Kentucky Court of Appeals
|Kentucky Court of Appeals|
|Method:||Partisan election of judges|
Sara Combs • Janet Stumbo • Joy Moore • Glenn Acree • Laurance VanMeter • Denise Clayton • James Lambert • Michael Caperton • Kelly Thompson • Jeff Taylor • Donna Dixon • Christopher Nickell • Irv Maze • Allison Jones •
The Kentucky Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Kentucky. Prior to a 1975 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that created the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in the state.
The court consists of 14 members who serve eight year terms. The Court normally sits in 3 judge panels, with membership in the panels rotating so all judges sit on at least one panel with each of their colleagues every year. The court is headquartered in Frankfort, but the 3 judge panels hear cases in courtrooms throughout the state.
|Judge Sara Combs||1994-2014||7th District, 1st Division||Gov. Brereton Jones|
|Judge Janet Stumbo||2007-2014||7th District, 2nd Division||n/a|
|Judge Joy Moore||2007-2014||6th District, 2nd Division||n/a|
|Chief judge Glenn Acree||2006-2014||5th District, 2nd Division||Gov. Ernie Fletcher|
|Judge Laurance VanMeter||2004-2014||5th District, 1st Division||n/a|
|Judge Denise Clayton||2007-2015||4th District, 2nd Division||Gov. Ernie Fletcher|
|Judge James Lambert||2007-2014||3rd District, 2nd Division||n/a|
|Judge Michael Caperton||2008-2015||3rd District, 1st Division||n/a|
|Judge Kelly Thompson||2007-2014||2nd District, 2nd Division||n/a|
|Chief Judge Jeff Taylor||2004-2014||2rd District, 1st Division||n/a|
|Judge Donna Dixon||2006-2016||1st District, 2nd Division||Gov. Ernie Fletcher|
|Judge Christopher Nickell||2007-2014||1st District, 1st Division|
|Judge Irv Maze||2012-present||4th District||Gov. Steve Beshear|
|Judge Allison Jones||2013-2014||6th District, 1st Division||Gov. Steve Beshear|
The 14 members of the Court of Appeals select one colleague to serve as Chief judge for a 4 year term. The Chief judge assigns judges and cases to panels.
Two members are selected from each of the seven appellate court districts. Prior to 1976, judges were elected on a partisan ballot. A law passed in 1976 mandates that judicial elections in Kentucky be non-partisan. According to the Kentucky Constitution, "All terms commence on the first Monday in January next succeeding the regular election for the office".
To qualify to run for position of Judge of the Court of Appeals, the candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of both the Commonwealth, and of the district from which he is elected for 2 years next preceding his taking office and licensed to practice law in the courts of the Commonwealth and a licensed attorney for at least 8 years. The candidate must file with the Secretary of State and the filing fee is $200.00.
Removal of judges
Any judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals can be removed by the Judicial Conduct Commission. The Commission is composed of the following:
- One judge of the Court of Appeals (selected by that court)
- One District Court judge
- One Circuit Court judge
- One member of the Kentucky Bar Association
- Two persons appointed by the Governor who are not judges or attorneys
Any individual or group may file a complaint against a sitting judge for possible judicial misconduct or wrongdoing.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals hears appeals from District and Circuit courts. When losing parties are unsatisfied with the trial court's decision, they can seek review from the Court of Appeals. Cases are not retried by the Court of Appeals, instead the original trial is reviewed and attorneys present legal issues to the Court for a decision. 
Criminal case acquittals and divorces can not be appealed, however, child custody and property rights decisions in divorce cases can be appealed.
Cases involving death sentences, life imprisonment, or imprisonment of 20 or more years are appealed directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Original actions can be filed with the Kentucky Court of Appeals under certain situations.
- Website of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
- Office of the Clerk of the Appeals Court of Kentucky
- Kentucky Court of Appeals Searchable Opinions
- Kentucky Court of Appeals Oral Arguments Calendar
- Kentucky Court of Appeals Minutes
- Kentucky Court of Appeals Monthly Case Summary Reports
- Kentucky Appellate Court Briefs
- Kentucky Constitution, The Judicial Department, Section 119
- Kentucky Board of Elections, Candidate Qualifications
- Kentucky Court of Justice, Judicial Conduct Commission Members
- Kentucky Court of Justice, Judicial Complaint Form
- American Judicature Society, Judicial selection-Removal of Judges
- Kentucky Court of Appeals, About the Court of Appeals
- Kentucky Courts Overview