Effective today, the jurisdictional capacity of the Justice of the Peace Court has been expanded in two significant ways via HB 232, which was signed into law by Governor John Carney on August 25, 2020.

Delaware Chancery Law - A Fox Rothschild BlogFirst, HB 232 raises the general jurisdictional limit of the Justice of the Peace Court from $15,000 to $25,000.  Second, the Justice of the Peace Court may now consider claims in excess of the new jurisdictional limit where the underlying matter involves a commercial tenancy and possession of the rental unit is at issue.

Importantly, practitioners will still have the option to determine whether to bifurcate the debt and summary possession issue in commercial landlord tenant cases between the Justice of the Peace Court and another court of competent jurisdiction or choose to maintain one action for both forms of relief in the Justice of the Peace Court.

The full text of HB 232, reflecting amendments to 10 Del. C. § 3901 and 25 Del. C. § 5701(B), can be found HERE.