Kentucky Circuit Courts are the highest trial courts for the state with general jurisdiction over all civil matters of more than $5,000 and criminal offenses including felonies and capital offenses. These courts also handle cases involving land disputes, contested wills and probate matters. They can also issue “injunctions, writs of prohibition and writs of mandamus to hear appeals from District Court and administrative agencies.” District Court appeals first come to Circuit Court.
Family Court is a division of the Circuit Court focused on children and family matters like divorce, child custody, visitation, adoption, child support, equitable distribution of property during a divorce, termination of parental rights, and domestic abuse and violence. This court support both the Uniform Act on Paternity and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
Circuit Court judges may sit in more than one county court within a circuit. Even though some circuits have only one county, they may have several judges depending on caseload and the population of the area. Circuit Court judges are elected into office and serve eight-year terms.
The Kentucky Court of Justice website has all the forms necessary for all types of cases. Some of the forms are downloadable and some you can fill out online and then print. These forms may be used for all kinds of Circuit Court cases by self-represented individuals filing in small claims or Family Court (such as child support forms) and attorneys filing other types of cases. The website offers training and support for e-filing and other court-related questions.
On average, Circuit Courts see about 91,863 cases per year. Of that total, 42,038 are for criminal cases, 39,380 are for civil suits, 5,897 are family-related cases, and the rest is for appeals, adoptions and other matters.