Much like municipal and other local type courts, District Courts are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. These courts handle juvenile matters, local town and city ordinance violations, minor misdemeanor and felony probate hearings. They are also authorized to take on probate cases, wills, arraignments, civil cases of $5,000 or less, small claims cases where the amount is $2,500 or less, mental illness cases involving commitments and domestic violence and abuse issues.
District Court judges serve four-year terms and are elected into office. There is a total of 115 District Court judges in Kentucky covering 60 District Courts for the state. District Court judges may serve more than one county. These judges are supported by the County Court Clerk’s office and other personnel. District Courts are overseen by the Supreme Court, the highest court in the state.
Since District Courts are the courts of the people, the Kentucky Court of Justice website has a whole section for self-represented individuals and the public. It has links to court records, online payment of traffic tickets, fines and other fees, court statistics, and information on things like passing the court clerk’s exam, mediation, e-filing, domestic violence options, jury duty and guides for representing yourself in court. There is also a section where users can download all the forms they need for filing, divorce education tips, and dozens of guides and publications to help people navigate the justice process through the court system.
On average the state of Kentucky District Courts sees about 638,449 new filings per year. Most of those (247,391) are for traffic violations, 128,155 are for civil suits, 108,975 are for minor misdemeanors, 65,943 are for felonies, 36,256 are for probate matters, 19,363 pertain to health and disability claims, 9,100 are for domestic violence cases, and 7,913 are for small claims.