Women and Justice: Court: Delaware Family Court

Domestic Case Law

T.L. v. W.L. Delaware Family Court (2003)


Domestic and intimate partner violence

Here, the plaintiff sought a protection order from a Delaware court. The defendant argued that a Delaware court had no jurisdiction over him, as the alleged abuse did not occur in Delaware, and he was a non-resident. Further, the plaintiff and her children were present in Delaware only for two days upon filing the petition. Id. at 508. The court noted that Delaware enacted the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, which allows courts to register and enforce valid protection orders from other states. Id. at 513. The court found that because Delaware would recognize any protection order, the wife should have more appropriately requested the order in Ohio, as the defendant’s due process rights outweighed Delaware’s interests to protect its residents from domestic violence.



Stafford v. Nunn, 1996 WL 434514, at *1 Delaware Family Court (1996)


Domestic and intimate partner violence

Here, the plaintiff sought an emergency protective order as she feared that her ex-husband was going to kidnap their son and as the ex-husband had told her the only way to solve their problems was for the plaintiff to be dead.  Id. at *1.  Under 10 Del. C. § 1043(a), a party may request an emergency protective order where there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence.  In order to obtain such an order, the plaintiff must show in writing what efforts have been made to give notice to the adverse party of the request.  Further, a court may not grant an order unless the plaintiff files an affidavit or verified pleading.  The plaintiff failed to file such a writing in this case, and the court noted that emergency relief can only be granted based upon oral testimony in very limited circumstances.  Because there were no new arguments made in the plaintiff’s oral argument that could not have been raised earlier or in writing, the court found no such exception existed here.  Thus, the court denied the emergency protective order.  Id. at *1-*2.