Special to The Greenup Beacon
Greenup County Circuit Court Clerk Allen Reed participated in the 2016 Circuit Court Clerks Spring Conference on April 19-20 in Frankfort. The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks provided the education program for the state’s circuit court clerks. The Kentucky Association of Counties hosted the event at its headquarters
The circuit court clerks attended sessions on leadership, driver’s licensing and recent legislation, including bills on felony expungement and DUI. Under House Bill 40, Kentuckians may have certain non-violent felony offenses expunged from their public records after a five-year period. The DUI bill, Senate Bill 56, expands from five years to 10 years the look-back window for prior DUI convictions, which can result in stiffer penalties in subsequent cases.
“This conference was timely as it took place shortly after the 2016 session of the General Assembly, which gave us the opportunity to discuss the processes and forms our offices will need to implement new legislation,” said Fayette County Circuit Court Clerk Vince Riggs, who was elected president of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks at the conference. “The circuit court clerks also shared their best business practices with each other. These talks can help us improve how we serve the citizens in our communities.”
Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo talked with the circuit court clerks about the budget process during the 2016 legislative session. Funding for state court operations was in jeopardy until the legislature approved an additional appropriation on the final day of the session for Fiscal Biennium 2006-2018, which begins July 1, 2016, and ends June 30, 2018.
Secretary of State Allison Grimes thanked the circuit court clerks for their help with registering voters through their driver’s licensing divisions. Under the federal motor voter law, which is formally known as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, more voter registration sites were established nationwide, including in driver’s license offices. Grimes also talked about GoVoteKy.gov, where citizens can register online to vote.
The circuit court clerks also met with AOC Director Laurie K. Dudgeon and had sessions on the eWarrants program, court technology and House Bill 8, which took effect Jan. 1, 2016. The legislation extends civil protection, including emergency protective orders and domestic violence orders, to dating partners. Circuit clerks process protective order petitions.
Clark County Circuit Court Clerk and Trust for Life President Paula S. Joslin and Trust for Life liaison Frances Click provide the circuit court clerks with tips on educating their communities about the importance of organ donation. The Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks sponsors the Trust For Life program, which promotes organ and tissue donation through driver’s licensing and the Kentucky Organ Donor registry.
The association elected its 2016 officers during the spring conference. In addition to Riggs being selected as president, officers elected at the conference are Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk John C. Middleton as first vice president, Trimble County Circuit Court Clerk Stacy Bruner as second vice president, Bourbon County Circuit Court Clerk Beverly Smits as secretary and Mason County Circuit Court Clerk Kirk Tolle as treasurer. Riggs succeeds Bell County Circuit Court Clerk Colby Slusher as president.
Circuit Court Clerks
Circuit court clerks are responsible for managing the records of Kentucky’s Circuit and District courts. Circuit clerks are constitutionally elected officials from all 120 counties and serve a six-year term. They provide professional recordkeeping, receive money due the courts, pay money to required parties and to the state, record legal documents, provide legal documents and other legal materials, maintain the jury system, administer oaths, handle affidavits and issue driver licenses and non-driver ID cards.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The AOC is the operations arm for the state court system and supports the activities of 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.