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District judges attend annual conference

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 FRANKFORT - District Court judges from across the state participated in the participated in the 2013 District Judges Fall College that took place Nov. 4-6 in Lexington. 

District judges Rebecca Ward and Jennifer Porter attended from Bullitt County.

The state Administrative Office of the Courts provided the judicial education program for the state’s district judges. 

The District Court judges attended courses about Veterans Treatment Courts, juvenile justice, human trafficking, cybercrime, substance abuse, court technology, and court interpreting for individuals who are deaf or non-English-speaking.

The judges also heard from Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. about trends in the state court system.

“Much about how the courts operate is different from when I took the bench 15 years ago,” said District Court Judge Donald E. Armstrong Jr., who was elected president of the Kentucky District Judges Association at the college. “Changing demographics, the budget crisis and new technology are affecting how judges carry out our work. It’s important for us to adapt to better serve the public and the legal community.”

The college also covered emergency protective orders and domestic violence orders, the bail schedule under House Bill 463 and new legislation and case law.

District Court judges handle juvenile matters, city and county ordinances, misdemeanors, violations, traffic offenses, probate of wills, arraignments, felony probable cause hearings, small claims involving $2,500 or less, civil cases involving $5,000 or less, voluntary and involuntary mental commitments and cases relating to domestic violence and abuse. In Fiscal Year 2012, 752,821 District Court cases were filed statewide.

The college included 17.75 hours of continuing education credit for the district judges. The AOC Division of Judicial Branch Education provides continuing education for the elected officials.