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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Men Shot While Filming Rap Video in Dover

    Two Men Shot While Filming Rap Video in Dover

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:34 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:34:18 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:28 AM EDT2017-05-25 11:28:49 GMT

    The Dover Police Department says two people were hurt in an afternoon shooting in the Capitol Green neighborhood. 

    More

    The Dover Police Department says two people were hurt in a Wednesday afternoon shooting in the Capitol Green neighborhood.

    More
  • Four Arrested, Two Wanted After Two Month Investigation

    Four Arrested, Two Wanted After Two Month Investigation

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 3:43 PM EDT2017-05-24 19:43:47 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:07:35 GMT
    Shamarr Willingham and Anthony Daniels are wanted for drug and weapons offenses.Shamarr Willingham and Anthony Daniels are wanted for drug and weapons offenses.

    The Dover Police Department wrapped up a two month investigation with the arrest of four suspects and charges pending for two suspects on drug and weapons offenses. 

    More

    The Dover Police Department wrapped up a two month investigation with the arrest of four suspects and charges pending for two suspects on drug and weapons offenses. ..

    More
  • Pa. Police: Georgetown Man Mocked, Then Sucker-Punched Man With Cerebral Palsy

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:43 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:43:30 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:55 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:55:06 GMT

    A Georgetown, Del. man has been arrested after authorities say he mocked and then sucker-punched a man with cerebral palsy as he walked out of a convenience store in West Chester, Pa.

    More

    A Georgetown, Del. man has been arrested after authorities say he mocked and then sucker-punched a man with cerebral palsy as he walked out of a convenience store in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    You can see the skid marks on the roads of Seaside Village in West Ocean City.

    Marks that remind residents who live there of the chaos that occurred last weekend.

    Terri Wilson who lives in one of the condo's at Seaside Village said, "Now it's just you go to the coastal highway or even here on our personal streets to see them do wheeleys and destroying our streets.

    More

    You can see the skid marks on the roads of Seaside Village in West Ocean City.

    Marks that remind residents who live there of the chaos that occurred last weekend.

    Terri Wilson who lives in one of the condo's at Seaside Village said, "Now it's just you go to the coastal highway or even here on our personal streets to see them do wheeleys and destroying our streets.

    More
  • 'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More
  • 5 PM Weather Wed. May 24, 2017

    5 PM Weather Wed. May 24, 2017

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