Proposed Legislation in Delaware

March 2014Articles In the Zone

Summary Proceedings for Possession

Legislation has been proposed to extend jurisdiction of the Justice of the Peace Court (JP Court) in summary proceeding for possession. Currently, landlords, who seek possession in the JP Court, and seek judgment in excess of $15,000, must file a separate action in the Court of Common Pleas or Superior Court to obtain a dollar damage judgment.

The Family Financial Protection Act (HB 230)

An Act to amend Title 6 of the Delaware Code relating to consumer protection, the Family Financial Protection Act (FFPA) has been proposed to, among other things, address credit card collection activities and protect consumer debtors. The proposed Bill defines “Consumer debt,” to include . . . “any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.”

The Bill addresses Consumer Form contracts and specifies provisions which may not be included in such contracts including Confession of Judgment clauses.

Critics of the legislation feel that the Bill tries to do too many things and casts too wide a net. The Bill, as currently drafted, may include areas of the law in Delaware that may not have been intended to be covered, including foreclosure practice.

Statute of Limitation Involving Surveys (HB 115)

House Bill 115 provides that any action seeking damages as a result of an error or omission in a survey of land or survey product must be brought within six years of the date of the survey or within three years after discovery of the error, whichever occurs first. Also, actions for damages, based upon gross negligence are not subject to this section. This Bill has not yet come to a vote.

All three Bills are being reviewed by various sections of the Delaware Bar.

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