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The Guide to Kentucky Court Records


The Kentucky trial court system consists of Circuit Courts and District Courts.
 
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of cases and District Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases. Circuit Courts generally only hear cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of District Courts.

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Please select a Kentucky county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court. Find Kentucky court pages by Town or Zip Code. Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level. Go to the court records pages for another state.
 


 
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Kentucky Circuit Courts

Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases but generally only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of District Courts.

Criminal cases heard by Circuit Courts include felonies, capital crimes and lesser-included offenses.

Civil cases heard by Circuit Courts include civil cases with more than $5,000 in dispute, exclusive of interest and costs. Circuit Courts also handle dissolution of marriage, adoption, disputes about title to real estate, contested probate cases and reviews of administrative agency decisions.

Some Circuit Courts have Family Court divisions that handle cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, adoption, termination of parental rights, child neglect, child abuse, and domestic violence. The Family Court division shares jurisdiction over some types of cases with District Courts.

Circuit Courts, Family Court divisions and District Courts may have Drug Court divisions, to provide an alternative to incarceration for certain cases involving drug use. Drug Courts supervise the progress of an individual as they participate in a drug rehabilitation program.

Kentucky District Courts

District Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by the District Courts include violations of county or city ordinances, most misdemeanor criminal cases, and preliminary hearings for felony or capital criminal cases.

Civil cases heard by District Courts include civil cases with less than $5,000 in dispute, exclusive of interest and costs. District Courts also handle uncontested probate matters, reviews of local administrative agency decisions, guardianships, conservatorships, voluntary and involuntary commitments and cases involving domestic violence.

District Courts each have a Juvenile Court division that handles cases that include child neglect, child abuse, runaways, juvenile delinquency and some criminal offenses. Juvenile Court divisions of District Courts share some jurisdiction over certain types of cases with the Family Court divisions in Circuit Courts.

The Small Claims Court division handles most general civil cases with less than $2,500 in dispute between all parties to a case. Certain types of claims and certain types of parties are prohibited in Small Claims Court. Jury trials are not available in Small Claims Court, but if the Defendant makes a proper request, the case will be transferred to another court.

District Courts may have Drug Court divisions, to provide an alternative to incarceration for certain cases involving drug use. Drug Courts supervise the progress of an individual as they participate in a drug rehabilitation program.

Teen Court divisions may be available in District Courts for children aged ten to seventeen who have either entered a plea of guilt or have been found guilty by a court of a minor criminal offense. This specialized program offers first-time offenders the chance to complete an alternative sentence and avoid a formal criminal record.

Where to find court cases in Kentucky

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Kentucky.
 

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
CivilCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
 Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the District Courts
Small Claims 
 Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the District Courts
Civil Equity
 Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Complex Commercial
 Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Foreclosures and Liens
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the District Courts
Real Estate Title and Boundary
 Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Landlord / Tenant
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the District Courts
Ordinance Violations
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the District Courts
Administrative Agency Appeals
 Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the District Courts
CriminalCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
Felony
 Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the District Courts
Misdemeanors
 Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the District Courts
Ordinance Violations 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the District Courts
Juvenile
 Some Juvenile cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Juvenile cases can be found in the District Courts
Traffic and Infractions 
 Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the District Courts
Domestic RelationsCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
Divorce
 Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Custody and Visitation
 Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the District Courts
Child Support
 Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Child Support cases can be found in the District Courts
Paternity
 Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Paternity cases can be found in the District Courts
Domestic Violence Protection Order
 Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the District Courts
JuvenileCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
Adoptions
 Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Adoptions cases can be found in the District Courts
Juvenile Delinquency
 Some Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the District Courts
Child Abuse and Neglect
 Some Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the District Courts
Termination of Parental Rights
 Some Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the District Courts
Children in Need of Supervision
 Some Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the District Courts
Mental HealthCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
Involuntary Commitments
 Some Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the District Courts
Other Mental Health Cases
 Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the District Courts
ProbateCircuit CourtsDistrict Courts
Wills & Estates
 Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Wills & Estates cases can be found in the District Courts
Name Changes
 Some Name Changes cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Name Changes cases can be found in the District Courts
Trusts
 Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Trusts cases can be found in the District Courts
Guardianships and Conservatorships
 Some Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 Some Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the District Courts


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