Delaware Chancery Position Title Changed

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The title of “Master in Chancery,” which has existed in Delaware since the 1980s, is now referred to as ““Magistrate in Chancery.” The previous title–“Mastery in Chancery”–carries negative connotations for many Delawareans due to the use of the word “master” and its connection to slavery. According to the State of Delaware Administrative Office of the Court, the title “Master in Chancery” has no link to that historical context, but the Court of Chancery is sensitive to the title’s negative connotations and therefore proposed “Magistrate in Chancery” as a suitable and modern substitute title. To accomplish the title change, the Delaware General Assembly passed Senate Bill 179 on June 30th, and Governor John C. Carney signed the bill on July 17th making it effective immediately.

Additional Information:

The Court of Chancery will begin enforcing this change in title on August 15, 2023.
Practitioners are encouraged to review their standard forms to ensure that they are
using the correct title. It is acceptable and encouraged to refer to judicial officers
holding this title as ‘Magistrate in Chancery,’ ‘Magistrate’ or ‘Your Honor’ in all contexts.


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