Friday, 01 May 2020

Reopening Task Forces will prepare courts to resume limited in-person services

Posted in COVID-19

As Kentucky begins to gradually reopen business, the courts must prepare to do the same. Although in-person services are suspended until May 31, our next priority must be a reopening plan that respects social distancing while allowing greater access to the courts. Please note that this will be a limited, phased approach to ensure the health and safety of our court family and the public.

There will be three task forces, one each for Circuit, Family and District courts. Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth Hughes will chair the Circuit Court Task Force, Justice Debra Lambert will chair the Family Court Task Force and Justice Michelle Keller will chair the District Court Task Force. This is an unprecedented challenge and I appreciate their willingness to lead our efforts.

I also appreciate the many judges and circuit court clerks who have agreed to serve on the task forces. The full list of members is below and we encourage other judges, circuit clerks and court personnel to reach out to the representatives from their respective region with any thoughts and ideas on how best to reopen our courts. When making recommendations, please consider how we can handle the traffic flow in court facilities to minimize lines in the Offices of Circuit Court Clerk and avoid large crowds in courtrooms. We’re all in this together and we welcome your suggestions.


Circuit Court – Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes, Chair

  • Judge Brian Wiggins – McLean, Muhlenberg (45th Circuit)
  • Judge Kelly Easton – Hardin (9th Circuit)
  • Judge Greg Lay – Knox, Laurel (27th Circuit)
  • Judge Angela Bisig – Jefferson (30th Circuit)
  • Judge Jean Logue – Clark, Madison (25th Circuit)
  • Judge JR Schrand – Boone, Gallatin (54th Circuit)
  • Judge Eddy Coleman – Pike (35th Circuit)
  • David Nicholson – Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk
  • Greg Helton – Knox County Circuit Court Clerk

Family Court – Justice Debra Hembree Lambert, Chair

  • Judge Jason Fleming – Christian (3rd Circuit)
  • Judge John McCarty – Daviess/Butler, Edmonson, Hancock, Ohio (6th Circuit/38th District)
  • Judge Marcus Vanover – Lincoln, Pulaski, Rockcastle (28th Circuit)
  • Judge Tara Hagerty – Jefferson (30th Circuit)
  • Judge Libby Messer – Fayette (22nd Circuit)
  • Judge Rick Woeste – Campbell (16th Circuit)
  • Judge Janie McKenzie-Wells – Johnson, Lawrence, Martin (24th Circuit)
  • Linda Avery – Calloway County Circuit Court Clerk
  • Herb McKee – Henderson County Circuit Court Clerk

District Court – Justice Michelle M. Keller, Chair

  • Judge Amy Anderson – Green, Taylor, Marion & Washington (11th District)
  • Judge Foster Cotthoff – Christian (3rd District)
  • Judge Eric Hall – Floyd (31st District)
  • Judge Anne Haynie – Jefferson (30th District)
  • Judge Gabe Pendleton – Barren, Metcalfe (43rd District)
  • Judge Mary Jane Phelps – Bourbon, Scott, Woodford (14th District)
  • Judge Ann Ruttle – Kenton (16th District)
  • Judge Karen Thomas – Campbell (17th District)
  • Stephanie King-Logsdon – McLean County Circuit Court Clerk
  • John Middleton – Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk

Once again, I want to thank you for your support and hard work these last few weeks. We carefully planned how to provide essential services while observing social distancing and I’m confident we will just as carefully prepare to resume in-person services.