Sheriff Christopher v. Sussex County

Filed in Delaware by on May 10, 2012

A little birdie sent in this court filing last night.  In it, Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher is filing suit against Sussex County.  It is full of craziness, including the Magna Carta, English Common Law and Posse Comitatus.

Today, Sussex County responded in a press release. My favorite part of the press release is the end.

At this time, the County has not been served. Once the County has received the lawsuit officially, legal counsel will review it and put together the appropriate legal response.

I wonder why the Sheriff is too busy to serve the county.  Perhaps he has his posse trying to find the county building.

Tags: ,

About the Author ()

Comments (113)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Aoine says:

    The clerk has not put it out for the deputy to pick up- the sheriffs office clocks it in then the deputy reaponsible for service in that area takes it and servs it on the county. That data is then entered when the clerk gets a return of service from the sheriffs office and the return of service is entered into the docket

    But yeah. Lets see how long it takes as the sheriff is months behind anyway-coz hes too busy with this shit

    Personally i think the citizens of sussex county should sue him for wasting their tax dollars and i have 5 bucks that says when the ruling comes out and its not in his favor he will just ignore it and say the court has no legal authority over him or to define the duties of a constitutional office

    And the klowns in the klown kar continue to revolve

    If H 325 becomes law in its present form he will have to file suit to get an injunction against it- if not and his deputys continu welll. Then they will be arrested
    It would be fun BUT the waste of tax ars pisses me off to no end

  2. SussexWatcher says:

    Awesome lawsuit. I can’t wait to see what Everett Moore comes back with. Hit ’em with your best shot, Everett and Todd! Kick this dumb fucker’s ass.

    Ironically, this is the lawsuit that Bob Reed should have filed years ago when Chancery tossed his other suit for jurisdiction. If he’d have re-filed in Superior, there would have been a definite ruling and Eric Swanson would still be sheriff today.

  3. MJ says:

    I’m not sure a county employee can serve a suit on the county government. My guess is that Jeff & Barbi are going to have to hire a process server with all that money they’re getting from the Legacy Foundation. I think it totals $1.98 about now.

  4. SussexWatcher says:

    The sheriff has served the county before in other cases. No conflict. May be in this case b/c the sheriff is suing, though.

  5. I notice that plantiff’s law firm is Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz.

    Just curious, is that Lionel Hutz, formerly of “I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm!”?:

    “Lionel Hutz is an inept ambulance chaser and, according to Lisa Simpson, a “shyster” whom the Simpsons nonetheless repeatedly hire as their lawyer (a fact remarked on by Marge Simpson in a typically self-aware aside).[1] His legal practice, located in a shopping mall, is named “I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm!” and also offers “expert shoe repair”. He often tries to entice potential clients with free gifts, including a “smoking monkey” doll, a pen that looks like a cigar, an exotic faux-pearl necklace, a business card that “turns into a sponge when you put it in water,”[2] and even an almost-full Orange Julius he once had handy.”

  6. anon says:

    “At this time, the County has not been served.”

    That is pure gold.

  7. Aoine says:

    actually his firm is in Baltimore, Maryland – that dumb ass hired an attorney that specializes in estate law –

    the DE attorney is needed to file here is this state – I am assuming that there is a pro hoc vice filed at the same time so that the MD attorney is under the tutelage and guidance of the DE attorney

    pro Hoc Vice is for bringing in an attorney from out of state that specializes in a certain type of law – but still, the dude aint a consitutional lawyer….why he is so special, I dont know…

    all I know is there goes tax dollars on waste and fraud – wait, didnt the conservatives rail against this type of frivilousness???

    prediction – he will lose – and/or this will end badly for someone.

  8. MJ says:

    The DE law firm specializes in intellectual property. Obviously they never met or spoke to Jeff Christopher.

  9. mediawatch says:

    Yeah, but it’s a law firm. Wave some money in front of them and they’ll take the case.

  10. Rockland says:

    Right on mediawatch – they’re no different then politicians…

    Oh wait most politicians are lawyers..

  11. Dave says:

    Interesting that the sheriff is asking for declaratory judgment against the council for access to DELJIS. I wasn’t aware that the county controlled that access. Of course, I can’t imagine any judge issuing a declaratory judgment on the face of this filing, especially since such a ruling would amount to legislating from the bench and of course everyone knows that is anathema for true conservatives.

    But then, the sheriff may not be a real conservative in the first place. He sounds almost like a fascist.

  12. MJ says:

    Dave, the board that controls DELJIS restricted Wyatt Earp’s access because he and his lackeys were searching for warrants so they could arrest people. I’m surprised Jeffy-pooh didn’t name the Chief Magistrate, Alan Davis as a defendant, seeing he ordered his judges to treat anyone brought in by the sheriff or deputy as though they had turned themselves in.

  13. SussexWatcher says:

    MJ, when did the DELJIS board restrict Christopher’s access?

  14. Aoine says:

    he also assert on page 4 item 19 that he was admonished and would be insubordinate if he continued with law-enforcement

    LOL – that memo was to the DEPUTYS not the sheriff – the DEPUTYS work for the county , as County employees – DUH!

    and a law firm did this work?? – id ask for a refund Jeff – oh that right – Like MJ pointed out – intellectual and Jeff Christopher cannot co-exist in the same sentance

    Of course that is true for t-baggers and 9/12 patriots with their tin-foil hats as well.

    @Dave – good catch – DELJIS and the County are mutually exclusive – the COunty has nothing to do with DELJIS – the DELJIS board governs DELJIS

    wow – looks like this lawsuit is doomed from the start – item 20 – last I heard he got a 29% increase in his budget – and he is still whining

    item 26 contradicts item 19 – oh this gets better….item 30 why sue the county for what the state might do??

    we dont use COMMON LAW anymore Jeff – we use STATUTORY LAW, I suppose you slept thru your consitutional law classes??

    Item 34 is off the charts – the Deputys are NOT an extension of Jeff – they are county employees but thats OK – that will screw you later on down the road…..wait and see

    and he wants warrentless arrests! I do believe that is a violation of the 4th ammendment – the freedom to be secure in ones person and papers – there is a reason the police get a warrent on probable cause from a judge.

    and he wants access to LEISS – he doesnt have it now and never did

    this lawsuit basically requests a full Police department and full police powers – the whole magilla! the folks in Sussex county better wake up and fast! This clown is gonna cost us all!

  15. Aoine says:

    correction – memo was to the sheriff but ABOUT the Deputy’s and their activitie

    and he is asking the court to give him “possee comitatus” – WOW! so when Joe Biden or Chris Coons come to Sussex for Returns Day he can arrest them

    Love to see this knuckle-head get thru the Secret Service – of course if he tried that would just solve our problem now wouldn’t it?

  16. anon says:

    Oh please, Christopher has the Magna Carta on his side. Case closed.

  17. jason330 says:

    Lionel Hutz… *sniff* Rest in peace Phil Hartman.

  18. X Stryker says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t cite Hamurabi’s Code.

  19. Dave says:

    The sheriff pines for the good ole days when there was such a thing as absolute power and divine right. Speaking of which, I am surprised he did not include divine right.

  20. SussexWatcher says:

    Trying to bump this back up so MJ can see it … he wrote “Dave, the board that controls DELJIS restricted Wyatt Earp’s access because he and his lackeys were searching for warrants so they could arrest people.”

    I’m wondering when the DELJIS board did that.

  21. MJ says:

    Aoine may have some more insight on that, SW.

  22. SussexWatcher says:

    Aoine? Sorry to be a pest, but I just don’t recall that happening.

  23. Doug Beatty says:

    I met Jeff Christopher. As usual the sycophants assembled here have no clue. Regardless, if Christopher was the ‘RWNJ’ that the mindless extant paint him to be the remedy would be to replace the person.

    When asked pointedly whose rights he supposed he was charged with defending, Christopher responded to indicate that his duty was to any human being in his jurisdiction. Regardless of national origin, political or other orientation.

    Sherriffs’ are elected for a reason. While some here seem real keen on the ‘constitutional’ separation of Church and State it would appear that the separation of powers is an elusive concept.

    Then we also seem to have some confusion over what a conservator of the peace is. Normal for this knee jerk crowd. Education, get some. Yes a law firm did this work. Yes folks from all across the political spectrum are behind Christopher.

    Yes, there may be some of them assembled at the Sussex Council today protesting the County suspending a deputy for allegedly having not been where he was supposed to be apparently according to a gps readout.

    Yes there is physical and eyewitness evidence to the contrary. See you there, or not. Making up stuff apparently is good enough to count as citizen journalism here.

    Peace. (canine dowagers 😀 )

  24. Doug Beatty says:

    @’Aoine’ ( scared to use your real name? I would be if that clue less ) The person I conversed with who is most alarmed by this is a hard core occupy activist. So you can take your teabags and tin foil hat and stow then properly. You are not aware of all internet tradesheens. Nope.

  25. Doug Beatty says:

    BTW, does anyone here know that our concerned for the children with their ‘anti-bullying’ legislative agenda Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor are completely ignoring the FACT that Christopher’s kid is being bullied physically in school? Seems that kids really do take their lead from us. Good job!!! I sincerely hope you jackrabbits support Governor Markell when and if I can get on the ballot and force a primary. (that’s toolese for “TEH STOOPID IT BURNS!!!” ) 😉

  26. Anon says:

    What was the point of your rankings? You stated that you met Jeff Christopher so everyone else is a liar? The people that comment on here regarding the sheriff look at the facts and make base their opinions on them. Jeff Christopher is a liar and a coward, those are facts. He is on a power trip that will end up costing the county millions of dollars,it’s a fact. A deputy was placed on leave according to you for not doing his job that he was being paid to do. This was bact up by a GPS readout according to you, again that is a fact.

    I don’t know anything about his children, and I hope that they arent being bullied, but of that is coming from the sheriffs mouth I will presume that he is not being honest and is using his children to further us agenda. I can’t support that with a fact,other that to point to his numerous lies in the past.

    And before you accuse me of name calling, do some reading. Read the AGs report about the alleged assault of the sheriff. Ther is your proof that he is a liar. Read the county’s 64 page report and notice that the sheriff has directed deputies to make traffic stops and arrests, yet he has never done one himself. There is your proof that he is a coward, he will direct his deputies to violate the law but won’t do it himself. And finally read his bullshit lawsuit that he filed against the county, where he asks for ultimate authority over all law enforcement in the county, without any oversight from anyone. There is proof of his power trip, as well as just one example of county funds being wasted to defend the lawsuit.

    Open your eyes and look at the acts, and don’t just believe the lies spoon fed to you by Ayotte,Bodie, and Barney Fife.

  27. Anon says:

    Rantings* not rankings. Damn you autocorrect.

  28. Aoine says:

    Sussex Watcher – sorry Ive been a little busy – Jeff Christopher and his merry men have a limited access to DELJIS – they do not have full access and have never had it

    Now, in light of recent events, they did meet to try to decide if they needed to be further restriced, not sure that hppened….yet.
    But his use is being closely watched.

    What he does NOT have is LEISS access and he has sued the county to get FULL DELJIS access and LEISS access – -LOLOL the county has NOTHING to do with these systems – so good luck with that Jeff

    as far and the CM being called as a witness – yes, I would take that bet – I am sure he will be called.

    Sorry for the late answer MJ and SussexWatcher – hope that clears it up

  29. xstryker says:

    Lol, guys, could you imagine what this douche would say if it were Obama rather than Sheriff Christopher completely reinterpreting the duties of office? Jeff Christopher is just like George Zimmerman; give them an ounce of authority and they suddenly think they’re Batman.

  30. Jason330 says:

    The unsettling part of the otherwise comical Christopher drama is that he has well funded national support network of insane nutbags that can keep this going indefinitely.

  31. Aoine says:

    WOW – just read ummm Mr. Beatty’s missives – is he delusional or just off his meds??

    Now I KNOW he has a tin foil hat somewhere – and if this really IS the Mr.Beatty running against Markell – well we will have 4 more years of Jack anyway… and thats not so bad

    @MR. Beatty – please refrain from ever addressing me again – unless you want the full magilla unleashed on you – and as dumb as you portray yourself, I doubt even you want that said – dont ever fucking use my name again!

    thanks – there not so bad was it – but you do have some purdy lips

  32. Aoine says:

    @Jason330 – they cant fund him to well if he’s in jail

    or like Sheriff Babeau in AZ – we find out he has an undocumented male maexican lover……..

  33. Jason330 says:

    Lol. Good point. With these guys it isn’t a question of “if” you are going to find an undocumented male Mexican lover, it is a question of when.

  34. Dave says:

    “Yes, there may be some of them assembled at the Sussex Council today protesting the County suspending a deputy for allegedly having not been where he was supposed to be apparently according to a gps readout.”

    It’s not the deputy who was not where he was supposed to be, it was the vehicle. There is no GPS device on the deputy. Of course the deputy was responsible for the vehicle, so if the vehicle was someplace the deputy was not, then that is another problem. So if there are eyewitnesses regarding the deputy’s whereabouts then someone needs to ask the deputy where the vehicle was that he is responsible for. The GPS transceivers do not make those kind of errors. They all use a 3 ball configuration (3 satellites) and are accurate to within 3 meters.

    Fortunately for the “eyewitnesses” speaking at city council meetings is not the same as testifying under oath. Of course, his eyewitnesses are all good Christians and I am sure they will not bear false witness.

    And by the way, it’s my vehicle. As a taxpayer, I paid for it. If I want to track the vehicle that is my right and my obligation to ensure that my resources are being used properly.

    P.S. If you intend to make an appearance before the council today, you might want to check to see if they are in session. It just might be that they are not.

  35. Dave says:

    “The unsettling part of the otherwise comical Christopher drama is that he has well funded national support network of insane nutbags that can keep this going indefinitely.”

    Yes, but the good news is that keeping this going indefinitely will mitigate voters short attention span. There is a long time between now and 2014 and I do not want any to forget when the election rolls around and every little bit helps.

  36. xstryker says:

    Sheriff Christopher will nail them Duke boys, just you wait! Rosco!!!

  37. Doug Beatty says: The point, as usual is deflected by ad homs and distortions by sycophants here.

  38. Doug Beatty says:

    Even more intriguing is that a study of the Delaware code that the opinion was based upon shows the inherent common law understanding that the Sheriff has arrest powers is recognized in 6 different titles of Delaware Code and around a dozen and a half times in several chapters. In fact, when authority was given to animal control, or the Department of Natural Resources to conduct arrests, here is one example § 1022(a), Chapter 10, Title 3 “State forest officers shall have police powers similar to sheriffs, constables and otherpolice officers”(underlining added). – from a RWNJ conservative mom –

  39. Doug Beatty says:

    Who said anything about appearing before the council? Citizens appeared in support of Deputy Torres and his right to due process. Something I guess he doesn’t deserve due to some sort of ad hom, right?

  40. Doug Beatty says:

    @Dave, I’m glad that you are so confident in not only the application of the GPS technology in the matter under consideration but also the good faith of the County administration. Hope that works out for you. People here are so quick to jump to groupthink without a thought everywhere. That’s why I love this site. Easy pickins. 😀

  41. Doug Beatty says:

    Jeff Christopher is a liar and a coward, those are facts. ROFL. I’m glad you know so much about it. He’s a coward and you won’t even post under your own name? Ironic?

  42. Doug Beatty says:

    Christopher does have support from many places. He doesn’t have to stand and fight, he can certainly get a good gig elsewhere. The only cowards I see in this are folks here hiding behind aliases and using ad homs instead of facts. Tell me to read? What do you folks know about upholding the law? I’d like to hear about it.

    Me, I made my first arrest on 7OCT87 for the Toll Bond Agency of Camden N.J., turned prisoner over to Burlington County Jail. That’s in the books, under my real name as well.

    You are awear of internet tradesheens.

  43. Joe Cass says:

    Git along.little dougie. You’ve proven yourself a fool. Now why could you and your missus have left D.C.?

  44. Doug Beatty says:

    Rantings* not rankings. Damn you autocorrect. Damn yourself jack off 😀 Bodie is the only one you mentioned that I have met. Got to meet Jim Nabors but never Don Knotts. Eric and I never discussed the Sheriff. I found out about it on this site, and given the propensity for knee jerk sycophants to jump on bandwagons hereabouts looked it up for myself.

    Still too scared to post your name? But Christopher is a coward? Sure.

  45. Doug Beatty says:

    Git along.little dougie. You’ve proven yourself a fool. Now why could you and your missus have left D.C.? Well big dog, I left D.C. to convalesce after some progressive ass ran over me with a jeep wrangler whilst I was saving the environment on two wheels. The missus was already here. If it’s any of your business or relevant which it ain’t.

    I well understand the progressive mindset. I’ve proven myself to disagree and that warrants ad hom because some folks simply can’t stick to facts. They lack the mental acumen. Like yourself apparently.

    I’m not going anywhere and have been dealing with bullies for forty years. Next?

  46. MJ says:

    Look, Jack’s “opponent” is on here squealing like a pig. He’s got a real pretty mouth.

  47. Doug Beatty says:

    If I’m to understand the consensus here, is this enlightened and reasoned group forwarding the position that Delaware is correct in asserting that conservator of the peace has no meaning and the rest of ‘murica is in error?

  48. Doug Beatty says:

    @Mj, thanks, that’s the kind of reasoned response I look for here on Good on you for not letting me down! 😉

    So I will stipulate to squealing like a pig, being brainwashed, wearing tin foil hats, teabagging, (hmm… Occupy Delaware considers me member, commie?), off my meds, lost, and whatever. Back to the point –

    Are we saying that Delaware is correct regarding the role of elected Sheriffs’ and the meaning of conservator of the peace which means the rest of the country is wrong? Yea or Nay? Too complex?

  49. MJ says:

    And don’t pick on poor little Dougie, he did get a honors certificate once from the Computer Learning Center. Wonder why daddy hasn’t spoken to him in years. Bye-bye Dougie.

  50. Doug Beatty says:

    _ahh_jeez_ they need more time.:( Bye Bye MJ 🙂 I’ll come back and see if anyone can explain why Delaware is correct and the rest of the Country is mistaken. The rest of you please, continue to pick on me! That’s sort of the whole point.

  51. MJ says:

    Dougie, if you knew ANYTHING, you’d realize that not all states have the same laws and operate the same way. For example, the sheriff in the City and County of Denver does not have police powers. And there is no sheriff in the City and County of Broomfield, CO. Please link to where the DE Constitution or DE Code defines conservator of the peace.

    Oh, and please explain why you’re linking to a website that is password protected.

    Your dad must truly be embarrassed by you.

  52. Doug Beatty says:

    the Sherriff’s position is that conservator of the peace is established under common law. Again for the sake of argument I will stipulate that I don’t know anything, that’s why I rely on this for the inquiry and derision regarding the complaint citing the Magna Carta

    The site linked is not yet published.

    Colorado is one state. Next?

    “Doug, I couldn’t be more proud. I truly believe God provided you with a gift for language. I do hope you win. I hope you use your gift to communicate to those who you will work with.
    Good Luck! D.O.D. dear old dad

  53. MJ says:

    Here’s another sheriff that doesn’t have police powers – and Hmm, actually looks like what Jeff should be doing instead of playing super cop.

  54. Doug Beatty says:

    My thanks to all of you. This is the kind of thinking that supports legislation like the proposal to strip Delaware Sheriffs’ of the power of arrest. I’m also pleased that my comments require moderation while homophobic slurs apparently pass muster.

    As Cassandra_m once posted in my direction “..thank you for adding another data point to the thesis..” Peace.

  55. Doug Beatty says:

    MJ, much better! So we have two states who have sheriffs’ with no powers of arrest. The Sheriff in Sussex County has had such power since before Statehood, yet our A.G. is correct in asserting that conservator of the peace has no meaning? Very well, I’ll run with that. Thanks for the education, and ad homs, and adding more data points to the thesis.

  56. MJ says:

    There is no legislation currently under consideration to strip Delaware sheriffs of the power of arrest. They don’t have it to begin with.

    And what was the homophobic slur? Did someone call you a f****t?

  57. Doug Beatty says:

    @Aoine, Aoine, Aoine 🙂 If free speech offends you there are many places where you can get less of it. Thank you for your insults and fallacies of irrelevance.

    You have added considerably regarding data points to the thesis. Yes, I really am the person exploring a primary run against the incumbent Governor. I come here for a reason, and the assembled seem only to happy to oblige.

    What I haven’t gotten is an explanation as to why Delaware has a bead on conservator of the peace, but other states don’t. Examples of some venues were cited, false equivalence. Anyone?

  58. Doug Beatty says:

    Mj, you are incorrect. Sheriffs have had the power of arrest in Delaware, please cite your source? The Sussex County Sheriff was established in 1696. When was power of arrest revoked?

    You made a homophobic slur with the ‘pretty mouth’ comment, a well recognized reference to the rape scene in Deliverance. Over the last forty years I’ve actually become acquainted with the mindset. Don’t know who you are but you have let me know what you are.

    There is legislation pending to strip the Sheriff of arrest powers.

  59. Doug Beatty says:

    The term conservator of the peace is defined by common law. Such concept would presumably be familiar to a State Attorney. Google might be of assistance? Or one could read the wiki link previously posted?

  60. Doug Beatty says:

    _crickets_ Figures. Merci Beaucoups por jouez peeps!

  61. xstryker says:

    Here’s another one. Little state in the mid-Atlantic.

    “This office serves papers for the courts and holds Sheriff’s sales for non-payment of taxes, mortgage foreclosures plus all other court orders. Follow the links on the left for more information.”

    Not to be confused with the police department, totally different group.

  62. Doug Beatty says:

    @xstryker, #FAIL the Sherrif is defined as a conservator of the peace. What does that mean in Delaware? Here is what some in my former profession might call a clue:

    The board of any park district may employ such engineers, attorneys, clerks and other employees as may be required, and may define and prescribe their respective duties and compensation. The members of the board and all officers appointed by them shall be conservators of the peace within and upon such parks, boulevards, driveways, and property controlled by such park district, and may make arrests on view of the offense, or upon warrants for violation of any of the penal ordinances of such park districts, or for any breach of the peace, in the same manner as the police in cities organized and existing under the general laws of the State.

    9 Del. C. 1953, § 747; 52 Del. Laws, c. 42.;

    Note that links on the left also includes “History” clearly the office of Sheriff has had and exercised power of arrest. Please cite legislation in effect that ended that or that says conservators of the peace ( which includes DSP) may not make arrests?

  63. Doug Beatty says:

    Moving on, can anyone explain why the Sheriff doesn’t have power of arrest?

    If he doesn’t why is there legislation to strip Sheriffs’ of such powers? Clarify? After 316 years?

    Remember, I am stipulating to any and all irrelevant personal attacks on myself and Jeffie. Just want straightforward answers to straightforward questions. Anyone?

  64. Aoine says:

    wow – Mr Beatty really DOES have a tin hat with foil!! and he even responded to me – im so touched! so thouched that I think I will touch myself later…..

    talk aout trolls – xstryker!

    as for Deputy Torres – he had plenty of due process – would you like me to post right here the minutes of the COPT hearing that decertified him??

    of course then there was the reason for his explusion from Milton PD – there are just CERTAIN things one should NOT do in a police car on duty with a female on city time to boot

    maybe he felt that going to church with a county vehicle, using taxpayer equipment, and taxpayer gas was a cut above what he used a Town of Milton police car for – certainly the end result was the same

    attaining heaven…………..its was just the means that was different – LOLOLOL

  65. Davy says:

    The Courts will use the common-law definition of “conservator of the peace” to define the term’s usage in the Delaware constitution. This is not a political question.

    Instead, the question is whether the General Assembly or the County Counsel must fund the Sheriff’s law-enforcement activities. Even if the Sheriff is a law enforcement officer with the power of arrest, the General Assembly and the County Council might be able to de-fund the Sheriff’s law enforcement activities.

  66. xstryker says:

    It’s not stripping the office of powers, it’s simply clarifying that the powers of the office are those previously defined by Title 10, chapter 21 of the Delaware Code.

    Common law definitions do not supersede legislated definitions. If they did, sheriffs still wouldn’t be able to pull cars over because they didn’t do that in 1776.

    Beau’s opinion on this is extensively well researched and persuasive:

  67. Doug Beatty says:

    § 2114. Fish and Wildlife Agent.

    The sheriff ex officio shall be a Fish and Wildlife Agent.

    Which means power of arrest.

    Persuasive? I tend to disagree from

    b. For purposes of this chapter this term shall not include the following:

    1. A sheriff, regular deputy sheriff or constable;

    2. A security force for a state agency or other governmental unit; or, a seasonal, temporary or part-time law-enforcement officer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;

    3. A person holding police power by virtue of occupying any other position or office.

    Which would mean that bailiffs, court security guards, Game Wardens, etc also have no power of arrest. Is that persuasive?

    Doesn’t that tend to indicate that Sheriff’s, Game Wardens, Security Personell employed by State and other government agencies are not required to comply with the training provisions?

    Ordinary citizens have the power of arrest.

    The section cited only refers to police officers not meeting requirement, it arguably exempts Sheriffs’ from same:

    § 8410. Uncertified police officers.

    (a) Police officers of the State or any county or municipality or the University of Delaware or Delaware State University which do not meet the requirements of this chapter and the criteria as established by the Council shall not have the authority to enforce the laws of the State.

    (b) A police force of any county or municipality which does not meet the requirements of this chapter and the criteria established by the Council will be ineligible to apply for or receive state aid to local law-enforcement funds.


  68. MJ says:

    Dougie, the huge fail here is you. Go read the DELAWARE CODE, where it specifically states that sheriffs are not considered law enforcement and are barred from attending the state police academy, which is how you get certified to become a law enforcement officer, which is how you get the power of arrest. But you’re showing your laziness in not doing any research.

    And quoting from the movie that made your daddy famous isn’t a homophobic slur, no matter how you may twist and bend. But thanks for playing. See Vanna for your years supply of Rice-a-Roni.

    So, we all know you wear a tinfoil hat to keep out the thought police. Do you also wear tinfoil panties under your kilt?

  69. V says:

    Even if you’re right Doug, there’s lots of things that were ok under common law that we don’t do anymore or we changed under state law.

    There was no juvile court system until Illinois started the predecessor to our modern system in 1899.

    What about Trial by Combat? We don’t do that anymore either.

  70. MJ says:

    And anyone who cites World News Daily as a legitimate news source has lost touch with all reality.

  71. Davy says:

    @xstryker: The legislative definition is irrelevant. The General Assembly cannot change the definition of a term in the constitution. If the General Assembly passed the legislation in 1776 (or even in the 1890s, as suggested in the Attorney General’s opinion), it would be relevant. Any legislation after 1897 is irrelevant.

    @MJ: The Delaware Code is irrelevant. The Attorney General himself rejects statutory limits on his constitutional powers.

  72. xstryker says:

    Where in the constitution was the legislature stripped of the power to clarify the definition of legal terms?

  73. MJ says:

    This is the real Doug Beatty:

    “Comment by cassandra_m on 17 May 2012 at 12:00 pm:

    This guy showed up here a few weeks ago looking to pick a fight over something crazy. He specifically told us that he had a penchant for flame wars.”

    Davy – the Delaware Code is irrelevant? What you’re saying is that I can plan to go kill a person and do so and nothing can happen to me because the Delaware Code, which prohibits murder, is irrelevant? Wow, thanks for clearing that up.

    C’mon boys and girls, it’s time to rob a bank and stampede some cattle.

  74. Davy says:

    The real dagger in the Sheriff’s argument is the long list of officers that are “conservators of the peace.” Traditionally, the only judges that were law enforcement officers (in any sense) were justices of the peace. Alan Dershowitz discussed that in his book “Preemption.”

  75. Doug Beatty says:

    @Aoine, please do post those. I only found this with my apparently weak google fu:

    So a cite to Deputy Torres fall from Grace with Milton PD would be welcome as well. If he has convictions that disqualify him that’s certainly relevant to today’s proceedings, and possibly to a reason to remove the Sussex County Sheriff.

    I didn’t find any convictions.

    I have been arrested four times and never convicted. That will happen to a person who doesn’t always respect imaginary authority. Two of those were pro-se beatdowns administered by your’s truly, the other two included a public pretender and a rookie attorney so by all means, let’s see your full magilla. Do tell.

    Yet, how that relates to whether or not Sheriffs’ have power of arrest is something that eludes me. Perhaps my tin foil hat is too snug? Please, do elaborate.

  76. Davy says:

    @MJ: Try to examine the comment in context. The Delaware Code cannot overrule the Delaware Constitution. So, the Delaware Code is irrelevant.


    In the context of Article I, Section 6, the Court will consider newer laws as evidence of whether Delawareans consider an expectation of privacy as reasonable.

  77. Doug Beatty says:

    @MJ, the ‘something crazy’ was a bigoted general derisive statement about people from Sussex County. Don’t want to start no ish, don’t say stoopid stuff about mom. Word.

    For the record, my exact statement was advice to refrain from deriding folks with a broad brush “unless you want to try me on for size in a flame war”. So you are taking the word of a sophist on that one. This is my shocked face 😉

  78. MJ says:

    Davy, there is NO definition either in the DE Constitution or DE Code of what a conservator of the peace is. Many of us don’t give a rat’s ass what it means in Bumfuck, Texas, this is Delaware and the sheriff does not have police powers. But please, you and Dougie continue with your, as Aoine puts it, mental masturbation. Probably the only entertainment either of you get.

  79. MJ says:

    I’ll take Cass’s word over yours and a hell of a lot of other people’s any day or night.

  80. Davy says:

    @MJ: You use contemporaneous definitions of constitutional terms to define them.

    The lack of a definition is no barrier. It’s why the AG’s opinion starts there. They use a definition that is vague and ambiguous: A “conservator of the peace” preserves peace. They then switch to other methods of constitutional exegesis. They look at the list of “conservators of the peace” in the 1897 constitution, which includes the Chancellor and other judges. This creates doubt that a “conservator of the peace” is a law enforcement officer.

    THUS my observation above, and I quote:

    “The real dagger in the Sheriff’s argument is the long list of officers that are ‘conservators of the peace.’ Traditionally, the only judges that were law enforcement officers (in any sense) were justices of the peace.”

    You need to stop being a troll. I am a member of the Delaware Bar, and I have experience in construing the Delaware constitution. This question is close (or, honestly,, in the State’s favor) simply because of that list in the 1897 constitution. The common law was meant to change. But, the Delaware constitution was not meant to change, except though the amendment procedure.

  81. Doug Beatty says:

    @Mj, that Sir is your right and privilege.

    @Davy, that is an interesting position and I would like to gain further understanding of it.

    This is what I came up with:
    §l. Conservators of the peace.
    Section l. The Chancellor, Judges and Attorney General shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State; and the Sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties respectively in which they reside.

    I’m not fully convinced that power of arrest is restricted to law enforcement officers can you elaborate? I never have a problem with being corrected when wrong.

  82. xstryker says:

    Article IV, section 17 specifically enables the General Assembly to grant or alter the jurisdictions of the courts, and the Sheriff is an officer of the court.

  83. Davy says:

    @MJ: That is the long version. Long not in length, but in possible “conservators of the peace.”

  84. Davy says:

    @xstryker: The General Assembly cannot alter all jurisdiction. This is well-settled. For example, the Courts have held that the General Assembly cannot diminish the Court of Chancery’s equitable jurisdiction.

    That is, the General Assembly cannot diminish constitutional jurisdiction. The Assembly can withdraw jurisdiction that the Assembly confers on the Courts. So, the Assembly cannot reduce jurisdiction below the constitutional minimum.

    Here’s the text:

    “The General Assembly, notwithstanding anything contained in this Article, shall have power to repeal or alter ANY ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY giving jurisdiction to the former Court of Oyer and Terminer, the former Superior Court, the former Court of General Sessions of the Peace and Jail Delivery, the former Court of General Sessions, the Superior Court hereby established, the Family Court hereby established, the Court of Common Pleas hereby established or the Court of Chancery, in any matter, or giving any power to any of the said courts.” (emphasis added).

    If you want, and if I have time, I can look up case citations.

    Also, the Sheriff’s powers are not limited by the Court’s jurisdiction. The Sheriff is an officer of the Court, but you misunderstand what that means. Technically, all attorneys are officers of the Court. It simply means that we serve the Courts and owe a duty to the Courts.

  85. Doug Beatty says:

    Article IV, section 17 specifically enables the General Assembly to grant or alter the jurisdictions of the courts, and the Sheriff is an officer of the court.

    @xstryker, no argument there. If the Sheriff has no power to arrest what is there to alter?

    I am of the opinion that being a Sheriff has and does entail powers of arrest.

    Whether or not the Sussex County Sheriffs’ should become a full fledged Law enforcement agency would be to my mind properly up to the County.

  86. Davy says:

    @Doug Beatty: xstryker misinterpreted Article IV, Section 17. Read my post at 5:29 PM.

  87. Doug Beatty says:

    @Davy, ” Technically, all attorneys are officers of the Court. It simply means that we serve the Courts and owe a duty to the Courts.”

    Presumably you have more time on ‘the wrong side of the bar’ than I do. I would say that’s a pretty elastic concept based on my experience, no offense meant to individual attorneys. I did some pro-bono work for Bob Sanders in the mid nineties. Finest sort.

    I was basically a volunteer file clerk/gopher when he worked on the Lamplugh case, which led to this :

    Back to the topic at hand, I fail to be convinced that the A.G. opinion is accurate based on what I’m seeing as a truncated reading of the code @

    Where am I stepping off the plank there?

  88. Davy says:

    @Doug Beatty: Accurate in what sense? What is your question re: The Solicitor General’s opinion?

    Btw, most likely, the Solicitor General did not write this opinion, although he definitely approved it.

  89. xstryker says:

    Being a Fish & Wildlife agent does not make one above the law.

    In any case, Davy makes a good point – even if we presuppose the GA cannot remove the vague, nebulous, and quasi-magical “Common Law” powers of an undefined office, it still does not exempt the Sheriff’s office from complying with state and county law regarding the appropriation of funds and, for example, the required minimum qualification of deputies. There’s a difference between having power and having unregulatable power.

  90. Doug Beatty says:

    @Davy, Specifically the last sentence: In the meantime, we adhere to our view that Sheriffs do not have the statutory or common law authority to make arrests.

    Also, the position that only police officers are empowered to make arrests.

    “Peace officer” is any public officer authorized by law to make arrests in a criminal case. The A.G. opined that the legislation did not intend this to include Sheriffs, but doesn’t the Constitution of the State supercede the code when there is a conflict?

  91. Doug Beatty says:

    @xstryker, straman fallacy. I never said being a fish and wildlife officer made anyone above the law, I forwarded the notion that such entials power of arrest.

    Regarding minimum qualifications ” In Kent County, minimum qualifications may be established by the county government for each position, and said minimum qualifications and compensation and any subsequent adjustments thereto shall have the concurrence of the Sheriff.”

  92. MJ says:

    @Davy – “I am a member of the Delaware Bar, and I have experience in construing the Delaware constitution.”

    I never miss the chance to stop in a bar and I learned about the Delaware Constitution on the back of a box of Coo-coo Puffs.

    There, I fixed that for you.

    And it’s you and Dougie who are trolling.

  93. Doug Beatty says:

    @Davy, we are a common law State no? negligence per se or per MJ? 😀 Anywho, also why is this provision extant if Sheriffs are not charged with preserving the peace:

    Ҥ 2103. Extra deputies in emergency; compensation.

    In case an emergency makes it necessary for a sheriff to employ temporarily a greater number of deputies than provided in § 2102 of this title, for the preservation of peace and good order, the sheriff may be reimbursed by the Levy Court or County Council of his or her county for sums actually expended for the services of such deputies, upon rendering a detailed sworn statement of the occasion for the employment, the term thereof, and the amount paid to each deputy, and the names of such deputies.”

    That seems to imply that the duty of the Sheriff includes preserving peace and good order, or am I misreading that because it’s an emergency only clause? In the latter case, is this only an emergency declared by other authority, or is seeing somebody slamming a child into the sidewalk an emergency requiring the deputy to take action?

    If there is no power of arrest truly, then does the Sheriff have any obligation to maintain order?

  94. xstryker says:

    And I maintain that it only entails arrest if the constitution specifically enumerates it, which it doesn’t. Ergo, my interpretation of the constitutional minimum power of office is appropriately minimalist. In the absence of a contradictory statute, the sheriff might indeed have such ability, but nowhere is he granted supreme authority over law enforcement, and therefore is not exempt from any laws which regulate the practices of court officers or police officers.

  95. @ Doug Beatty–

    Taking random snippets of law out of context does not add to the conversation. It’s akin to taking random quotes from the Bible. You can “prove” god endorses slavery, stoning, rape, etc. w/ quotes from Leviticus, yet the new testament says otherwise.

    If I were running Sussex County Council, I’d simply de-fund the Sheriff’s office & pay the Sheriff as a contractor. He’d get paid piece work for auctions & serving papers and other jobs deemed appropriate by Council. Problem solved, in a nice “conservative” manner!

  96. xstryker says:

    Maintaining order doesn’t mean whatever you want it to mean. Nowhere is he granted the ability to supersede state law, and the common law you so frequently cite clearly gives legislative bodies the authority to regulate the powers and duties of law officers.

  97. Doug Beatty says:

    @Roland, maybe not a bad way to go. Certainly makes more sense than the current approach. Pardon me for my fallacies of cultural relevance. The Sussex County Sheriff has a long history of enforcing the law. Wikipedia has some thoughts on Sheriffs in the U.S. making an exception for Delaware. I look forward to seeing how this shakes out in court.

    @xstryker, again I never said that. Where is the Sheriff superceding state law by making an arrest and when did that start? Regulating the Sheriff’s powers is what is currently on the table legislatively despite pronouncements to the contrary. Which is proper but it would be the State Constitution that would need amending if indeed those powers come from there IMO.

    What state law is he superceding? What did I say it means? Can you make a point without some sort of strawman or other fallacy?

  98. Doug Beatty says:

    “but nowhere is he granted supreme authority over law enforcement, and therefore is not exempt from any laws which regulate the practices of court officers or police officers.”

    I would disagree on your last point citing code posted more than once upthread. Sheriffs are specifically excluded from the chapter referring to police powers. Yet are specifically charged as conservators of the peace and appear to be charged with maintaining good order, then the whole Fish and Wildlife thing. None of which are addressed by your opinion.

  99. Aoine says:

    lets not engage in mental masturbation – well allow Mr Beatty to engage in voyuerism at least.

  100. SussexWatcher says:

    This is the best fucking thread in the history of blogging. I am rolling. Doug Beatty, you are the best candidate in this state since Janet Rzewnicki!

    The Sussex budget is introduced Tuesday. Will be very interesting to see what they give him. An intrepid journalist or blogger might even FOIA the records showing his request and correspondence. Might be some interesting reading.

  101. Aoine says:

    OMG – do you all know who Hendershott is?? – he was Arpiao’s chief Deputy that was sooo bad even Arpio fired him

    And this is who jeff Christopher hangs out with – WOW!!

    lay down with dogs – get up with fleas!!

  102. MJ says:

    I’m glad Dougie thinks that latching on to Jeff Christopher is a winning formula and will get him votes down here in Sussex. Problem is, all of the sheriff’s supporters are either tebag rethuglicans, IPoD members or the solitary member of the DE Constitution Party. They can’t vote in the Democratic primary.

  103. Davy says:

    @xstryker: Tht’s nt mnmlst. Tht’s lzy. nd, f th Crts fllwd yr ld, thn thr wld b n sbstntve d prcss.

    @Dg Btty: Th Dlwr cnsttton sprsds th Dlwr Cd f th tw cnflct.

    t’s bvs tht th Shrff lcks th stttry thrty t rrst. ls, th Shrff lcks th cmmn-lw thrty t rrst, s stttry lw sprsds th cmmn lw. Tht bng sd, th Shrff my hv th cnstttonl thrty t rrst. m skptcl, s th Cnsttton rfrs t ll jdgs s “cnsrvtrs f th pac.”

    Dn’t cnfs th Shrff’s cnstttnl pwrs, whch driv frm th cmmn lw s t xstd n 1776, 1792, 1831, nd 1897, nd th Shrff’s cmmn-lw pwrs, f ny xst, whch drive frm th cmmn lw tht xsts tday.

    Ys, th cmmn lw stll xsts n th mpty spcs f th Dlwr Cd.

    @MJ: Y’r trll.

  104. MJ says:

    Davy, you’re an asshat. Give it up. You’ve been trolling on here for weeks now. Go over to one of your troll sites where they welcome the crazy.

    And talk about the crazy – you have to watch that video Aoine linked to. Jeff just keeps bringing the crazy.

  105. MJ says:

    Different Hendershot, Aoine.

  106. Davy says:

    @MJ: Th vd s rrlvnt t th lgl qston. Stp trllng, fl.

  107. Aoine says:

    whoops!!! sorry hanks MJ

    thought he had lost some lbs

  108. xstryker says:

    Jeez, I read the entire state constitution today and this guy calls me lazy. Really not sure how much effort I’d have to sink into this to meet with his approval. Well, that’s what I get for arguing with a lawyer, wasted a whole lot of time. I’m betting the suit fails.

  109. Davy says:

    @xstryker: m potng t tht ipld pwrs nd rghts r s mprtt s xprss pwrs nd rghts.

    nd, rdng th Dlwr cnsttton s nsffcnt. Tht’s th tp f th icbrg.

  110. Liberal Elite says:

    @x “Well, that’s what I get for arguing with a lawyer,…”

    Isn’t that the same as arguing with a troll? And isn’t it twice as bad if the lawyer is a troll?

    The suit doesn’t have a chance in hell, well at least on appeal. Down here in Sussex County, nothing really surprises me.