Kentucky Supreme Court Decisions

The Kentucky Supreme Court provides governing interpretations of state laws and sets rules of practice and procedure for members of the legal profession in Kentucky. The Court reviews cases involving the death penalty, life imprisonment, or a term of imprisonment lasting at least 20 years on direct appeal from the trial court. Other cases must proceed through lower appellate courts before reaching the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court will review these appeals only if the lower appellate court consents.

Seven justices sit on the Kentucky Supreme Court, serving eight-year terms. To be eligible to serve as a justice, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Kentucky and the district that elects them for at least the last two years, and licensed to practice law in Kentucky for at least the last eight years. Kentucky uses a system of non-partisan elections to choose justices. This means that the party affiliation of a candidate does not appear on the ballot. Each of the seven appellate districts in Kentucky elects a justice. The justices elect the Chief Justice, who serves a four-year term.

In recent years, the Kentucky Supreme Court has issued several notable and controversial decisions. For example, a 2012 decision struck down gun bans on university and college campuses as applied to guns that are stored in a vehicle. This case arose from events at the University of Kentucky, and seven other universities in the state supported the position of the University during the litigation. However, the Court rejected their arguments, finding that state laws prevent organizations from prohibiting gun owners from carrying their guns in their vehicles.

Browse Opinions From the Kentucky Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Kentucky Supreme Court
VerraLab JA LLC v. Cemerlic  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2017-SC-000675-DG

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's denial of Dr. Senad Cemerlic and ABG Pain Management's motion to set aside a default judgment and reinstated the trial court's...

Krieger v. Marvin  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000154-DGE

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the family court naming Terry Garvin and Donna Krieger K.R.K.'s de facto custodians and awarding them sole permanent custody, hold...

ERIC LEE ANTHONY V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000206-MR
Gonzalez v. Johnson  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000224-DG

Justia Opinion Summary: In this wrongful death suit the Supreme Court overruled Chambers v. Ideal Pure Milk Co., 245 S.W.2d 589 (Ky. 1952), and its per se no proximate cause rule and adopted the majority rule that will allow juries to determine...

ANTHONY BALL V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000244-MR
RUSTY WEDDLE V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000282-MR
JEREMY ANDERSON V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000285-MR
Benningfield v. Fields  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000292-DG

Justia Opinion Summary: In this wrongful termination case, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants, holding that...

Rudd v. Commonwealth  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000393-MR

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for first-degree sexual abuse and of being a first-degree persistent felony offender (PFO1), holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings be...

Waugh v. Parker  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000405-DG

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the court of appeals affirming an order of the circuit court dismissing Plaintiff's claims for personal injuries in a civil action against her landlords, holding that summary jud...

MICHAEL THORNTON V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000422-MR
Commonwealth v. K.S.  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-SC-000523-DGE

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals vacating and remanding the family court's decision determining that K.S.'s son was a neglected child and terminating K.S.'s parental rights, holding that th...

Wilkerson v. Kimball International, Inc.  
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2019-SC-000053-WC

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Board affirming the decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) denying benefits to Appellant for a k...

RACHELLE NICHOLE HOWELL V. KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION
Date: September 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2019-SC-000089-KB
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.