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Delaware Chancery Court changes "Master in Chancery" title to "Magistrate in Chancery"

The Delaware Courts are adjusting some terminology with negative connotations to slavery.

The title of “Mastery in Chancery” will be changed to “Magistrate in Chancery.”

A bill passed by the General Assembly on the last day of session was signed by Governor John Carney last week, effective immediately. The Court of Chancery will begin enforcing the change in title on August 15.

The title “Master in Chancery” has existed in Delaware since the 1980s, according to a release from the Delaware Court of Chancery Court. Although the title “Master in Chancery” has no link to that historical context, the Court of Chancery says they are sensitive to the title’s negative connotations and therefore proposed “Magistrate in Chancery” as a suitable and modern substitute title.

Practitioners are encouraged to review their standard forms to ensure that they are using the correct title. Acceptable titles for judicial officers holding this title are “Magistrate in Chancery,” “Magistrate,” or “Your Honor.”

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.