Delaware’s Court of Chancery is famous for being the country’s premier corporate and business resolution court. The Court of Chancery is the equity court in the state and has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters related to trusts, estates, corporate issues, fiduciary issues, conflicts over the purchase or sale of land, titles to real estate and commercial and contract cases. This court collaborates with the Superior Court in situations that require a jury trial.
One chancellor and six vice chancellors head the Delaware Court of Chancery. The Governor nominates each and then they are confirmed by the Senate. They serve 12-year terms. Each chancellor must be a bar-certified lawyer and a Delaware citizen. Their focus is non-jury trials concerning civil rights, commercial litigation, guardianships, real property cases, and trusts. The Delaware Courts website has a list of all current chancellors and past.
The Court of Chancery roots date back to King's Chapel in feudal England and common law practice. The actual Delaware Court of Chancery was created in 1792 to handle all matters of equity exclusively. Present day, the Court of Chancery has courthouses in the towns of New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.
Delaware’s Court of Chancery resolves cases of guardianship. Most often when a disabled adult requires someone else to make decisions related to their health, finances or wellbeing. The Court of Chancery steps in and appoints an appropriate person to help. According to their website, this includes: “Guardianship of an adult person, guardianship of an adult person's property, and guardianship of the property of a minor child who is under eighteen.”
For the past year tallied, the Delaware Court of Chancery recorded 1946 adult guardianship cases (49% of the total), and 1077 (27%) civil actions. The next highest percentage was 19% (777 cases) regarding minor guardianship, and then the rest (6%) were for trusts and other issues.