Search Public Records
Please enter first name
Please enter last name
Please choose a state
Please enter a valid phone number
Please enter a house number
Please enter a street name
Please enter a city
Please choose a state

Kentucky Court Records

Kentucky Court Records are an invaluable resource for legal professionals and researchers who seek to understand the state's judicial system and the various legal proceedings that take place within it. These records contain an abundance of information regarding civil and criminal cases.

Generally, court records in Kentucky contain the names of the parties involved in a case, the date and location of the trial, the charges or claims being made, and the case's outcome. They also contain transcripts of court proceedings, which can provide insights into the arguments made by attorneys and judges, as well as the reasoning behind their decisions.

The importance of state court records lies in offering insight into the state's legal system, history, and precedents. By analyzing these records, researchers can trace the evolution of legal concepts and explore how courts have interpreted and applied the law over time. Lawyers and legal professionals can also use court records to build their cases and support their arguments.

In Kentucky, the Open Records Act makes most government records, including court records, open to public inspection and copying, with some limited exceptions for personal privacy, security, and other specific reasons.

This law ensures that government transparency and accountability are maintained and citizens have access to important information related to the functioning of their government.

Which Kentucky Courts Maintain Publicly Accessible Records?

To efficiently locate court records in Kentucky, a person must comprehensively understand the state court system. By familiarizing oneself with the various courts in the state, one can simplify the process of determining which court has jurisdiction over a particular case and where to search for relevant court records.

The trial court system in Kentucky contains the majority of publicly accessible records, and it includes the following courts:

Kentucky Circuit Courts

Circuit Courts in Kentucky have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases but typically only hear cases that exceed District Courts' authority.

Below are the cases that a Circuit Court in Kentucky can hear:

  • Capital crimes
  • Felonies
  • Lesser-included offenses
  • Civil disputes with a value greater than $5,000
  • Adoption
  • Dissolution of marriage
  • Title disputes
  • Probate disputes
  • Administrative agency decision appeals

Several Circuit Courts contain Family Court divisions that handle the following types of cases:

  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Parental rights termination
  • Child custody
  • Child abuse
  • Child support
  • Child neglect
  • Domestic violence

District Courts and the Family Court division have concurrent authority over certain categories of cases.

Kentucky District Courts

Kentucky District Courts are trial courts of limited jurisdiction that hear a wide range of cases within the state.

The jurisdiction of Kentucky District Courts includes the following:

  • Civil cases involving amounts of more than $5,000
  • Misdemeanor cases
  • Preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases
  • Violations of county or city ordinances
  • Traffic violations
  • Small claims cases involving amounts of $2,500 or less
  • Domestic violence
  • Conservatorships
  • Guardianships
  • Involuntary and voluntary commitments
  • Uncontested probate matters
  • Juvenile cases

Each District Court has a Juvenile Court division that deals with cases involving child abuse, child maltreatment, juvenile delinquency, runaways, and certain criminal offenses.

The Family Court divisions of Circuit Courts and the Juvenile Court divisions of District Courts share jurisdiction over specific categories of cases.

In addition to trial courts, Kentucky's judicial system comprises appellate courts like the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. These courts provide a channel for appeals from the trial courts and manage certain Kentucky Court Records.

What are the Common Public Court Records in Kentucky?

Kentucky provides a diverse range of court records available to the public. The following are the most frequently accessed court records in the state:

Kentucky Civil and Small Claims Records

In Kentucky, there are two primary types of court records that individuals may encounter: civil court records and small claims court records. While both types of documents are related to legal disputes, there are critical differences between the two that are worth noting.

Civil court records in Kentucky typically involve disputes between parties where the amount in controversy is over $5,000. These disputes can involve various legal issues, including breach of contract, personal injury claims, and property disputes. Civil court records often involve more complex legal procedures and may require the assistance of an attorney.

On the other hand, small claims court records in Kentucky are for disputes where the amount in controversy is $2,500 or less. These disputes are typically less complex and may not require the assistance of an attorney. Small claims court records may involve disputes such as unpaid rent, damage to property, and contract disputes.

One can obtain Kentucky Civil and Small Claims Records by visiting the appropriate courthouse that heard the case.

Generally, visit the Small Claims Court Divison of the District Court if the amount of money is $2,500. If it is $5,000, ask the Civil Court Division of the Circuit Court. For civil court records that fall within the range of $2,500 to $5,000, the Civil Court Division of the District Court keeps them.

In some cases, individuals may request copies of court records by mail. It typically involves submitting a written request and any required fees or documentation to the appropriate courthouse.

It is worth noting that individuals must provide identifying information about the case, such as the parties' names or the case number, to obtain access to these records.

What Information Do Kentucky Civil and Small Claims Records Contain?

Civil court records and small claims court records in Kentucky share several critical pieces of information typically included in the documents, and these are as follows:

  • Case number or a unique identifier assigned to the case for record-keeping purposes
  • The names of the individuals or entities involved in the case, including plaintiffs and defendants
  • Initial court filing date
  • The name of the court where the case was heard, such as the Kentucky Circuit Court or District Court
  • The name of the judge who presided over the case
  • The legal issue or dispute that the case involves, such as breach of contract or personal injury
  • The current status of the case, such as whether it is open, closed, or on appeal
  • Court opinions on motions and case outcomes
  • Dates on which the case was heard by the court, including trial dates and hearing dates
  • Copies of any legal documents filed with the court, such as complaints, answers, or motions

Kentucky Criminal Records

The state maintains a comprehensive collection of documents and information known as Kentucky Criminal Records, which pertain to criminal offenses committed by individuals within its borders.

Individuals who obtain a Kentucky Criminal Record can expect to find the following details:

  • The subject's complete identity, including any aliases
  • Their date of birth
  • Current and former addresses
  • A subject's photograph or mugshot and unique physical identifier information
  • A set of fingerprints
  • Past, recent, and pending warrants, arrests, and indictments
  • History of convictions and confinement
  • Post-conviction status

The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) maintains these records for all criminal cases within the state. They are available to the public through various channels, including in-person requests, online databases, and written requests.

The online databases provided by the AOC are the FastCheck and the One-Time Record Request portal, where requesters may obtain a criminal record report remotely.

In addition to the AOC services, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) administers background checks for licensing, criminal justice, and employment purposes.

Law enforcement agencies, employers, landlords, and other organizations can use Kentucky Criminal Records to conduct background checks on individuals to determine their suitability for certain positions or activities.

However, it is essential to note that some criminal records in Kentucky may be sealed or expunged under certain circumstances. Thus, not all criminal records are available to the public.

Kentucky Traffic Records

Kentucky Traffic Records include information about an individual's motor vehicle or traffic history. Such documents may contain the following information:

  • Driver's license information
  • Accident records
  • Traffic violations
  • Driver's license points
  • License revocation or suspensions
  • Fines and other penalties
  • Sentences
  • Convictions

Various government agencies or departments generate traffic records, which can be obtained from a central database such as those managed by the state courts, Driver Licensing Offices, and Transportation Cabinet.

In Kentucky, the appropriate record custodian can provide interested parties access to public traffic records upon request. However, the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act protects personal information, such as phone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, and medical information.

Only authorized government agencies or individuals can access this information. Violating the privacy law is a criminal offense, and record custodians may remove or redact confidential information from requested traffic records.

Kentucky Probate Records

One of the standard Kentucky Court Records is the probate records. Kentucky Probate Records refer to the legal documents created after someone dies and their estate is settled.

These records serve as an essential source of information for genealogists and historians. Probate records in Kentucky contain information about the deceased's family members, assets, and debts. They can provide insights into the economic and social conditions of the decedent's time.

Moreover, probate records also play a crucial role in ensuring that the deceased's property is distributed according to their wishes. They contain information about the estate's distribution, the beneficiaries' names, and the assets distributed. These records help prevent disputes among family members over estate distribution.

Aside from the state court that heard the case, the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives (KDLA) maintains some Kentucky Probate Records. The department has an extensive collection of probate records that date back to the 18th century. These records are available for public access, and anyone can access them online or in person.

One can visit the KDLA website and use the Kentucky State Digital Archives (KSDA) portal to access state probate records online. After locating a Kentucky Probate Record, one can view, download, and print photographs, special reports, speeches, and other documents.

Alternatively, one can access Kentucky Probate Records in person by visiting the KDLA in Frankfort. The department has staff members to assist visitors in locating and viewing the documents.

Lastly, will record search is possible through the Kentucky Secretary of State (KSOS). It has a database that comprises scanned images of wills discovered in patent files during the Land Office's ongoing scanning project.

Kentucky Family Records

Kentucky Family Records provide valuable information about family law cases heard in the state's courts.

These records are essential for anyone who needs to understand the legal proceedings related to a family matter, such as a divorce, child custody, or adoption. They contain details about the parties involved, the issues being addressed, and the court's decisions.

By reviewing these records, individuals can learn about the various legal issues that may arise during a case, the arguments each side presents, and the court's reasoning for its decisions. Furthermore, individuals can gain insights into how judges have ruled on similar past cases, which can help them develop effective legal strategies.

Finally, Kentucky Family Records form courts can help individuals protect their rights. By reviewing these records, individuals can ensure that their legal rights were upheld during the case and that the court made fair and impartial decisions.

The Judicial Branch's operational arm primarily maintains these records, which are accessible to the public. In addition to the operating arm, there may be other methods of accessing Kentucky Family Records from courts, although these methods may vary by county.

Some counties may have online portals or databases for accessing court records. In some cases, individuals may request copies of these court records in person at the courthouse that heard the case.

It is essential to verify the specific guidelines for accessing Kentucky Family Records with the appropriate court or county office since each jurisdiction may have its own rules and requirements.

Kentucky Bankruptcy Records

Trial courts maintain the majority of Kentucky Court Records. However, bankruptcy records are administered explicitly by the two federal courts in the state:

Kentucky Bankruptcy Records refer to the documents and information related to bankruptcy cases filed in the state. Generally, these records contain information about the debtor, the creditors, the bankruptcy trustee, and the court proceedings related to the bankruptcy case.

The Kentucky Bankruptcy Court keeps records of all bankruptcy filings, including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. They are considered public records, which means they are available to anyone requesting access.

Creditors, debtors, and other interested parties can use the information in Kentucky Bankruptcy Records to gain insight into a person or company's financial history and current financial status. However, federal courts may restrict access to bankruptcy records in some cases, such as when sensitive personal information exists.

If an individual requests a bankruptcy record in Kentucky, the specific information that they can expect to receive includes the following:

  • Debtor's name, address, and contact information
  • Type of bankruptcy (Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13)
  • Date of the bankruptcy filing
  • Bankruptcy case number
  • List of all creditors, including their names and addresses
  • Amounts owed to each creditor
  • List of assets and liabilities
  • Income and expense statements
  • Bank statements and financial records
  • Notices of meetings of creditors and court hearings
  • Orders entered by the bankruptcy court
  • Declarations of intention for secured debts
  • Disclosure statements and plans for reorganization (in Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 cases)
  • Trustee reports and other documents filed by the bankruptcy trustee
  • Discharge order if bankruptcy case was successful

How To Obtain Bankruptcy Records in Kentucky?

Obtaining bankruptcy records is essential for many people, particularly those seeking to rebuild their financial lives. In Kentucky, there are several ways to get bankruptcy records.

One can contact the bankruptcy courthouse or location where the case occurred to obtain bankruptcy records in Kentucky. The court clerk maintains records of all bankruptcy cases filed within the court's jurisdiction, and one can get them by submitting a request.

The request can be made in person or by mail, and the court may charge a fee for providing copies of the records.

Another way to obtain bankruptcy records in Kentucky is to use the federal court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.

This online system allows users to search for and access records from federal courts, including bankruptcy courts. Users must create an account and pay a fee for each search or document accessed to use the PACER system.

Furthermore, requestors can facilitate records retrieval by phone through the Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVIS). The McVCIS offers complimentary access to essential information about bankruptcy cases. Interested parties may contact the system by dialing 1-866-222-8029 using a touchtone telephone.

In cases where the desired records are not accessible through the methods above, particularly those that are old or closed, requestors may procure them from the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) instead.

When seeking to obtain bankruptcy records in Kentucky, it is vital to have certain information, such as the debtor's name and the case number. This information can help ensure that the requestor obtains the correct records and that the process proceeds smoothly.

Kentucky has a case search system that allows the public to access information about court cases. The system is called CourtNet 2.0, provided by the Kentucky Court of Justice (KCOJ). It offers online access to case information from all state courts, including District Courts, Circuit Courts, and the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The system is designed to promote transparency and accountability in the Kentucky court system, allowing the public to stay informed about ongoing cases and the outcomes of court proceedings.

Through the KCOJ case search system, users can look up case information primarily by case number and party name. The system provides basic case information, such as the case number, type, filing date, and status.

It also offers detailed case information, including the parties involved, court appearances, documents, and events. However, access to sensitive information, such as case documents and complete case histories, is restricted to authorized users.

To learn more about CourtNet 2.0, visit the KCOJ eCourts Help page.

If the desired Kentucky Court Records are unavailable in CourtNet 2.0, contact the appropriate court clerk or visit the courthouse where the case occurred.

For the contact information and address of each court in the state, navigate the KCOJ directory to obtain them. Typically, the court clerk responds to requests for court records, instructs requesters on which forms to complete, and provides other guidelines for accessing and obtaining the needed documents.

Counties in Kentucky

Courts in Kentucky

Jefferson County Circuit Court700 W Jefferson St., Louisville, KY
Fayette County Circuit Court120 N Limestone, Lexington, KY
Kenton County Circuit Court230 Madison Ave, Covington, KY
Warren County Circuit Court1001 Center St., Suite 102, Bowling Green, KY
Hardin County Circuit Court120 E. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY
Daviess County Circuit Court100 E. 2nd St, Owensboro, KY
Campbell County Circuit Court330 York St., Newport, KY
Bullitt County Circuit Court250 Frank E. Simon Ave., Shepherdsville, KY
Christian County Circuit Court100 Justice Way, Hopkinsville, KY
McCracken County Circuit Court300 Clarence Gaines St., Paducah, KY