The report presents counts of Kentucky trial court cases filed per case group and category (see definitions below) with a variety of options available for selection.
Filed or Closed
Controls whether the report shows the number of cases filed or closed during the specified timeframe. If "Filed" is selected, cases are reported per year by case filing date. If "Closed" is selected, cases are reported per year by case disposition date.
By default, all cases statewide are reported. Any county or group of counties may be selected. The title will automatically update to show the county or counties selected but may not function correctly for large groups of specific counties.
The colorful boxes allow for easy switching from one case group to another, or to show a summary of all groups. Hold Control and click multiple groups to see them together. The drop-down filter on Case Group/Category provides finer control, allowing for the addition or removal of groups or categories from the report. By default, or when the "All" button is selected, this filter controls which groups are visible. When one or more groups are selected and categories are visible, this filter controls which categories appear. Definitions for each group and category are provided below.
Switches the report between calendar year, the Kentucky Fiscal Year (FY), and the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY). The Calendar Year begins January 1, the Kentucky Fiscal Year begins July 1, and the Federal Fiscal Year begins October 1.
Minimum and Maximum Year
The report includes cases filed since and including the minimum year and through and including the maximum year. If the current year is selected, the report is run for Year-to-date (YTD) with this indicated.
All counts presented in this report are counts of distinct cases. A criminal case in Kentucky may pertain to one or more charges of criminal offenses.
Percent Difference vs. Case Count
Designed to emphasize changing trends in caseload rates for each group or category of cases, the line chart visualization measures the percent difference of cases filed/closed relative to the first (left most) year shown on the chart rather than the absolute number of cases.
For instance, there were over 42,000 Circuit Criminal Cases filed in CY 2019, compared to the roughly 32,000 Circuit Criminal cases filed in CY 2010 – an increase of about 33%, whereas there were over 371,000 District Criminal cases filed in CY2019 compared to over 455,000 District Criminal cases filed in CY 2010. This is visualized here as a thinner yellow line trending upward and a thicker red line trending downward to show the relative increase but smaller overall number of Circuit Criminal cases vs. the relative decrease and overall larger number of District Criminal cases.
Hovering over a mark on this chart will show both the percent difference and the true number of cases, and the numbers of cases are available in the cross-tabulation.
Data from incomplete years may be included in this report, as indicated by a dagger (†). A year's data will be incomplete if a report includes the current year. Data is included up to and including the most recent complete month. Fiscal Year or Federal Fiscal Year reports including 1996 will also be incomplete, as the earliest data available is from 1/1/1996.
Case Group and Category
Cases are categorized into broad groups and narrow categories for the purpose of reporting. Cases are grouped according to Jurisdiction (Circuit or District) as well as configuration (Civil or Criminal). Cases that may be filed in Circuit Family Court rather than General Circuit or District Court depending on the location of filing are grouped together in the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Groups. For reporting specific to each jurisdiction, please see the reports of Caseload by jurisdiction (Under construction).
Implementation Date: The data structure underlying most of the reported categories has been in place since the original implementation of the SUSTAIN case management system. SUSTAIN was implemented county-by-county with the final county implemented in 1995, with statewide data considered reportable as of 1/1/1996. Any case category with an implementation date since the original SUSTAIN implementation is indicated below, along with the category in which such cases were categorized prior to this implementation.
Circuit Civil: Civil (non-criminal) cases (actions) heard in Circuit (general jurisdiction) Court, excluding those related to Family Law (see Domestic Relations and Juvenile categories below).
- Administrative Board Appeal: A petition for review of a decision of a state agency.
- Appeal Civil: A complaint regarding a ruling made in a civil case in District (limited jurisdiction) Court that the Circuit Court is called upon to review and possibly reverse.
- Appeal Criminal: A complaint regarding a ruling made in a civil case in District (limited jurisdiction) Court that the Circuit Court is called upon to review and possibly reverse.
- Foreclosure: A civil proceeding to terminate a borrower's interest in a property.
- Implemented 2-26-2008, previously categorized as Civil Suit.
- Civil Suit: A civil action involving matters involving more than $5,000 and pertaining to contract, personal injury, property damage, land title, right of way, condemnation, or medical malpractice.
- Other Circuit Civil: Any other non-criminal, non-Family Law case heard in Circuit Court.
Circuit Criminal: A case initiated by grand jury indictment or by prosecutor's information including at least one felony charge as well as any other related charges. Felony Charges are punishable by incarceration greater than one year or by death.
Domestic Relations: Family Law cases involving civil actions among family members or cases of a similar nature (See Interpersonal Protection).
- Adoption / Termination: A case related to the severing of legal ties between parent and child, or the establishment of legal parenthood for a child. Family Court
- Domestic & Family: A civil hearing involving annulment, separation, divorce, and or child support.
- URESA / UIFSA: The interstate determination of paternity or enforcement of child support, referring to the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act or the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
- Implemented 7-10-2003, previously categorized as Domestic & Family.
- Domestic Violence Petitions Denied: a case indicating that a domestic violence petition was denied prior to the filing of a summons or emergency protection order. These cases were not reported here prior to 2020.
- Implemented 8-3-2007, previously categorized as Domestic Violence.
- Implemented 12-15-2015, previously categorized as Domestic Violence.
- Implemented 12-15-2015, previously categorized as Domestic Violence Petitions Denied.
Juvenile: Family Law cases pertaining to minor children, typically heard in District (limited jurisdiction) court in locations not having a Circuit Family Court jurisdiction.
- Abuse/Neglect: A dependency action alleging the injury of a child's wellbeing by either maltreatment (abuse) or omission of care (neglect) by a parent, guardian or other person exercising custodial control or supervision.
- Dependency: (No-fault Dependency) A civil action to determine whether a child is receiving improper care, custody control or supervision that is through no fault of the parent, guardian or other person exercising custodial control or supervision.
- Paternity: A case related to the establishment of the identity and/or responsibilities of the father of a minor child.
- Status: A case alleging the commission of a non-criminal offense that is only illegal for minors.
- Delinquency: A case alleging the commission by a minor of an offense that would be considered criminal if committed by an adult.
- Other Juvenile: Any other case pertaining to a minor; such as emergency or involuntary hospitalization, self-consent abortion, name change, or juvenile case not otherwise specified.
District Civil: Civil (non-criminal) cases (actions) heard in District (limited jurisdiction) Court excluding those pertaining to Family Law (see Domestic Relations & Juvenile categories above).
- Disability & Health: Actions addressing competency, involuntary treatment, or custody pertaining to mental health or substance abuse.
- Probate: Actions related to the processing or settling of estates, guardianships, curatorships, trusts, and name changes.
- Forcible Detainer: An action by a landlord to regain possession of property from a tenant (eviction).
- Small Claims: An action to adjudicate claims involving $2,500 or less.
Other District Civil: Any other non-Criminal, non-Family Law case heard in District Court. These matters involve less than $5,000.
District Criminal: A case heard in District (limited jurisdiction) Court involving the alleged violation of state law by an adult.
- Felony: The initial hearing in District Court of any criminal case involving at least one Felony charge and any other related charges. Felony Charges are punishable by incarceration greater than one year or by death.
- Misdemeanor: A criminal case involving any number of non-traffic related misdemeanor or violation charges, but no felony charges.
- Traffic: A criminal case involving any number of traffic-related felony, misdemeanor, or violation charges.
District Prepayable: Criminal cases in which all charges filed are those that a defendant may elect to pay the minimum fine and court cost instead of appearing in court.
- Pre-payable Misdemeanor: A prepayable case involving no traffic-related charges.
- Pre-payable Traffic: A prepayable case involving at least one traffic-related charge.