Delaware Court Civil Complaint
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This Delaware complaint form should be filed with the court if a tenant fails to cure a lease violation after receiving the proper eviction notices.
Document Last Modified: 6/19/2023
The Delaware Civil Complaint form is used by landlords to begin the act of possession of the rental unit after properly documented lease violations. The form is used after applicable notices have been given to the tenant (such as the 5 Day Notice to pay Rent or Quit, or the 7 Day Notice to Cure or Vacate). The Complaint Form must be downloaded and filled in and filed with the Justice of the Peace Court that is nearest the rental unit.
IMPORTANT: If you are suing for back rent but not for possession of the rental property, do not use this form. Suing for back rent but not for possession is a debt action and operates under a different court process.
The landlord is the Complaint plaintiff and the tenant is the defendant. Information for both parties and their attorneys, if they have attorneys, must be entered on the form. Because the Complaint form is used with all Justice of the Peace civil cases, be sure to check the box for Summary Possession (Landlord/Tenant). Then, briefly but clearly, explain the lease violation and the relief that you’re seeking, such as back rent, and possession of the rental property.
For lease violations in addition to or other than unpaid rent, you must list the rule that was broken, the date your tenant was notified of the rule, and how your tenant learned about the rule. You must attach a copy of the rule that your tenant broke - in most cases, this is the lease or a lease amendment - and you must supply proof that the rule was broken and your tenant was properly notified of the violation. If it is a repeat violation, this must be noted.
Finally, landlords in Delaware have the option of seeking a jury trial in Justice of the Peace courts. If you desire a jury trial, you must check the YES box next to Jury Trial Demanded.
Make 4 copies of the complaint form and all attachments. Attachments should include:
- Lease agreement
- Notices served on the tenant
- Proof of notice service
- Any other relevant documents
Keep a copy of the complaint and the attachments. Give the court the original complaint and attachments and three copies. You will have to pay a fee that covers the Complaint filing and the cost of serving the tenant with the Complaint. Once the Complaint is filed, the tenant will be served, typically by the local constable, with a copy of the Complaint and a summons to appear at court. The landlord will be mailed a notice of the trial date and time.
For more information on the Delaware Residential Landlord-Tenant Code and a full description of eviction notices, visit Delaware.gov
Delaware Rental Forms & Templates
- Delaware 5-Day Notice: Use this Notice for Tenants that have unpaid rent. It’s a necessary first step in the eviction process.
- Delaware 7-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate: Use this Notice for Lease violations other than nonpayment of rent. It gives Tenants 7 days to cure the Lease violation or vacate the property. It’s a necessary first step in the eviction process.
- Delaware Court Civil Complaint: If a Tenant fails to cure the Lease violation within the given period, Landlords can use this Complaint to initiate eviction proceedings.
- Attorney General’s Summary of the Delaware Landlord-Tenant Code: This summary, created by the Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, must be given to all renters when the Lease Agreement is signed.