FRANKFORT, Ky., April 1, 2020 — In anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court issued new amendments today that strengthen the social-distancing order that has been in place in courts statewide since March 16. The order restricts dockets, jury trials and jury service during the pandemic.
Administrative Order 2020-16, dated April 1, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-13, dated March 26, 2020. The new amendments are in effect through May 1 and provide that:
- All participants to a proceeding, including parties and attorneys, must be allowed to participate remotely.
- All judicial facilities will be closed to in-person services effective April 1, with limited exceptions. Signage will be posted at all public entry points notifying individuals of the restrictions.
- Eviction filings will not be accepted by the circuit court clerk until 30 days after the order expires pursuant to federal and state moratoriums on evictions and public health and safety concerns.
“I appreciate the hard work and determination of the public, the legal community and court personnel who are quickly adapting to these changes,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said. “As difficult as these restrictions may be, the Judicial Branch must do its part to practice stringent social distancing while providing essential, constitutionally mandated services. The health and safety of all of us depend on it.”
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.