Kentucky Proposed Family Court Amendment, Amendment 1 (2002)

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Kentucky Amendment 1, also known as the Proposed Family Court Amendment, was on the November 7, 2002 election ballot in Kentucky. It passed, with 76% of voters in favor.

Election results

Kentucky Amendment 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 726,837 75.49%
No236,04124.51%

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Are you in favor of family courts in Kentucky by amending the Kentucky Constitution to allow the Supreme Court to designate a division of circuit court as a family court?

Constitutional Changes Proposed by the Amendment

Currently, the Kentucky Constitution provides for District and Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The Constitution divides the jurisdiction of the courts, stating that the District Court is a trial court of limited jurisdiction and the Circuit Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. However, there is no provision for creating special courts within the District or the Circuit Courts with particular jurisdictions. While Kentucky currently has several family courts operating throughout the state, a Supreme Court case denotes these family courts as "pilot projects" because there is no Constitutional provision specifically authorizing their creation. The proposed constitutional amendment would permit the chief justice of the Supreme Court to create a family court division within this highest level of the trial courts in Kentucky, the Circuit Court. A Circuit Court division designated as a Family Court would then have the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court and any additional jurisdiction that is provided by the General Assembly in law. This would give the pilot family court projects a permanent legal status, should the Chief Justice choose to retain family courts.

Effective Date

If the voters approve the proposed family court amendment on November 5, its provisions will take effect immediately.

See also

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