On March 13, 2020, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an (updated) Order in response to the state of emergency declared in the state and to observe “social distancing.” Proceedings in the state courts of Kentucky are restricted (effectively suspended/canceled) between March 16 – April 10, 2020.The exceptions are for emergencies and domestic violence hearings, which will still be heard. Trials, hearings and motions will be postponed and rescheduled. Juror orientation will be canceled and existing jury panels may be extended. All attorneys have been encouraged to use e-Filing for all court documents. The courthouses and judicial centers across the state remain open and are offering limited services.
Both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, U.S. District Court, also issued Orders on March 13th. The federal district courthouses remain open for business; however, all civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin March 16 – April 17, 2020, are “continued for a minimum period of thirty (30) days”, subject to further orders of the court. At this time, criminal matters and civil hearings scheduled during that period “shall proceed as scheduled , subject to intervening orders of the judge assigned to the matter.” Any attorney that is ill or high-risk is responsible for advising the assigned judge by notice or motion for cancellation or continuance.
The Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims followed suit, canceling all in-person Benefit Review Conferences and Hearings through April 20, 2020. The Department issued its decision on the afternoon of March 13th, resulting in an effective start date of March 16th. The KDWC went further in a notice sent on March 17, 2020, suspending application of 803 KAR 25:010, Section17 (2), “to the extent that court reporters may take depositions while not physically present with the deponent provided that the attorney for the deponent shall certify on the record the identity of the deponent. For depositions of individuals other than parties, the attorney taking the deposition shall certify on the record the identity of the deponent.”
If you have any questions, please contact one of our Kentucky attorneys.