Real Estate Documents

There are 3 documents we want to talk about today: deed, mortgage and note A deed is a document that transfers ownership from one person or entity to another. It is signed by the current owner only and conveys that owner’s ownership interest to a new owner. The deed will include the name of the seller or sellers, the name of the buyer or buyers and a legal description of the property. The legal description is more than the property address and is typically in a form called metes and bounds. A mortgage is a financing arrangement in which the […]

JP Court and Family Court

We want to give everyone a baseline knowledge of the main courts in Delaware and the types of cases that each court hears because almost everyone has to deal with a court at some point in their lives. The main courts in Delaware are the JP courts, Family Court, Court of Common Pleas, Superior Court, Chancery Court and the Supreme Court. Justice of Peace Court JP Court has jurisdiction in civil cases worth 15,000 or less, some criminal misdemeanors, most motor vehicle violations (except felonies) and all landlord/tenant matters. There are no jury trials in JP Court, and you can […]

Real Estate Closing Disclosure

Today we thought we would talk about the “accounting” of a real estate settlement. It is called the Closing Disclosure. This form lists all of the accounting details of a real estate settlement for both the buyer and the seller. The Closing Disclosure is broken down into sections so that everyone is aware of what all the closing costs are. It has sections such as real estate broker fees, items in connection with the loan, items required in advance, title charges and attorney fees, taxes and recording fees. Buyers can shop prices from different lenders and attorneys. Lenders are required […]

Court of Common Pleas

So far we have talked about the Justice of the Peace Courts and Family Court. So now let’s talk about the Court of Common Pleas – sometimes called CCP. The Court of Common Pleas has both civil and criminal jurisdiction. In civil cases, cases with an amount in controversy up to 50,000 can be heard. CCP also handles change of name petitions, habitual motor vehicle hearings and appeals from DMV and JP proceedings. In civil matters like these, there are no jury trials. In criminal cases, CCP has jurisdiction over all misdemeanors except certain drug offenses, all criminal motor vehicle offenses, preliminary […]

Attorneys and Real Estate Settlements

Delaware is what is called an attorney state. Other states, like Maryland are not. In Maryland a title agent at a title company can conduct the real estate settlement. In attorney states like Delaware, an attorney must preside over the real estate settlement. Why do you care? Because as a buyer, the attorney should be representing YOU and your interests for the whole transaction – not just the title insurance piece. You are paying the attorney to do this and we think you should be aware of our responsibilities for a real estate settlement. The attorney is not only the […]

Court of Chancery

The Court of Chancery has jurisdiction over equity cases. So what is an equity case? It’s a case where the remedy sought is something other than money damages. Things like writs, injunctions, and orders of specific performance. So what kinds of cases are these? Some examples are corporate matters, commercial and contract matters, trusts, estates, and other fiduciary matters, disputes involving the purchase and sale of land, questions of title to real estate, and guardianships. Basically, the Court of Chancery is where you go if you are trying to get someone to do something or to stop doing something.

DRE being used in Delaware DUI Cases

DRE = Drug Recognition Experts There is a new trend in prosecuting drug related DUI cases. That is the Drug Recognition Expert. The State of Delaware is now occasionally using Drug Recognition Experts in DUI cases. As of the writing of this article, it is unclear what Delaware’s approach to Drug Recognition Experts will be. The purpose of a Drug Recognition Expert is to a) determine whether a suspect is impaired b) determine whether the suspect is impaired because of a medical condition or the use of drugs, and c) If impaired because of drugs, what type of drugs are […]

MurrayPhillips P.A.

MurrayPhillips P.A. now serving all of Delaware MurrayPhillips, a Delaware Criminal Defense law firm now serves all of Delaware. Julie Murray and Ron Phillips started their law firm on January 1, 2015. Prior to joining forces, the two lawyers each had their own law firm, Murray Law and The Law Office of Ronald D. Phillips Jr. respectively. While Phillips concentrated his efforts on criminal law and DUI with a little family law, Murray had a general practice that included civil litigation, real estate and Wills and Estates. Phillips has practiced extensively in Kent and Sussex County while Murray focused her […]

Changes to Custody and Visitation in Delaware

       There have been several recent changes to the way Custody disputes in Delaware are addressed by the Court. The Family Court in Delaware has always promoted an equitable arrangement that fits the needs of the parents and their children. However, what is considered equitable has changed and has now been provided for in the new contact guidelines. The stated goal with this recent approach is to have the children spend as much quality time with each parent as possible.     For illustration purposes, the old Standard Visitation Guidelines should be compared to the newer Contact Guidelines. […]

Beach Replenishment – From the Guard Chair

Beach Replenishment – Part II, continuation of “Beach Replenishment – A Perspective from an Old Salt”.  http://www.murrayphillipslaw.com/?p=2124  I saw Mrs. S standing on the shoreline staring at the ocean looking quite upset. I became acquainted with Mrs. S nearly 30 years ago as a young lifeguard. She was always very nice to me and we would exchange pleasantries whenever we would see each other on the beach. Over the many summers I spent lifeguarding, I got to know her as she would catch me up every spring on the events of her winter back in the city. As a career […]

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