President Judge Vaughn
Superior Court Annual Report for Fiscal
|President Judge James T.
In Superior Court this year, Judge Susan Del Pesco retired on May
30, after twenty years of service. She was the State's first female Superior
Court judge. To fill this vacancy, John A. Parkins Jr., was sworn in on
August 21, 2008.
Previously, on July 24, 2008, Lynne
M. Parker was sworn in as a Commissioner. Commissioner Parker filled
the vacancy created when Commissioner David A. White resigned to return
to private practice.
Statewide for 2008, Superior Court filings totaled 23,240, a one percent
increase over last year; dispositions totaled 22,386, a five percent increase.
The number of non-first degree murder cases moving through the system
within allotted time frames remained consistent. At the end of June this
year, forty-six first degree murder cases were pending in Superior Court.
Additionally, the Court disposed of 9,390 Violation of Probation cases.
Effective March 1, 2008, Superior Court adopted sweeping changes to its mandatory alternative dispute
resolution (ADR) program. Civil Rule 16.1 was repealed. Civil
Rule 16 was amended to require mandatory ADR in every civil case,
unless expressly excluded by the rule or by the court. The revised rule
was implemented as a time-saver by the court. Our core mission to those
who file complaints is to give parties a prompt day in court. It is estimated
that more than 1,000 additional cases per year will be added to the 4,000
cases that currently proceed through the Superior Court's alternative
Jan R. Jurden has been named Superior Court's representative to Delaware's
Task Force for the Chief Justices' Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership
Initiative by President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr. The Council of State
Governments (CSG) Justice Center selected Delaware as one of four states
to participate in the national project.
The Project's mission is to improve responses to people with mental illness
who are involved in the justice system. For Superior Court, the Initiative
will build upon our existing pilot Mental Health Court, which Judge Jurden
initiated in early 2008 and continues to oversee.
Finally, for the seventh
consecutive year, the Superior Court of Delaware has been recognized as
the premier court of general jurisdiction in the country by the Harris
Poll State Liability Systems Ranking Study. The three counties of the
Court are true to its core values, and they are U.N.I.T.E.D. in their mission "to serve the public, in pursuit of justice."
Judge James T. Vaughn Jr.