Delaware Court Records Search

What is Included in Delaware Public Court Records

Criminal Court Cases

Assault & Battery, Domestic Violence, Parole Violation, Probation Violation, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Manslaughter, Murder, Drug Offenses, And More...

Civil Court Cases

Bankruptcies, Legal Judgments, Lawsuits, Tax & Property Liens, Contract Disputes, Probates, Family Law, Small Claims, Evictions, And More...

Traffic Court Cases

Driving Under Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, Speeding Tickets, Traffic Citations, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, License Suspensions, Criminal Driving Violations, Accidents, And More...

Delaware Court Record Lookup

Delaware is one of few states that continues to have courts of equity, based on the old English system. Individuals can run a Delaware court records search and access Delaware DE court records unless they are restricted under state law or expunged by petition of the defendant.

Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

Among Delaware’s judiciary are many local courts that handle violations of ordinances and minor misdemeanor matters. These are Alderman’s Courts, Justice of the Peace courts, and Courts of Common Pleas.

Magistrates in the Justice of the Peace courts may decide a variety of misdemeanor, landlord-tenant and small claims issues under $15,000 in value. Similarly, the state’s six Alderman’s Courts are geographically limited and authorized to handle civil ordinances and misdemeanors. Appeals of decisions made in these two courts are heard in the Court of Common Pleas.

The Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction over motor vehicle cases, preliminary pleadings in felony cases, and civil lawsuits over $50,000 in value. Over a 10-year period, the number of cases before this court has declined, with 104,000 total cases filed in the most recent year and 76,000 of those cases disposed. That’s down from about 131,000 filed and 137,000 disposed in 2010. Civil cases account for about 10,000 of those case filings per year.

The state’s Family Court coexists with the Court of Common Pleas and has criminal and civil jurisdiction. It hears Delaware child support, custody, guardianship, and similar cases in each of the state’s three counties. More than 40,000 cases come before this court per year.

A Court of Chancery hears corporate cases offering equitable rather than legal solutions such as writs and injunctions because about 50 percent of American companies are incorporated in Delaware. About 4,000 cases are brought to this court each year and 5,000 disposed.

Superior Court

The state’s general trial court is its Superior Court, with one operating in each of the state’s three counties. Along with civil and criminal cases, this court also hears appeals of decisions made by lower Delaware courts. It receives about 20,000 case filings each year and disposes of more than 18,000, both representing a decline from the 10-year average.

Supreme Court

Appeals of Delaware Superior Court decisions are heard by the state Supreme Court’s justices. This Delaware courthouse also has jurisdiction over the state bar and some administrative agencies.

Federal Courts

The U.S. District Court for Delaware, a federal court that handles bankruptcies and cases that cross state lines, has recently made business news due to the number of patent infringement cases it receives. The number of these cases doubled in just a few months of 2017, compelling justices to transfer them to other jurisdictions. Case information for mentioned Delaware courthouses is public record and can be viewed when performing Delaware court case lookup.

Delaware Notable Court Cases

A partial decision on a case before the Court of Chancery in 2009 was upheld on appeal by the state Supreme Court, resulting in a multi-million dollar decision against the defendant. After a judge ordered the man to preserve records on his computer's hard drive the man wiped data from the computer's temporary file space, winning him a $3.2 million loss in the case. When he appealed the Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision but admonished courts to be specific in ordering "document retention and preservation orders" on electronically-stored information.

In a case pending in 2016, media magnate Sumner Redstone was ordered to submit to a medical evaluation to determine his mental acuity in a case over control of the Viacom Company of which he is controlling stockholder. A Chancery Court judge ordered a coordinated, "'dignified" examination of the 93-year-old due to allegations that he's not the one trying to replace Viacom company directors. The case was brought in Delaware and Massachusetts by the Viacom CEO who alleges that Redstone's daughter is actually calling the shots in taking control of the company.

Delaware Civil Case Statistics

Clearance Rate
Clearance Rate 95%

The clearance rate for the state is about 95% which makes up by dividing the outgoing to incoming civil cases and expressing the result in a percentage.

Criminal Incoming Court Cases by type 2012-2016

Criminal Caseloads Timeline

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Martin Luther King Jr. DayMonday, January 15, 2018
Good FridayFriday, March 30, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Election DayTuesday, November 6, 2018
Return Day (after 12:00 noon Sussex County)Thursday, November 8,2018, 2018
Veterans DayMonday, November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Day After ThanksgivingFriday, November 23, 2018
Christmas Day Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Supreme Court Caseloads & Clearance Rates