Kentucky Court of Justice
Court of Appeals to hear arguments about state law’s effect on Amish religious freedom March 24 in Louisville
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Thursday, March 24, in two appeals from a group of Amish men who say a state law requiring them to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on their horse-drawn buggies violates their religious freedom. Proceedings will begin at 10 a.m. EDT in the Allen Courtroom at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, 2301 S. Third St. in Louisville. Proceedings will be open to the public.
The nine Amish men from Graves County are appealing their misdemeanor convictions for failing to display the slow-moving vehicle emblem on their buggies. They were convicted in Graves County District Court. The men assert that KRS 189.820, the state law mandating that they display the emblem, goes against their church’s teachings. (To see all parties in these appeals, look up cases 2008-CA-001493 and 2009-CA-001046 – Court of Appeals cases).
William Sharp, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Louisville, is representing the appellants. The National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom and the Mennonite Central Committee have filed friend of the court briefs.
The court will also hear two case appeals from Jefferson County when it convenes Thursday. A three-judge panel comprised of Court of Appeals Judges Janet L. Stumbo and Kelly Thompson and Senior Judge Ann O’Malley Shake will hear arguments in all of the appeals.
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
JACOB GINGERICH ET AL. v COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
MENNOZOOK ET AL. v COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Summary: Criminal. The appellants are appealing their District Court convictions for failing to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on their horse-drawn buggies. They claim that KRS 189.820 impermissibly burdens their religious freedoms.
Graves County judge who presided in the case – Judge Timothy C. Stark
Appellants’ attorneys: Patricia Le Meur and William Sharp
Attorneys representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Jack Conway and Christian Miller
(To see all parties in these appeals, look up cases 2008-CA-001493 and 2009-CA-001046 – Court of Appeals cases).
10:45 AM 2009CA000502
BRYCE BONNER v COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Summary: Criminal. At issue in this appeal is whether the trial court can rescind an order for payment of DNA analysis after services have been rendered. The trial court set aside a prior order and ruled that the fiscal court was not required to pay for the DNA analysis because private counsel obtained the services. The trial court also ruled that the motion lacked merit as provided by CR 60.02 and that counsel for the appellant lacked standing to bring the motion.
Jefferson County judge who presided in the case – Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman
Appellant’s attorney: Ninamary Maginnis
Appellee’s attorney: Matthew Krygiel
11:30 AM 2009CA001126
SUTEJ GILL ET AL. v WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK ET AL.
Summary: Civil. In a foreclosure action, the appellants, Sutej Gill et al., held a third lien position and the appellee had a first lien position. The parties allegedly reached an agreement during a settlement conference in the presence of the master commissioner. The appellee then allegedly included objectionable language into the proposed written agreement that was not included in the original, oral agreement. The trial court determined that there was never a meeting of the minds between the parties and, therefore, no genuine issue of material fact warranting a jury trial on whether there was an agreement. This decision by the trial court is the issue in the appeal.
Jefferson County judge who presided in the case – Judge Mary M. Shaw
Attorneys representing Sutej Gill et al.: David Mour and Zachary Taylor
Attorneys representing Washington Mutual Bank: David Johnson, Crystal Saresky
(To see all parties in this appeal, look up case 2009-CA-001126 – Court of Appeals cases).
COURT OF APPEALS PANEL
Judge Janet L. Stumbo
In 1989, Janet L. Stumbo became the first woman from the 7th Judicial District to be elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. At that time, she was only the second woman to serve on the Court of Appeals and the first woman to be elected without having first been appointed.
Judge Stumbo served four years with the Court of Appeals before being the first woman elected (again without having first been appointed) to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 1993. She was re-elected to a full eight-year term on the Supreme Court in 1996. While a Supreme Court justice she served as chair of both the Civil Rules Committee and the Family Court Consortium, a statewide committee appointed by then-Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens to implement a pilot project for Family Court. The consortium’s work resulted in the enactment of an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution and legislation establishing Family Court in jurisdictions across the commonwealth.
In November 2006, two years after completing her Supreme Court tenure, Judge Stumbo was elected to the Court of Appeals for a second time to represent the 7th Appellate District. The 7th Appellate District is comprised of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan and Wolfe counties.
Judge Stumbo earned her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the late Judge Harris S. Howard of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She entered private practice in 1982 with Turner, Hall & Stumbo PSC, where she focused on cases involving workers’ compensation, federal black lung claims, dissolution of marriage and personal injury.
She also served as assistant Floyd County attorney for three years and sat on the board of directors of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1983 to 1989, serving as board chair from 1984 to 1989. Judge Stumbo became a partner in Stumbo, DeRossett & Pillersdorf in 1989, just before being elected to the Court of Appeals for the first time.
During her break from the bench from 2004 to 2006, she taught at the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Kentucky College of Law. She also taught a mock trial course for high schools students at Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth, a summer camp hosted by Western Kentucky University.
Judge Stumbo was inducted into the UK College of Law Alumni Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Morehead State University Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1996 the Kentucky Bar Association for Women gave her its first Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, which recognizes professional excellence in the practice of law and efforts to open the field for other women. In 1995 the Women in State Government Network presented her with its Bull’s Eye Award. The Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its 1995 Outstanding Justice Award for her support of adopting gender fairness into state judicial language. In 1991 the Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its Justice Award for her use of spousal abuse evidence as grounds for setting aside a settlement in dissolution of marriage cases and for her support in creating a shelter for abused women in Floyd County.
Judge Stumbo is a native of Floyd County.
Judge Kelly Thompson
Judge Kelly Thompson was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006. He represents Division 2 of the 2nd Appellate District, which is comprised of Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, LaRue, Meade, Ohio, Union and Warren counties.
Judge Thompson practiced law in Bowling Green from 1974 until his election in 2006. He was the chief public advocate for the 8th Judicial District from 1976 to 1999, and he twice served on the board of directors for the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association. He was chief trial counsel for the Kentucky Department of Highways in Hardin County from 1972 to 1973 and served as law clerk for the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1973 to 1974.
Judge Thompson graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1972.
Judge Thompson has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Board of Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has successful appellate experience in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Kentucky and the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He is a recipient of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Donated Legal Services Recognition Award. He has been certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, which is accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in civil, criminal and family law trial advocacy. Judge Thompson has also served as a board member for numerous civic organizations in Warren County.
Judge Thompson was born in 1948 and is a Warren County native.
Judge Ann O’Malley Shake
Judge Ann O’Malley Shake is a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals.
Prior to joining the Senior Judges Program, Judge Shake served on the Jefferson County bench as a Circuit Court and District Court judge. She previously was an attorney in private practice. She also served as a social worker and a Head Start teacher.
Judge Shake earned her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, graduating in 1982.
She is a member of the Women Lawyers Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association Board of Directors, the American Bar Association, KATA and the Council on Peacemaking.
Kentucky Court of Appeals
Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.
Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 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 executes the Judicial Branch budget.