Kentucky’s Court of Appeals is the intermediate appeals court for the state. All the lower courts in Kentucky send their appeals to the Court of Appeals. When a losing party is dissatisfied with the outcome of their trial, they have the option of appealing. Appeals are not new trials; they work by three judges sitting on a panel and reviewing the evidence and case files along with oral arguments and briefs presented by both sides. Their goal is to determine if any errors were made during the original trial. Their verdict is called an “opinion.” Only two of the three judges need to agree to form a majority vote.
Fourteen judges sit on the Court of Appeals. The state of Kentucky is divided into seven jurisdictional court districts for the Court of Appeals. These judges who sit in panels of three travel around the state to hear cases. They do not work out of a single location.
Certain cases like divorces and acquittals are not eligible for an appeal. However, things such as child custody and property rights in a divorce may be appealed. Cases may be sent back to trial courts for a new trial or the verdict overturned by the Court of Appeals opinion.
On the Kentucky Court of Justice website, they have contact information for the Court of Appeals along with the clerk’s information for anyone who has questions or needs additional information about the process. In an effort of transparency, the website lists salaries of judges and justices. They also post an oral arguments calendar. These proceedings are open to the public if anyone wants to attend. All published opinions are posted on the website as well. Additionally, they have rules and procedure guidelines along with case information and a place for attorneys to e-file briefs into Court of Appeals cases.