Delaware Case Law
The Delaware state court system is divided into two levels. The only appellate court in Delaware is the Delaware Supreme Court, which consists of five judges. The Supreme Court reviews appeals of decisions by the Delaware Superior Court and the Delaware Court of Chancery. It also reviews civil appeals from the Delaware Family Court. Decisions by the Delaware Supreme Court are final unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.
The lower level of the Delaware state court system consists primarily of the Delaware Superior Court and the Delaware Court of Common Pleas. The Superior Court holds general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. This court also reviews appeals of decisions by the Court of Common Pleas. The jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas is limited to certain types of cases. These include misdemeanors, motor vehicle offenses, and civil matters with no more than $50,000 at issue. The Court of Common Pleas also reviews appeals of decisions by Delaware Justice of the Peace Courts and Delaware Alderman's Courts. The Justice of the Peace Courts hold jurisdiction over most minor criminal cases and civil matters with no more than $15,000 at issue. The Alderman's Courts are local courts that hold jurisdiction over traffic offenses, parking violations, and other minor matters that arise within the boundaries of a town.
Delaware also has certain other courts that review distinctive types of cases. These include the Delaware Family Court and the Delaware Court of Chancery. The Family Court reviews cases related to divorce, child custody and support, adoption, guardianships, and other domestic matters. The Court of Chancery holds equity jurisdiction over cases involving business litigation, real estate, trusts, and similar matters. It is famous for hearing disputes between many of the largest corporations in the U.S. and the world.
The Court on the Judiciary of Delaware regulates the conduct of judicial officers in the state. It receives, investigates, and resolves complaints related to the alleged ethical misconduct or disability of judicial officers.