All Justice of the Peace Court locations across the state are open and are hearing cases. The Court this week reminded the public that if they receive a notice to appear in Court they must do so unless they notify the Court in advance and make other arrangements.
The Court recognizes that there could be some confusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic closure of most court facilities to the public during April, May and part of June, and while some state Courts are still operating under COVID-19 restrictions that are limiting some in-person hearings, the Justice of the Peace Court has largely returned to normal operations.
“We understand some people may be reluctant to venture out due to the ongoing pandemic, but we need people who receive notices to appear to contact us if they will not be able to make their appearance. We are happy to work with you to make alternate arrangements, such as appearing by phone or by video, but we need to hear from you,” said Justice of the Peace Court Chief Magistrate Alan Davis.
“For those summoned to appear, know that the Justice of the Peace Court takes your health and safety — and that of our staff — very seriously. The Delaware Courts have launched an aggressive cleaning program to ensure public areas are routinely disinfected and to ensure everyone entering any Delaware Court facility — including all Justice of the Peace Court locations — is screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
Face coverings are required for all people entering court facilities, so they should bring a facemask with them. Justice of the Peace Court lobbies and courtrooms have limited room due to social distancing, so some people may be asked to wait outside the court facility for a short time until called by the Court.
Many cases can be handled by video. To request a video hearing with a judge instead of appearing in person, go to https://courts.delaware.gov/jpcourt/contactinforequest.aspx and complete the “Request for Information” form.