Judicial redistricting plan means slight change for Lincoln

Published 10:20 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lincoln will share district judges
with Pulaski, Rockcastle under new plan

STANFORD – A plan to update the state’s judicial circuit and districts to balance workloads could bring a slight change to Lincoln County District Court as it would move from the 13th District to the 28th Circuit/District. 

The purpose of the restructuring is to balance the workload of judges in judicial circuits and districts across the state – which haven’t seen a major change since 1976, according to a press release from Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr. 

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“Changing boundary lines and reallocating resources is never easy, which is why judicial redistricting hasn’t been addressed for so long,” Minton said. “The fact that we’re making this announcement today is a major achievement and I appreciate the judges’ support of what is a tremendous milestone for the Kentucky Court of Justice.”

The plan moves a limited number of counties from one jurisdiction to another, combines circuits and districts that are currently different, reduces the number of circuits from 57 to 56, brings family court to all but 10 jurisdictions and moves judges from circuits with lower workloads to areas of greater need. 

Lincoln County is currently part of the 13th Judicial District and shares a judge with Jessamine and Garrard Counties but under the new plan it would be moved to the 28th District and share judgeship with Pulaski and Rockcastle County. 

A second family court division is also added under the new plan. 
The need for judges is measured using a weighted case load system and the Family Court in Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties illustrates the importance of measuring that need, according to Minton.

“While it has been long known that the Family Court judge in that circuit has the highest caseload in the state, the judicial time study data made it possible to determine that the implied judicial need for that Family Court is 2.18,” he said. “That means the one Family Court judge in that circuit is currently doing the work of 2.18 family judges.” 

The new plan will be presented to the 2017 General Assembly and take effect in 2022 if approved.