Months of delayed Ky. court cases will soon be able to go to trial

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 11:29 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Months of delayed court cases in Kentucky will now be able to go to trial.

The Kentucky Supreme Court announced new guidelines for reopening courtrooms and what kind of trials could be held.

According to those documents, jury trials can begin again, so long as social distancing and other health guidelines are followed in the courtroom.

“I contemplated a much later return,” said Williams Elkins, Clark County Attorney. “So, this is really a breath of fresh air I think for those of us who are involved in the proceedings and those people who were interested in getting their questions of law or matter resolved.”

“It’s going to be a challenge to figure out how to open our court system back up to trials and to do so safely,” said Fayette County District Judge Kim Bunnell. “I think that each county is going to have to address that individually. I think that’s what the supreme court has ordered us to do so that we may go forward but we’ve got to do so in a safe manner.”

Courts have been open for hearings but defendants waiting on a trial in front of their peers have been in the dark for months because of the COVID pandemic.

“I think sometimes they begin to feel like perhaps we just don’t care if we get around their issue, but the reality is, and I think everyone, including the supreme court, wants to get around to concluding these things,” Elkins said.

Criminal jury trials can begin along with eviction actions after August 1. Civil Jury Trials can begin after October 1.

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