Del. Panel Continues Look at Opening Family Court to Public - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Panel Continues Look at Opening Family Court to Public

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware continues to try to figure out if, and how, the state's family court system should be open to the public. Currently, it's closed.

And the task force looking into that met Tuesday. Members have voted to recommend that in most situations a number of kinds of cases, such as divorce or alimony, and to some extent custody and visitation hearings, should be presumed open. The task force has voted to keep adoption hearings closed. A final decision on what to do with its recommendations still rests with the full Delaware general assembly.

Matt Watson has been through the family court system. He says he had significant issues during that process.

"I don't think stuff like this would happen if there were witnesses, if the court was open," he said. "If someone says something inappropriate, and it doesn't show up in the records, there are witnesses. It all comes down to accountability and transparency."

Multiple members of the public who spoke at a hearing before Tuesday's meeting echoed Watson's sentiments.

"I have a tremendous amount of faith in our judicial branch and all the judges that are in family court," said Hon. Chandlee Kuhn, chief judge of Delaware family court. "However, whenever there is a question of public trust and confidence, we have to earn the public's trust."

Opponents of letting the public into family court have safety and confidentiality concerns, for example worrying bank account information might come out in open court.

Brendan Buschi is a licensed social worker. He says the most important people to consider here are the kids involved in these cases.

"If you open the court," he said. "Then you will be on day one of improving what goes on in the court. But until the court is open, nothing will change."

The task force's final report is due to the general assembly in mid-February, though members are asking for an extension into April.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Chincoteague Oldest Saltwater Cowboy Dies at 78

    Chincoteague Oldest Saltwter Cowboy Dies at 78

    11/18/2017 19:22:00 -05:002017-11-19 00:22:00 GMT
    Saturday, November 18 2017 10:25 PM EST2017-11-19 03:25:46 GMT
    Wesley Bloxom was Delmarva's famous Saltwater Cowboy. He was a father, a brother, Chincoteague volunteer firefighter. His younger brother, Paul Bloxom, explains how much he meant. Bloxom died earlier this week after battling cancer.More
    Wesley Bloxom was Delmarva's famous Saltwater Cowboy. He was a father, a brother, Chincoteague volunteer firefighter. His younger brother, Paul Bloxom, explains how much he meant. Bloxom died earlier this week after battling cancer.More
  • Deadly Hit and Run Collision Prompts Investigation

    Deadly Hit and Run Collision Prompts Investigation

    11/18/2017 21:59:00 -05:002017-11-19 02:59:00 GMT
    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:59 PM EST2017-11-19 02:59:14 GMT
    ELLENDALE, Del. - Police are investigating a deadly hit and run crash involving a pedestrian Thursday night.More
    ELLENDALE, Del. - Police are investigating a deadly hit and run crash involving a pedestrian Thursday night.More
  • Rehoboth Beach Raises Rental Tax

    Rehoboth Beach Raises Rental Tax

    11/18/2017 16:21:00 -05:002017-11-18 21:21:00 GMT
    Saturday, November 18 2017 4:21 PM EST2017-11-18 21:21:59 GMT
    Rehoboth Beach, DelawareRehoboth Beach, Delaware
    Rehoboth Beach De. (AP) - A popular Delaware beach town has voted to double its tax on residential rentals.The City of Rehoboth Beach announced Saturday that its commissioners approved an increase on the rental tax from 3 to 6 percent.The tax applieMore
    Rehoboth Beach De. (AP) - A popular Delaware beach town has voted to double its tax on residential rentals.The City of Rehoboth Beach announced Saturday that its commissioners approved an increase on the rental tax from 3 to 6 percent.The tax applieMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    11/17/2017 17:29:00 -05:002017-11-17 22:29:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 5:29 PM EST2017-11-17 22:29:39 GMT
    Monica W. SneeMonica W. Snee
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars.More
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars.More
  • Parkside High Student Tased During Arrest

    Parkside High Student Tased During Arrest

    11/17/2017 15:57:00 -05:002017-11-17 20:57:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 3:57 PM EST2017-11-17 20:57:05 GMT
    Parkside High School (Photo: WBOC)Parkside High School (Photo: WBOC)
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office reports a Parkside High School student was tased by police during a drug investigation.More
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office reports a Parkside High School student was tased by police during a drug investigation.More
  • Six Arrested in Seaford Prostitution Sting

    Six Arrested in Seaford Prostitution Sting

    11/16/2017 13:46:00 -05:002017-11-16 18:46:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 10:14 AM EST2017-11-17 15:14:25 GMT

    Police have uncovered a prostitution operation involving six suspects in the city of Seaford.

    More

    Police say an undercover prostitution sting led to the arrests of six men in Seaford, Delaware on Tuesday.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars. Monica Snee, 51, of Salisbury was released from prison after posting $50,000 bond. A district court judge revoked the bond and issued a bench warrant today. As a result, deputies located and arrested Snee in the area of Westbrook Drive in Salisbury.

    More

    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars. Monica Snee, 51, of Salisbury was released from prison after posting $50,000 bond. A district court judge revoked the bond and issued a bench warrant today. As a result, deputies located and arrested Snee in the area of Westbrook Drive in Salisbury.

    More
  • Ocean City Safety, Median Fence along Ocean City Coastal Highway Underway

    Ocean City Safety, Median Fence along Ocean City Coastal Highway Underway

    Work is underway to keep pedestrians safe along Coastal Highway. 

    Workers used construction machinery to remove landscaping from the media. They're preparing to install a 5-7 foot aluminum fence that will stretch from the convention center to 62nd street.

    Maryland State Highway Administration says their number one goal for this 7 million dollar project is pedestrian safety.

    More

    Work is underway to keep pedestrians safe along Coastal Highway. 

    Workers used construction machinery to remove landscaping from the media. They're preparing to install a 5-7 foot aluminum fence that will stretch from the convention center to 62nd street.

    Maryland State Highway Administration says their number one goal for this 7 million dollar project is pedestrian safety.

    More
  • Barn Fire at DSU Under Investigation

    Barn Fire at DSU Under Investigation

    A barn in back of the Delaware State University campus in Dover caught fire Thursday night, authorities said.

    According to the Dover Fire Department, the blaze was reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It took firefighters from Dover, Cheswold, Little Creek, and Leipsic Fire Departments nearly two hours to get the two-alarm fire under control. Part of the 50-foot by 100-foot barn collapsed during the fire.

    More

    A barn in back of the Delaware State University campus in Dover caught fire Thursday night, authorities said.

    According to the Dover Fire Department, the blaze was reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It took firefighters from Dover, Cheswold, Little Creek, and Leipsic Fire Departments nearly two hours to get the two-alarm fire under control. Part of the 50-foot by 100-foot barn collapsed during the fire.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices