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Most Kentucky Court Proceedings to go Virtual
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued new mandates to govern court operations as COVID-19 cases spike in nearly all 120 Kentucky counties.

Citing the news that 250,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and health-care resources are becoming overwhelmed, Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said in an email to court personnel Friday that it is imperative to restrict court activities now to protect the public and court staff from exposure.

“As I’ve said many times over the last few months, one of our guiding truths has been the involuntary nature of most court proceedings,” he said. “People can choose whether to eat at a restaurant or go shopping, but in most instances they don’t get to choose whether they go to court. We have a responsibility to do all we can to keep people from being exposed to a potentially fatal virus.”

To address the surging cases, the Supreme Court has amended two orders to limit in-person proceedings and restrict access to judicial facilities.

The statewide orders will become effective Monday, Nov. 30. 
 

The new orders include the following:

-Limiting entrance to judicial facilities.

-Requiring remote hearings in all proceedings, except as specified in Administrative Order 2020-71.

-Postponing all jury trials until Feb. 1, 2021.

-Requiring grand juries to either be conducted remotely or suspended.

-Postponing all show cause dockets until Feb. 1, 2021.

-Requiring judicial sales to be conducted either remotely or outside and in accordance with CDC guidelines.


Minton thanked court personnel for their continued patience and steady leadership as the court system makes its way through what health experts expect to be a difficult winter.

“The good news is that a vaccine is on the horizon and we’re starting to see a path out of this deep crisis,” he said. “In the meantime, we must continue to ensure justice for the commonwealth while protecting the health of our employees and the public.”

Published 12:04 AM, Friday Nov. 20, 2020
Updated 10:06 AM, Saturday Nov. 21, 2020

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