gavel book 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/3/14) — Circuit Court Judges James Brantley and Susan Wesley McClure, who represent Hopkins County, participated in the 2013 Circuit Judges Fall College that took place Nov. 18-20 in Lexington. The Administrative Office of the Courts provided the judicial education program for the state’s circuit judges.

Circuit Court is the court of general jurisdiction that hear civil matters involving more than $5,000, capital offenses and felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases and contested probate cases.

The judges who participated were able to receive updates on case law, legislation and attended sessions on court technology, bail, e-discovery, and court interpreting for those who are deaf or do not speak English. The judges also had the chance to hear from Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. about trends in the state court system.

Circuit judges also had the opportunity to attend courses about problem-solving courts such as Veterans Treatment Courts and Drug Court, substance abuse issues, search and seizure, tax delinquency, and bankruptcy’s effect on state court rulings. An Additional session concentrated on the judge’s responsibility in appointing counsel for defendants and when considering waivers of counsel from defendants who represent themselves.

The judges were also offered sessions specifically for Family Court about child traumatic stress and recent federal legislation on child abuse and neglect and children in foster care. In counties that have a Family Court, the court has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.

The college included 18.75 hours of continuing education credit for the circuit judges. The AOC Division of Judicial Branch Education provides continuing education for judges and circuit court clerks.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter

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