Kentucky State Courts
Kentucky has a number of trial courts, some have limited jurisdiction and some general. These feed into the courts of appeals and supreme court for the state of Kentucky. There are also two federal district courts which are a point of origin for federal cases rather than state issues.
The two federal courts are the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. These can hear appeals from the trials courts as well as hearing federal cases.
Kentucky has some subject-matter courts to deal with specific issues. For example, there are two courts with jurisdiction over bankruptcy issues, split into districts:
- United States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of Kentucky
- United States bankruptcy court, Western District of Kentucky
Kentucky has circuit courts. While some states have one per county, Kentucky has one for each group of four counties, which deal with felonies and smaller claims and disputes up to $4,000 in dollar value.
The Kentucky District Courts don’t have general jurisdiction. They can deal with smaller civil cases such as traffic offences. These courts also hear cases relating to probate and some small claims.
Kentucky has a subject-matter court for family issues. The Kentucky Family Court exercises jurisdiction over adoption and marriage issues among other family-related court cases.
|Kentucky Supreme Court
|State Capitol, Room 235 700 Capitol Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
Appeals from the lower courts can be escalated in some scenarios to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. This acts as the intermediate court, and was the only court with such a role in the state before 1975, when the Supreme Court was finally created.
This Supreme court now acts as the court of last resort in the state of Kentucky. It consists of seven court justices. These hear the appeals that stem from lower courts. The Supreme Court also creates and enforces the rules for the Justice Court and decides upon regulations for attorneys and law professionals throughout Kentucky.
Types of Courts in Kentucky
How to Find Kentucky Court Records Online
With our simple search function you can find Kentucky court records online. The Kentucky Open Records Act, first introduced in the 1970s, means that you can access these records as a citizen of the state, as long as it is not prohibited by another law. All state and local government records have to be made available. This includes arrest warrants, plea details, mugshots and much more. You can find many of these details through our search function. In the odd case that these records are not available, you may have to contact a court specifically. Not all historic cases have yet been digitized so there are some gaps in cases that occurred before the 90’s. These records are still available, though.