On December 30, 2020, the Delaware Supreme Court extended the current judicial emergency for an additional 30 days, effective January 4, 2021.  The Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court issued Administrative Order No. 15 memorializing the same.

Previously, on October 5, 2020, the Delaware Courts had moved to a modified Phase 3 of the Delaware Judiciary’s four-phase reopening plan that was released in May by the Courts Reopening Committee.  The move to a modified Phase 3 allowed court facilities and staffing to increase up to 75 percent capacity and increase the number of people allowed in courtrooms to accommodate jury trials.

On November 16, 2020, citing the deterioration of COVID-19 conditions in the State, the Chief Justice had ordered the courts to postpone jury trials and transition back to Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan, as memorialized in Administrative Order No. 13.

Through Administrative Order No. 15, the Chief Justice has continued the judicial emergency for an addition thirty days, effective January 4, 2021, ordering that courts shall continue to operate under Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan, and that all Delaware Courts are authorized to continue to utilize audiovisual devices at their facilities and remotely to conduct proceedings, with the exception of jury trials.

Moreover, the suspension of requirements for sworn affidavits, verifications, oaths or affidavits filed in the Delaware Courts, as set forth under Administrative Order No. 3, remains in effect.

Carl D. Neff is a partner with the law firm of Pierson Ferdinand LLP, and practices in Delaware. You can reach Carl at (302) 482-4244 or at carl.neff@pierferd.com.