New chief of Delaware Family court takes oath

 (Gene Ashley/WHYY)

(Gene Ashley/WHYY)

The fifth chief justice has been sworn in as the head of Delaware Family Court.

Judge Michael K. Newell took the official oath of office as Chief Judge of the Family Court of Delaware today during an investiture at the New Castle County Court House in Wilmington, Delaware.

The 8th floor courtroom was packed with family, friends and colleagues who gathered to witness the swearing-in. 

The ceremony opened with a call to order and welcome, which was followed by an invocation, and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Sgt. Michael Manley.  The Capitol Police Sergeant was one of two police officers injured in February 2013 when Thomas Matusiewicz opened fire inside the Courthouse’s lobby.  Both officers survived the shooting. 

Governor Jack Markell, who nominated the 62-year-old judge in June, also gave remarks commenting on Judge Newell’s long running commitment to serving the families of Delaware. “From his distinguish career in family law, including a decade of service on the family court, to his passion for giving back to our communities and especially our children, he has demonstrated, you have demonstrated, the integrity, the wisdom, the compassion and the fairness to lead a court that deals with the most personal of disputes,” said Markell.

Judge Newell is the court’s fifth Chief Judge.  He’s served with the Family Court system since 2004.  The Delaware native is a graduate of the University of Delaware and he received his law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School.

One of the most touching moments of today’s ceremony was when Judge Newell’s four sons gave personal accounts of their relationship with their father.  They spoke of how their father’s success, along with their mother’s love, influenced them and how proud they were of him today. “We are all here today to honor a great man.  Mike Newell is a family man, a man of faith, a gentleman, a workhorse, a scholar, comedian, tremendous athlete and all around great guy,” said Justice Newell’s son.

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