter, Hon.
M. Jane Brady, the first woman to serve as Attorney General, who
also came to the bench from that office, was appointed on December
Statewide filings totaled 20,977, a six percent increase (+1,126 cases)
over last year; dispositions totaled 20,077, a two percent increase
(+296 cases). The number of non-first degree murder cases moving through
the system within allotted time frames remains consistent. Of the
number of first-degree murder cases moving through the system, 81%
are within the standard. A total of 16 murder first cases went to
trial: eight capital murder cases and eight non-capital murder cases.
During fiscal year 2006, a change was made in the assignment
of civil and criminal cases in New Castle County. For some years
prior to that date, three judges were assigned to criminal cases only
and ten tried both civil and criminal cases on a rotating basis. Effective
January 1, 2006, all thirteen judges try both civil and criminal cases
on a rotating basis. During the six month period from January 1, 2005
to June 30, 2006, the number of pending criminal cases in New Castle
County declined by 215 (12%).
site's Listserv, with 18 separate Listservs, has increased its
membership to 1,750, 35 percent more over last year. The Web feedback
helpdesk responded to 292 citizens (28 percent more) who had questions
regarding how to locate information regarding the Court's forms, opinions
and orders, fees, records, and jury duty.
Superior Court's core
values of unity, neutrality, integrity, timeliness, equality, and
dedication keep us UNITED. In the pursuit of justice, our vision
is to provide superior service to the public. We take pride in the
work we do, and we never forget we are accountable to the citizens
of the State of Delaware for the work we do.
Judge James T. Vaughn Jr.