FRANKFORT — Bell County Circuit Court Judge Robert V. Costanzo participated in the 2012 Kentucky Circuit Judges College, which took place Oct.29-31 in Lexington.
The Administrative Office of the Courts provided the judicial education program for the state’s circuit court judges. The event included 19.25 hours of continuing education credit for the judges.
The judges received updates on case law and legislation and attended sessions on the Open Records Act, child support and domestic violence. They also met with legislators and other officials to discuss legislation regarding child fatalities and near fatalities.
They heard from Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. about the work of the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, which was formed to identify the most pressing legal needs of those unable to afford lawyers and create a statewide plan to address those needs.
“There is a great need in Kentucky for more civil legal aid to assist low-income families and children who have nowhere else to turn for help with evictions, child custody issues and other important legal matters,” said Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Isaacs, who serves Bourbon, Scott and Woodford counties and is president of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Judges. “Chief Justice Minton encouraged the circuit judges to support Kentucky’s civil legal aid efforts by letting people know how to find legal assistance and improving court processes for those who have limited access to attorneys.”
Circuit judges also had the opportunity to participate in sessions about evidence, youthful offender procedures, the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory, writs and appeals from district court, Westlaw, the State Law Library and House Bill 463.
HB 463 took effect in June 2011. It is the most comprehensive overhaul of Kentucky’s penal code in more than 30 years. All three branches of the government supported the legislation, which is designed to curb the cost of incarceration without compromising public safety.
Circuit court is the court of general jurisdiction that hears civil matters involving more than $5,000, capital offenses and felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases and contested probated cases.