Hicks v. Slagowski, C. A. JP17-21-003113

CourtCourt of Justice of Peace Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtJohn C. Martin, Senior Justice of the Peace For the Three Judge Panel.
PartiesHERMAN L HICKS Plaintiff Below, Appellant v. JOHN SLAGOWSKI Defendant Below, Appellee
Decision Date04 November 2021
Docket NumberC. A. JP17-21-003113

HERMAN L HICKS Plaintiff Below, Appellant

JOHN SLAGOWSKI Defendant Below, Appellee

C. A. No. JP17-21-003113

State of Delaware, Justice of Peace, Sussex

November 4, 2021

Submitted: October 29, 2021.



The plaintiff appeared pro se. Paul G. Enterline Esquire represented the defendant.

Deborah Keenen, Deputy Chief Magistrate Richard Comly, Justice of the Peace John C. Martin, Senior Justice of the Peace.

John C. Martin, Senior Justice of the Peace For the Three Judge Panel.




The Court has entered a judgment or order in the following form:


On July 26, 2021 the plaintiff filed this action seeking to "Stay in Residence" where he resided, which was the "New Street House" in Georgetown, Delaware, His complaint stated that the owner of this property was "unjustly and illegally" trying to evict him. On September 9, 2021 the defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. After a trial, the Court found that the plaintiffs residence was an institution intended as a place for addicts to engage in recovery and as such was exempt from the requirements of Delaware's Landlord-Tenant Code (Code) and that the Court lacked jurisdiction to award the remedies sought by the plaintiff. Therefore, on September 24, 2021 the plaintiffs action was dismissed without prejudice.

On September 29, 2021 the plaintiff filed a timely appeal of this judgment pursuant to Section 5717 of the Code. This is the decision of the Three Judge Panel hearing the claim and a counterclaim as a Trial De Novo.


The plaintiff testified about his residence at the "New Street House", which was established as a drug treatment facility. The application for admission to this facility, which the plaintiff signed on August 11, 2019, contains an explanation of the purpose of the facility under the provisions of the Federal Anti-Drug Act of 1988 and the terms of admission. It includes the following: "In accepting these terms, the applicant excludes himself or herself from the normal due process afforded by local landlord-tenant laws".

At the conclusion of the plaintiffs testimony, the Panel considered the plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and found that Section 5102 of the Code identifies exclusions from it. Subsection (1) excludes residence at an institution...where such residence is merely...

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