difference between district and circuit court in kentucky
Several different district courts may fall under the same appellate (circuit) court. The District Court and Circuit Court have very different jobs. Employers, by law, must release someone who has been summonsed to jury service from his or her regular work schedule. There are 94 District Courts throughout the United States and the associated territories, including Guam, the Virgin Island, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Juries consist of six jurors in District Court and 12 jurors in Circuit Court. Some are referred to as Circuit or District Courts. The grand jury hears evidence and determines if there is sufficient proof to support an indictment and require the accused to stand trial. Grand jurors do not decide guilt or innocence. Nine of the 12 grand jurors must be in agreement to return an indictment. The family court division of Circuit Court has original jurisdiction in cases involving dissolution of marriage (divorce), child custody, visitation, maintenance and support (alimony and child support), equitable distribution of property in dissolution cases; adoption, and termination of parental rights. By contrast, state circuit courts often allow for smaller juries, the use of alternates and do not require verdicts to be anonymous. To be granted an exemption, you must present sufficient proof that would allow the chief circuit judge to determine you have a permanent medical condition rendering you incapable of serving. What is the difference between civil and criminal cases? • Each state in the country has at least one district court with some larger states having 4 district courts. Appeals on trials already completed. None of the information offered by this site can be used for assessing or evaluating a person's eligibility for employment, housing, insurance, credit, or for any other purpose covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Kentucky court. If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Kentucky Courts by County. Kentucky Court of Appeals. The circuit courts review what happened in the case at the district court level and decide whether the law was properly interpreted and applied. So in the vast majority of cases, it is the circuit courts that ultimately set legal precedent when they decide appeals. In the state court system, in Kentucky anyway, the circuit court has jurisdiction over all felony offenses and family court issues. Each juror must participate in the decision (i.e., no alternates allowed) and the jury must also return a unanimous verdict. If the grand jury votes not to return an indictment, the jury foreperson must report that fact in writing. The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal judiciary. Circuit courts are state trial courts that have the power to hear cases arising under the laws of that state and between citizens and/or businesses located in that state. These cases may have to do with challenges to current laws and their constitutionality. Federal district courts have jurisdiction over cases between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 or cases in which the issue being litigated centers on a statute that possibly violates the U.S. Constitution, a treaty signed by the United States or a law enacted by Congress. • While there are in total 94 district courts, there are only 13 circuit courts. In a district court case, only one judge is assigned to each case. An initial decision made by a lower court judge must be made first before a case can be appealed. In both cases, judges are elected to serve six-year terms. The names are numbered and matching number cards are then placed into a box and drawn. If an appeal is filed, the case would move up to the Circuit Court level, which only hears appeals on federal cases. Like other appellate courts, they do not reconsider the facts, hear witnesses or view new evidence. District courts are "lower" and have the responsibility for holding trials, while circuit courts are appellate courts that do not hold trials but only hear appeals for cases decided by the lower court. In criminal cases, jurors may also be excused for forming an opinion concerning the defendant’s guilt or innocence before the trial begins. Federal district courts require a jury to consist of at least six, but no more than 12, jurors. The remaining people are excused. Edit or create new comparisons in your area of expertise. Circuit courts also hear criminal cases and cases involving family law. The family court is a division of the circuit courts. Please visit GoodHire for all your employment screening needs. Number of judges per case.Circuit courts have an appellate panel with three judges, whereas district courts have just a single judge. Another difference between district courts and circuit courts is the jury. Do not have an attorney, employer or third party, other than a physician, act on your behalf. Circuit and district judges in need of jurors notify the chief circuit judge (or his or her designee). The petit jury must decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence and recommend a suitable sentence should the defendant be found guilty. Another difference between district courts and circuit courts is the jury. California Privacy Notice: If you are a California resident, you have the right to know what personal information we collect, the purposes for which we use it, and your options to opt out of its sale. Procedural rules. District courts are federal trial courts that have power to hear certain types of cases. When the jury is accepted by both sides, the members are sworn. Along with the district courts, the family courts also "have jurisdiction over proceedings involving domestic violence and abuse; the Uniform Act on Paternity and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act; dependency, neglect, and abuse; and, juvenile status offenses. Click here to contact us for media inquiries, and please donate here to support our continued expansion. District courts provide sentencing and issue penalties, while the Circuit Court does not. In district courts, there are always 6 to 12 jurors wh… For example, Florida has 20 circuit courts. One member of the grand jury is elected foreperson of the other jurors. .courts-container hr {background-color:#f0a236;padding-bottom:2px;}, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals • U.S. District Court: Eastern District of Kentucky, Western District of Kentucky • U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Eastern District of Kentucky, Western District of Kentucky, Kentucky Supreme Court In a criminal case, all of the jurors must agree upon a verdict of guilty or not guilty and all must agree on the penalty if the defendant is found guilty. Circuit courts also have the power to issue injunctions, writs of prohibition, writs of mandamus, and appeals from the decisions of administrative agencies. • Kentucky Family Court, Courts in Kentucky • Kentucky judicial elections • Judicial selection in Kentucky. Once a decision has been reached by the judge, those cases may be appealed. Click here to contact our editorial staff, and click here to report an error. To learn more, click the following link: Do not sell my info, Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders. Additionally, the Supreme Court may send cases back to either the District Court or the Circuit Court for review. • Both district courts and circuit courts belong to the federal courts system. A grand jury determines whether or not to indict, which means to bring a formal, criminal charge against an individual for a felony. Occasionally jurors are required to sit through long recesses or waiting periods while the judge and parties related to a case are negotiating. • Kentucky District Courts Federal district courts have jurisdiction over federal questions (trials and cases interpreting federal law, or which involve federal statutes or crimes) and diversity (cases otherwise subject to jurisdiction in a state trial court but which are between litigants of different states and/or countries). Circuit court judges rotate rotate through each of these regions in the "circuit", hence the reason they are called the Circuit Courts. District Courts and Circuit Courts (or Federal courts of appeals) are part of the federal court system. Jurors are compensated $12.50 per day by the state during jury service. As such, this is where the facts of an event or happening under litigation are presented and are weighed or decided upon by a group of people known as the jury. Kentucky is home to 57 circuit courts and 95 circuit judges. In a district court case, only one judge is assigned to each case. Kentucky Court of Justice. County courts are often referred to as circuit courts, while district courts will exercise jurisdiction over a particular Federal district, as may make up several counties. To qualify for jury service, a person must: Should a juor be disqualified for one or more of these reasons, the judge or the designee will enter the disqualification on the space provided on the juror qualification form. In general, district courts follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In all cases, litigation goes first to the District Court level before being passed on to the Circuit Court. They can also hear appeals from district courts and administrative agencies. The qualification form information is for official court use only and is kept confidential. Employers are not required, however, to compensate individuals for time spent away from regular employment during jury service. The Circuit Courts are trial courts with original jurisdiction in cases involving capital offenses and other felonies; land disputes; contested probates of wills; and civil lawsuits in disputes with an amount in controversy over $5,000. There are 94 federal district courts nationwide. Circuit Court vs District Court. What is the difference between Circuit Court and District Court? Circuit courts are very influential because they set legal precedent. © 2020 Commonwealth of Kentucky. The district court system is spread over 94 different geographical areas while the circuit court has 13 administrative regions covering the United States. Jury services. After all evidence has been presented, the grand jurors will deliberate and decide whether to return an indictment. Circuit court decisions are typically appealable to the state courts of appeal. While both types of courts are trial courts, they are different in that each is in a separate judicial system, has the power to hear certain types of cases and abides by different procedure rules.


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