Employment Law Report

The Supreme Court of Kentucky Issues Amended Order 2020-16

By Marianna J. Michael

On April 1, 2020, the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued further guidance on its and the Court of Appeals’ operations during the COVID-19 crisis. The Order, which can be found here (https://kycourts.gov/courts/supreme/Rules_Procedures/202016.pdf), extends certain restrictions until May 1, 2020. The Order shares many similarities with the March 26, 2020 Order, which it replaced in its entirety. However, the new Order extends certain deadlines and provides more guidance for how various hearings should be handled in the coming weeks.

Some of the restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court of Kentucky include:

  • As of April 2, 2020, all judicial facilities were closed for public services, with an exception for attorneys attending emergency hearings.
  • All civil trials scheduled between March 16, 2020 and May 1, 2020 are to be postponed and rescheduled for a later date, with civil trials in progress being continued or completed based on the judge’s discretion.
  • Reasonable attempts shall be made to reschedule all criminal trials, subject to a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
  • All small claims, eviction, juvenile, probate, traffic, and guardianship cases scheduled between March 16, 2020 and May 1, 2020 are to be continued, with the exception of emergency matters and statutorily required hearings.
  • Eviction filings shall not be accepted by the circuit clerk until 30 days after the expiration of the Order on May 1, 2020.
  • Judges are to continue addressing matters that do not require a hearing or personal appearance.
  • Jurors who are ill, caring for someone who is ill, or who are in a high-risk category are to have their jury service postponed to a later date.
  • New juror orientations shall be suspended unless an exception is granted by the Chief Justice while existing jury panels may be extended at the discretion of the court.
  • Individuals who (i) have traveled to high-risk countries or states with widespread cases within the last fourteen (14) days; (ii) exhibit COVID-19 symptoms; or (iii) have been in contact with someone who has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms are prohibited from entering any state courthouse.
  • Individuals with legitimate court business who are ill, caring for someone who is ill or who are in a high-risk category are advised to stay home and request a continuance by calling the local Office of the Circuit Court Clerk.

Return here for additional updates on the judiciary’s response to COVID-19.