Articles Posted in Delaware Court of Chancery

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Plaintiffs allege Defendants discriminated against them on the basis of their national origin when assessing property taxes due on Plaintiffs’ home in Dover, Delaware and asked the court to “appoint an attorney to file a formal [c]omplaint on their behalf” under the Delaware Fair Housing Act (DFHA), 6 Del. C. 4613(a) and (b). According to Plaintiffs, they have made extensive, unsuccessful, efforts to find counsel during the past year. Plaintiffs do not claim to be unable to pay for counsel. The Chancery Court denied the motion, noting that, counting only their formal assessment appeals, this is Plaintiffs’ third suit. Even disregarding that Plaintiffs are not indigent, they have ably presented their claims thus far and made court filings while appearing pro se; their claims do not appear to be so legally or factually complex as to necessitate the assistance of counsel; Plaintiffs are not met with significant barriers or an inability to conduct a factual investigation; they have not alleged the need for expert discovery; and the case is unlikely to turn on credibility determinations. Plaintiffs do not suffer from a lack of capacity to seek counsel, as evidenced by their substantial efforts to obtain counsel to date. View "Shahin v. City of Dover" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff brought this action opposing the use of portions of a former industrial park in the City of Lewes, now owned by the state. This action involved a lease of a portion of that property to the City and a sublease from Lewes to a non-profit that maintained a dog park on the property. At a regularly scheduled city council meeting, the Lewes City Council voted to approve an amendment to the sublease to the non-profit, which added an access road to the sublease. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleged numerous violations of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Court of Chancery granted the motion to dismiss of the Mayor, the City Council, and the City, holding that a violation of FOIA did not occur here. View "Lechliter v. Becker" on Justia Law

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11 Del. C. 4121(u) mandates GPS monitoring of all Tier III sex offenders granted parole or probation without reference to the offenders’ risks of recidivism. Tier III sex offenders are those convicted of the most serious sex crimes. Plaintiffs in this case were Tier III sex offenders that challenged the constitutionality of section 4121(u), claiming that the statute violates the Fourth Amendment and the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution, as well as Del. Const. art. I, 6. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant, the Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction, holding that the challenged statute is not unconstitutional. View "Doe v. Coupe" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, a current and a former inmate at the JTVCC, filed suit challenging the constitutionality of a Delaware statute, 11 Del. C. 4322(c) & (d), that denies inmates access to certain Department of Correction policies and procedures. The court concluded that plaintiffs have not satisfied their burden of establishing standing because the complaint does not allege a legally protected interest affected by, or an injury-in-fact caused by, Sections 4322(c) & (d). Even if plaintiffs had standing, plaintiffs' constitutional challenges lack merit. The court concluded that the DOC is not constitutionally obliged to promulgate internal policies and procedures; the single-subject provision at issue is not implicated by Section 4322; and plaintiff's motion to amend is futile. Accordingly, the court granted defendants' motion to dismiss and denied plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment and to amend. View "Hall v. Coupe" on Justia Law