Supreme Court issues orders allowing courts to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions
FRANKFORT, Ky., Feb. 25, 2021 – As Kentucky begins to see its COVID-19 cases decline and its rate of vaccinations increase, the Supreme Court has amended two orders to allow courts to begin easing restrictions on in-person access. Administrative Order 2021-06 replaces Administrative Order 2021-01 in its entirety and Administrative Order 2021-07 replaces Administrative Order 2021-02 in its entirety. Both orders are effective April 1, 2021.
Here is a brief overview of the amendments:
- Includes jurors in the list of individuals permitted into a court facility.
- Allows judges to schedule individual cases for in-person hearings effective May 1, 2021.
- Extends the date for mail-in renewal driver’s licenses to June 30, 2021, per Transportation Cabinet Order 112400.
- Ends 50/50 staffing and Special Leave effective May 1, 2021.
- Authorizes teleworking to continue.
- Extends the date for Kentucky Court of Justice committees to meet in-person to May 1, 2021.
- Extends the date to begin jury trials to May 1, 2021.
- Allows grand juries to proceed on April 1, 2021.
- Clarifies the extension of the 60-day rule under RCr 5.22(3).
- Eliminates reference to the CARES Act and removes the requirement for the AOC 1027 Form in eviction filings.
- Refers to the eviction moratorium in the CDC Order and the Healthy at Home rental assistance program.
- Extends the date to begin judicial sales to May 1, 2021.
- Extends the date to begin show cause hearings for nonpayment to July 1, 2021.
Supreme Court of Kentucky
The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court and all seven rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be published, which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm of the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,400 court system employees and 406 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.