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News & Press: Supreme Court of Kentucky

New Amendments to March 17, 2020, Supreme Court Order

Wednesday, March 18, 2020  


CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) ▪ Kentucky Public Health: COVID-19 ▪ KCOJ: COVID-19 and the Courts


Update for March 17, 2020

Justices, Judges, Circuit Court Clerks and Kentucky Court of Justice Personnel:

Supreme Court issues new amendments March 17 to order restricting court proceedings during pandemic


The Supreme Court has approved additional amendments today to its administrative order restricting dockets, jury trials and jury service from March 16-April 10. The new amendments included in Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-10, dated March 17, 2020, are:

  1. Section 1 is amended to clarify that judges MUST use available telephonic and video technology for all necessary hearings, including but not limited to, arraignments and mental-health hearings. Please note that this is now mandatory. If you need any assistance with using technology, please refer to the email sent earlier today from Chief Technology Officer Charles Byers or contact the AOC Service Desk.
  2. Section 5 is amended to clarify that domestic violence advocates may attend court proceedings, but that no more than 20 people may be in the courtroom at any time unless the judge in his or her discretion deems it necessary and makes every effort to enforce appropriate distances between individuals.
  3. Section 11 is amended to clarify that new juror orientations are suspended unless an exception is granted by the Chief Justice.
  4. A new section, Section 13, has been added to clarify rules relating to grand juries: “The circuit court is authorized to extend the 60-day period in RCr 5.22(3) for a period not to exceed 45 days for good cause shown. The Commonwealth’s Attorney shall request an extension by separate motion as to each defendant and shall give prompt notice of the motion to defense counsel. The circuit court shall allow both the Commonwealth’s Attorney and defense counsel to be heard prior to entering any order extending the period in RCr 5.22(3).”
  5. The final paragraph is amended to clarify that a courthouse may not be closed without prior authorization from the Chief Justice.

Please continue to email your questions to so that we can address your concerns. And you can find ongoing updates on the COVID-19 and the Courts webpage.


Thank you.


John D. Minton, Jr.
Chief Justice of Kentucky
Capitol Building
700 Capital Avenue, Room 231
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Telephone 502.564.4162


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