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Delaware Rules of Civil Procedure

In Delaware, Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Court of the State of Delaware lays down the rules that should be followed in the Superior Court of Delaware.  In Delaware, a civil action commences with the filing of a complaint or a petition or statement of claim with the Court.  Party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant.  Once a complaint is filed, upon request, the prothonotary will issue the required summons to the defendant(s). A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage. 

Different types of pleadings in Delaware courts are: Complaint, Answer to Complaint, Counter claim, Reply to counterclaim, Cross claim, Reply to cross claim, Third party complaint and Third party answer.  A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest.  If the real party in interest is a minor or incompetent person, the person’s representative should file the complaint.  If a minor or incompetent person does not have a representative, s/he may file the action through a next friend or a guardian ad litem.  The courts, if found necessary will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the minor or incompetent person.

Parties may obtain discovery by:

  • depositions upon oral examination or written questions:
  • written interrogatories;
  • requests for admission;
  • request for production of documents or things;
  • request for permission to enter into land or other property for inspection or other purpose; and/or
  • request for physical and mental examinations.

After the commencement of the action but not later than ten days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue, a party may demand for trial by jury.  A judgment is passed after trial.  The judgment includes an order upon which a writ of error or an appeal lies.  Generally, cost of litigation is adjudged to the prevailing party.

Delaware Rules of Civil Procedure

Inside Delaware Rules of Civil Procedure