Delaware court system pitches easier access to information

Submitted photo/State of Delaware A new website is devoted to providing public information regarding the Delaware Court on the Judiciary. (Submitted photo/State of Delaware)

A new website is devoted to providing public information regarding the Delaware Court on the Judiciary. (Submitted photo/State of Delaware)

DOVER — In a continuing quest for openness to the public, the Delaware Judiciary announced a new website designed to provide “comprehensive details on the disciplinary process for Delaware judges,” according to a spokesman.

The new online site will provide information regarding the Court on the Judiciary, which oversees the investigation of state court judges and any disciplinary actions.

The website is available at courts.delaware.gov/coj/.

In a news release last Friday, spokesman Sean O’Sullivan described the website’s Frequently Asked Questions feature as providing clear answers, along with “an easy to understand flow-chart showing how the complaint process works, complaint forms and links to past decisions by the Court on the Judiciary where discipline was imposed.”

Legal information on the structure and authority of the Court on the Judiciary is also available, Mr. O’Sullivan said.

The Court on the Judiciary, established through a constitutional amendment in 1969, includes the Chief Justice and other Supreme Court Justices, Court of Chancery Presiding Judges, Superior Court, Family Court and the Court of Common Pleas.

Pending legislation would add the Chief Magistrate of the Justice of the Peace Court to the Court on the Judiciary.

The Court on the Judiciary has constitutional authority to discipline state judges for willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to perform duties, offenses involving “moral turpitude,” and other persistent misconduct in violation of the Delaware Judges’ Code of Judicial Conduct, Mr. O’Sullivan said.

In addition, a news release read, the Court on the Judiciary can retire a judicial officer suffering from a mental or physical disability that interferes with the proper performance of their duties.

Also listed on the website are Preliminary Investigatory Committee members, including Bar members and members of the public.

“The Committee investigates complaints referred to it and submits written findings and recommendations to the Court on the Judiciary to allow it take appropriate action,” Mr. O’Sullivan said.

Prior to the website launch, the Delaware Judiciary amended rules related to the Court on the Judiciary in an attempt to bring greater clarity and simplicity to the process, the news release said.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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