Delaware General Assembly




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 7, Title 31, Delaware Code of 1953 is repealed.

Section 2. Title 31, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding thereto a new chapter as follows:

Chapter 28. State Welfare Home And Hospital For The Chronically Ill At Smyrna

Subchapter I. Board Of Trustees

§ 2801. Board of Trustees; composition

There is created the Board of Trustees of the State Welfare Home and Hospital for the Chronically Ill at Smyrna (hereafter called the Board), consisting of 4 members appointed for terms of 4 years each, one from the city of Wilmington, one from rural New Castle County, one from Kent County, and one from Sussex County.

§ 2802. Appointment; terms of office; removal

(a) The original members of the Board shall be appointed by the Governor, one for one year, one for two years, one for three years, and one for four years.

(d) The term of office of one Trustee shall expire each year. Vacancies occurring in the Board from any cause, shall be filled by the Governor for the residue of the term; but in every case where a vacancy shall occur, by reason of the expiration of the full term of a member of the Board the appointment by the Governor shall be for the full term of 4 years.

(e) If a majority of the Board shall request the removal of a member of the Board, the Governor may, upon a full presentation of the facts, remove such member from the Board and fill the vacancy thus created.

(f) At no time shall more than two members of the Board be connected with the same political party.

§ 2803. Oath of office; fees and expenses

(a) The members of the Board shall be duly sworn or affirmed, according to law, to faithfully perform the duties of their office.

(b) They shall serve without salary, but shall be entitled to receive a fee of $10 for attending each meeting of the Board, and, in addition, a reasonable allowance for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. No member shall receive compensation or fees for attendance of more than 12 meetings, one to be held monthly, of the Board in one year.

§ 2804. Officers; employees; treasurer's bond and accounts

The Board may appoint a Treasurer and such other officers, agents, and employees as may be found necessary, fix their compensation, and dispense with their services at any time. The treasurer shall give bond to the State, with surety approved by the Board, in such sum as it may prescribe, for the faithful and diligent performance of his duty and the true and correct accounting for all moneys coming into his hands, which bond shall have a warrant of attorney attached to confess judgment thereon. The Board shall cause the accounts of its treasurer to be examined and verified annually, or oftener, if the Board shall deem it necessary.

§ 2805. Annual report

The Board shall annually, within 90 days after the close of each calendar year, make a full report of its proceedings to the Governor and to the Levy Court in each county, including detailed information regarding the Home and its inmates, and a statement of receipts and expenditures.

Subchapter II. Operation Of Home And Admission

§ 2820. Jurisdiction over home; rules and regulations; power to contract

The Board shall have full jurisdiction and control over the home and its inmates. It may adopt and enforce rules and regulations for the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties. The Board shall also have the power to enter into contracts in the name of the State for the erection of additional buildings and facilities and for their appointments and equipment.

§ 2821. Organization and operation of home

(a) The Board shall maintain the State Welfare Home and provide for the care and support of the inmates with due regard for their comfort and well-being.

(b) The inmates shall be classified and grouped, as far as may be feasible, according to their color, their mental and physical condition, and their previous occupation, with view of their mental and physical betterment. They shall be assigned to such work, when physically able, as will interest and encourage them. Facilities shall be afforded them for educational improvement, edifying and inspirational entertainment and healthful recreation.

() Such methods in general shall be employed by the Board as will provide good order, fraternal relations, and self-respect among the inmates, under humane and helpful regulations, with special reward for meritorious service and gentle reproof or reasonable restraint for misbehavior, as each particular case may warrant. No member of the Board, and no person holding a position under the Board, shall have any pecuniary interest, directly or indirectly, in the purchase of supplies of any kind for said home and its inmates, or in expenditures authorized by the Board for any purpose in connection with said home and its inmates.

§ 2822. Who may be admitted; how admitted

Any person having a legal residence in the State, who has been unable to obtain employment, or is unable to work, who has no property or income sufficient to provide the necessities of life, who has no permanent place of abode, and no relatives or friends to care for him, may be admitted for the time being to the home, on the written order of any member of the Board, in the interim of the meetings of the Board, or by order of the Board, when in session, upon the presentation to the Board, or to the Board as a whole, of a statement in writing setting forth the facts in his case, attested by two credible witnesses, and verified under oath or affirmation. In every such case the Board shall cause diligent inquiry to be made into all the facts and circumstances, and, upon ascertainment that the statement submitted is just and true, may make such further order respecting such person as the facts and circumstances may warrant. The Board may, in its discretion, and in cases of extreme emergency, or upon the order of any Court having competent jurisdiction in such cases, admit other persons to the home.

§ 2823. Disqualifications for admission; grounds for dismissal

(a) No insane or vicious person, or a person having a criminal record, unless such person by thorough reformation has acquired a good reputation, shall be admitted to the home.

(b) Any inmate of the home who is guilty of the violation of any law of the State shall be dismissed from the home and placed in the custody of the proper authorities. Any inmate of the home who becomes incorrigible shall be dismissed. Any inmate of the home who marries shall be dismissed.

Subchapter III. Expenses And Financing Of Home

§ 2830. Property liable for expenses

(a) If an inmate of the home is found to own property, such property shall be liable for the expense incurred in the care and support of such inmate.

() If a husband, without sufficient cause, separates from his wife, or a father or mother deserts his or her children, so that such wife or children are admitted to the home, the property of such husband, father or mother shall be liable for the expense incurred in the care and support of such wife or children.

(a) In all such cases the board shall take legal proceedings to seize the property to pay such expenses.

§ 2831. Liability of relatives for expenses of care and support of inmate of home

The parents, grandparents, children or grandchildren of an indigent person, an inmate of the home, shall be liable, in the order named, for the expense incurred in the care and support of such person, provided they are found able to pay such expense. The Board shall take legal proceedings to enforce this liability, if warranted by the facts and circumstances.

§ 2832. Financing of home maintenance; other expenses

(a) The cost of the maintenance of the home and the care and support of its inmates, shall be a charge against the counties of the State, apportioned according to the number of inmates from each county.

(b) The Board shall annually submit to the Levy Court of each county an estimate of the cost and expenses chargeable against such county. The Levy Court of each county shall include the amount of the estimate in the taxes laid for that year, and the same shall be credited by the Treasurer of the county to the Board, subject to its order.

(c) The Board shall, at the close of each month, furnish the Treasurer of each county with a detailed, minute and accurate account of the cost and expenses during the month chargeable to the county, the amount of which account shall be paid to the State Welfare Home, which shall disburse the same in the payment of claims against the home, as the same has been verified and ordered by the Board to be paid.

§ 2833. State contributions toward expenses

(c) The State shall semi-annually reimburse each county to the extent of one-half the amount expended by the county for the cost of the maintenance of the home and the care and support of its inmates.

(d) Claim for such reimbursement shall be first approved by the Board and thereafter be presented by the Treasurer of each county semi-annually, in January and July, to the State Treasurer. Before payment of the claim is made it shall be duly verified by the State Auditor, who shall certify the correctness thereof to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall thereupon pay the amount of such claim to the Treasurer of the county presenting the same.

(e) The estimated amount of the claims shall be included in the annual appropriations made by the General Assembly.

(f) If, at any time, there would be a deficit in the funds required to be provided by the Levy Court of each county for the cost of the maintenance of the Home and the care and support of its inmates, chargeable to the county, such deficit shall be paid out of the State Treasury upon requisition of the Board and shall be deducted by the State Treasurer from the amount to be paid to the county in reimbursement of the amount expended by it, as provided in this section.

Subchapter IV. Violations And Penalties

§ 2840. Fraud in connection with admission; penalty

Whoever by willful false statements, or misrepresentation, or other fraudulent device, obtains or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any other person to obtain admission to the home, when such person is not entitled to admission under the provisions of this chapter, or disposes of any property, or aids or abets in the buying or in any other way disposing of the property of a person applying for admission, or who has already been admitted to the home, without the knowledge or consent of the Board, which property is liable for the expense incurred in the care and support of such person in the home, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

§ 2841. Other violations and penalties

Whoever violates any provision of this chapter, for which no penalty is specifically prescribed, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

Approved June 19, 1953.