Christopher v. Sussex County


Oral Argument
09/11/13 – 09/11/13


In this oral argument before the Delaware Supreme Court, the issue on appeal was whether HB325 violates the Delaware Constitution because it strips the sheriff of arrest powers, thereby prohibiting the sheriff from fulfilling his constitutional obligation as a "conservator of the peace". On May 9, 2012, Jeffrey Christopher, a duly elected sheriff of Sussex County, Delaware filed a complaint in the Superior Court against Sussex County, the state of Delaware and other defendants, seeking declaration that the sheriff has arrest powers in criminal cases as a required tool to perform his constitutional obligation of "conservator of the peace." On March 19, 2013, the lower court held that the General Assembly may strip the sheriff of arrest powers by statute even though the powers are required to perform his constitutional obligation as a "conservator of the peace."


The judgment of the Superior Court was affirmed.


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