- Pilot rules effective July 1, 2015
- Review and comment period through Feb. 1, 2016
The Administrative Office of the Courts is pleased to present the new statewide Juvenile Court Rules of Procedure and Practice. These pilot rules are being released July 1, 2015, to coincide with the effective date of Senate Bill 200. SB 200 is the 2014 legislation that made sweeping reforms to juvenile justice law in Kentucky.
In anticipation of SB 200 being implemented, the new JCRPP are to be applied to all juvenile justice cases involving status and public offenses throughout the commonwealth.
Process to Develop New Juvenile Court Rules
The Supreme Court recognized the need for a set of Juvenile Court Rules that would be consistent with the mandates of SB 200 after the General Assembly overhauled the juvenile code to promote treatment instead of incarceration. In the fall of 2014, the Supreme Court convened a Juvenile Court Rules of Procedure and Practice Advisory Committee comprised of judges, court personnel, attorneys and representatives from agencies involved in juvenile justice reform. With SB 200 as a guide, the members made recommendations to a Juvenile Court Rules Drafting Committee and a new Supreme Court Standing Committee on Juvenile Court Rules of Procedure and Practice.
In addition, Kentucky judges discussed the JCRPP during the “SB 200 Regional Sessions for Judges” hosted by the Administrative Office of the Courts in the seven Supreme Court districts in May 2015. The JCRPP were also posted for review on the Kentucky Court of Justice website in June 2015 and were discussed during a Supreme Court Rules Hearing at the 2015 Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention in June.
Based on feedback received about implementing the JCRPP statewide, the Supreme Court is releasing the rules on a pilot basis so that the final provisions of SB 200 and the JCRPP are both available July 1, 2015. The Supreme Court will not adopt the final version of the JCRPP until the fall of 2016 to allow time to address suggestions and concerns.
This provisional rollout will let the court system solicit feedback as the legislation and rules are implemented and applied in courtrooms in the coming months. The Supreme Court Standing Committee will accept comments on the pilot JCRPP through Feb. 1, 2016. That will give the Standing Committee time to consider the recommendations and apply them, as needed, to the JCRPP draft that will be presented for final review at the KBA Annual Convention in May 2016. The JCRPP timeline details those steps.
The court system is already seeing the benefits of SB 200 in the pilot sites that have established FAIR – Family Accountability, Intervention and Response Teams as required by the legislation. In the districts that already have access to greater treatment options and the enhanced case management process, there has been a notable reduction in juvenile caseloads in District Court and status offense caseloads in Family Court.