FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2020
Delaware Courts resume issuing “failure to appear” bench warrants.
Courts stopped issuing certain warrants at start of the pandemic.
As part of the Delaware Judiciary’s ongoing reopening efforts, the Delaware Courts will today resume issuing bench warrants for individuals who fail to appear for certain proceedings. The courts had stopped issuing these types of warrants at the beginning of the pandemic, when court facilities were closed to the public for several weeks as a safety precaution. Court facilities reopened to the public on June 15 and the Delaware Courts are now in Phase 2 of a four-phased reopening plan and are working on moving to Phase 3, and the return of jury trials, in October. Today’s announcement means if a person is scheduled to appear in one of Delaware’s Courts for a criminal or traffic matter, or any matter scheduled in Family Court, that individual must appear as instructed on their court notice or by court staff (either remotely or in person), or they face the possibility of arrest. If you received a notice from a Delaware Court, please review it carefully and follow the instructions provided. Many court matters are now being held virtually and, in those cases, individuals are expected to appear via phone or computer connection/video instead of in person. If an individual fails to appear as scheduled – and this includes a failure to appear for a virtual event – and does not contact the court, a capias (bench warrant) may be issued for that individual’s arrest. If you have any questions about appearing in court, please contact the court location where your case is scheduled.