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Delaware Code Title 10. Courts and Judicial Procedure § 7126. Penalties

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(a) Where the Court after trial finds that a premises is a criminal nuisance, the Court in addition to granting appropriate abatement relief shall impose a civil penalty against a defendant who knowingly conducted, maintained, aided, abetted or permitted the criminal nuisance. The Court shall order civil penalties in the amount of $25,000 or the Court, at its discretion, may order a civil penalty up to $1,000 for each day the criminal nuisance exists, whichever is greater, unless imposition of such penalty would constitute a miscarriage of justice under the totality of the circumstances. In such case, it may lower the penalty amount to the extent necessary to avoid such miscarriage of justice.

(b) For the purpose of imposing a civil penalty pursuant to this section, the following shall be prima facie evidence that the defendant knowingly permitted the criminal nuisance:

(1) The defendant failed to initiate an eviction action pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or a summary possession action pursuant to Chapter 57 of Title 25 or against a tenant after being notified by certified or registered mail of the facts pertaining to the tenant's alleged illegal activities constituting a criminal nuisance committed on the leased premises which would in turn cause a reasonable person to believe the allegations are likely to be true; or

(2) A closure order was vacated under § 7121 of this title within 2 years before the occurrence of the instant criminal nuisance; or

(3) The defendant furthered, conspired as to, or participated in the commission of a crime on the premises.

(c) The Court at any time shall waive, suspend or revoke any unpaid civil penalty imposed pursuant to this section where it is satisfied that:

(1) The defendant against whom the penalty has been imposed has not violated any order issued pursuant to any provision of this chapter; and

(2) The defendant has transferred title to the plaintiff, a government agency or any other neighborhood or community organization approved by the Court, provided that the recipient is a nonprofit incorporated organization or association which is exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) and which is authorized by its corporate charter or bylaws to rehabilitate, restore, maintain, manage or operate any commercial or residential premises. Unless otherwise agreed to by the recipient organization, the defendant shall personally retain all state and local tax liability and the obligation shall attach to any other real property in the county owned by the defendant.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 10. Courts and Judicial Procedure § 7126. Penalties - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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