Kentucky Legal Overview
Kentucky has a unified judiciary system, with the Kentucky Supreme Court as the highest court comprised of a Chief Justice and six associate justices. Each justice is elected from one of the seven judicial districts for an 8-year term. Each judicial district also elects two appellate judges for 8-year terms for the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and the 14 judges then divide court hearings among three-member panels. The Circuit Court, with 57 circuits, has general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases. The District Court with 60 judicial districts has limited jurisdiction over local ordinance violations.
Top metro Kentucky areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in Kentucky and came into the spotlight with Stanford v. Kentucky (1989), wherein the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for juvenile offenders aged 16 or older when they committed the crime. Kevin Stanford's sentence was commuted in 2003 and the U.S. Supreme Court then reversed itself and made the death penalty inapplicable for juveniles. In McCreary County v. ACLU (2005), a Ten Commandments display outside the county courthouse was declared unconstitutional as a religious display. In Batson v. Kentucky (1986), the court ruled that lawyers may not dismiss jurors based solely on race.
2. The Attorney General warns the people of Kentucky not to become victimized by a new identify theft scam that involves paying utility bills.
3. A woman in Kentucky is suing five companies that targeted her in a previous lawsuit, claiming that she never did anything and the companies are harassing her.
Trending Kentucky Legal Topics: The Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) is an independent agency that operates under the direction of the Kentucky Supreme Court to regulate the 12,500 attorneys licensed to practice law in Kentucky. Complaints against judges have to be sent to the Judicial Conduct Commission which is the only state body authorized to take disciplinary action against sitting judges.