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How Does the Delaware Alderman’s Court Work?

The Alderman’s Courts in Delaware have limited statutory authority over certain criminal offenses and civil matters. These courts are spread across New Castle and Sussex, and serve the municipalities/towns within these counties.

The Alderman’s Courts are not part of the Delaware judicial system. Instead, the courts operate under their distinct Municipal Codes and Town Charters. Together, the courts handle a few thousand cases each year—18,457 filings and 10,685 case dispositions in 2020, according to the Annual Caseload Report).. There are six (6) Alderman’s Courts in Delaware; four in Sussex and two in New Castle.

The jurisdiction of an Alderman’s Court is constrained to the limits and boundaries of the town or city it serves. As a result, this jurisdiction varies according to the town’s charter. Regardless, typical case types heard by an Alderman’s Court include:

  • Minor misdemeanors
  • Minor civil violations of municipal ordinances, e.g., disorderly conduct
  • Title 21 traffic offenses
  • Parking violations

Irrespective of the Alderman’s Courts’ segregation from the state’s court system, the judges (Aldermen) are still under the jurisdiction of the Delaware Chief Justice. Also, any case adjudged by an Alderman’s Court can be appealed or transferred to a state court. For instance, the Court of Common Pleas accepts appeals from the Alderman’s Court, provided the case is filed within appellate time limits—15 days of the entry of judgment.

Aldermen are recommended by the town/city, nominated by the Governor of Delaware, and approved by the Delaware State Senate. Each Alderman or Assistant Alderman serves a 2-year tenure and stays in office until reappointed or replaced by a successor. The qualifications for the Alderman position include:

  • 21 years or older
  • A United States citizen
  • A good reputation and character
  • A resident of the town or city of appointment
  • Not a commissioner, officer, or employee of the town or city

The removal or censuring of Aldermen is subject to the Rules of the Court on the Judiciary and Article IV § 37 of the Delaware Constitution.

The Alderman’s Courts’ physical/mailing addresses, hours, and contact information are as follows:

New Castle County Alderman’s Courts

Newark Alderman’s Court (Court No. 40)

220 South Main Street

Newark, DE 19711

Phone: (302) 366–7000

Fax: (302) 366–7062

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m

Newport Alderman’s Court (Court No. 42)

226 North James Street

Newport, DE 19804

Phone: (302) 994–6403

Fax: (302) 996–0214

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m

Sussex Alderman’s Courts

Bethany Beach Alderman’s Court (Court No. 31)

214 Garfield Parkway

Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Phone: (302) 537–3891

Fax: (302) 537–3776

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m

Bethany Beach Alderman’s Court - Mailing address:

P. O. Box 109

Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Laurel Alderman’s Court (Court No. 35)

201 Mechanic Street

Laurel, DE 19956

Phone: (302–875–2855


Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m

Dewey Beach Alderman’s Court (Court No. 36)

105 Rodney Avenue

Dewey Beach, DE 19971

Phone: 302–227–6630

Fax: 302–227–6366

Rehoboth Beach Alderman’s Court (Court No. 37)

229 Rehoboth Avenue

Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Phone: (302) 227–7917

Fax: (302) 227–6595

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m

To access the case records of the Delaware Alderman’s Courts, members of the public can query the applicable Clerk of the Court’s office using the information above.

A request for access to judicial records should be in writing but submitted by mail, fax, or in person. However, some courts, like the Newark Alderman’s Court, provide an online request form to assist individuals. Typically, the request should contain information about the applicant and the case record. For example

  • The requester’s full name, phone number, and address or fax number to receive copies.
  • The case number, ticket number, or arrest number.
  • The defendant/plaintiff’s full name and date of birth.

Each court requires a fee to process requests for copies of case records. This fee and its payment method vary by the court. Therefore, it is crucial to call the Clerk’s office to find out the court’s record dissemination policy before requesting any record. For instance, the Newark Alderman’s Court’s fee is $15.00 for traffic or criminal records, payable in cash, check, or money order. In contrast, the Dewey Beach Alderman’s Court has a much lower fee for court records—$7.50, payable by credit card or check.

Generally, no law, statute, or court rule states a fixed period within which the Alderman’s Court should settle cases. The court hears several types of criminal and civil matters within town and city limits. It is not easy to estimate a timeframe, other than to say it depends on the complexity of the case.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!