FRANKFORT, Ky., March 13, 2020 — In an effort to minimize social interaction in Kentucky’s busy courthouses and judicial centers during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has issued an order placing restrictions on dockets, jury trials and jury service from March 16-April 10. The amended order signed today reflects changes to the original order issued Thursday evening, March 12.
“Our justices, judges and circuit court clerks provide critical services in every county,” Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said. “Our challenge during this pandemic is to ensure justice for the citizens of the commonwealth while protecting the health of our employees and the public.”
Chief Justice Minton said it’s important to note that courthouses and judicial centers will remain open and offer limited services. However, trials, hearings and motions will be postponed and rescheduled. Juror orientation will be canceled and existing jury panels may be extended. Attorneys are encouraged to use e-Filing for court documents. For complete details, see the Supreme Court order.
“With public health officials urging social distancing as a way to mitigate the outbreak, we want to do our part to help slow the rate of infection so that our health care system is not overwhelmed by the pandemic,” Chief Justice Minton said.
You can find ongoing court updates on the COVID-19 and the Courts webpage.
About the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court and all seven justices rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be published, which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,400 court system employees and 406 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.