Kentucky Municipal Court Information
The Constitution of Kentucky was amended in 1975 and municipal courts were abolished in the state. The functions of the municipal courts were taken over by the various divisions that come under the Kentucky Circuit Courts and the Kentucky District Courts.
Circuit Court of Kentucky
The Circuit Court exercises general jurisdiction over all matters that deal with capital offenses, cases that deal with disputes regarding land, felony cases, cases that deal with the probate of wills or estates or trusts that are in dispute, and other civil cases and civil litigation cases in which the amount in dispute is greater than $4,000.
The Circuit Court is the highest trial court in the state of Kentucky and is empowered to issue injunctions, use the writs of prohibition or mandamus, and to hear and decide on appeals that arise from the district courts and other administrative agencies.
The judges of the circuit courts are elected for a term of 8 years. The judges of the circuit court may serve more than one county under the judicial circuit. Certain judicial circuits may cover only one county. Depending on the caseload a single county may have more judges assigned to it.
Family and Juvenile Courts
Family and Juvenile Court in Kentucky is a division of the circuit court. Family and Juvenile Court usually has one judge who is responsible to hear and decide on all matters dealing with a particular family. This practice helps to reduce the stress faced by individuals and families. This aspect of the family court distinguishes its services from any other trial courts in Kentucky.
The jurisdiction of the Family and Juvenile Courts is provided by Kentucky state laws such as KRS 23A.100 and 23A.110.These state laws allow the family court to also hear and pass judgment on cases dealing with family law that are usually heard by the District Court.
Some of the cases heard by the Family and Juvenile Courts are: cases that deal with the dissolution of marriage, adoption, paternity rights, spousal support, child custody and visitation rights, cases that involve domestic violence, juvenile delinquency cases, negligence or abuse of minors, and the rehabilitation of runaways and truants.
District Court in Kentucky
There are 60 judicial districts in the state of Kentucky that are served by 116 district judges.
The district court exercises limited jurisdiction over all matters that deal with misdemeanor cases, cases that deal with traffic offenses, cases involving juvenile subjects, violation of city and county ordinance cases, preliminary hearing of felonies, cases that deal with the probate of wills or estates, issues and disputes which involve small claims, and other civil cases in which the amount in dispute is less than $4,000.
Apart from these cases the district court also deals with cases that involve domestic violence, abuse, and cases that pertain to involuntary mental commitments.
For more information about the local courts in Kentucky, contact:
Administrative Office of the Courts
100 Millcreek Park
Frankfort, KY 40601
Specific Kentucky City Court Information: