Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces names of nominees for vacant District Court judgeship in McCreary and Whitley counties
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, today announced the three nominees to fill a vacant district judgeship for the 34th Judicial District, Division 2, consisting of McCreary and Whitley counties.
The three attorneys named as nominees to fill this vacancy are Jane R. Butcher, Jason P. Price and Fred Franklin White, all of Williamsburg.
The District Court judgeship was left vacant by Judge Daniel L. Ballou, who was elected circuit judge for the 34th Judicial Circuit, Division 1, consisting of McCreary and Whitley counties.
Judicial Nominating Process
When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the Judicial Nominating Commission publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected. Attorneys can recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of the applicants are not released. Once nominations occur, the individuals interested in the position return a questionnaire to the Office of the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Lambert then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees. Because the Kentucky Constitution requires that three names be submitted to the governor, in some cases the commission submits an attorney’s name even though the attorney did not apply. A letter naming the three nominees is sent to Gov. Steve Beshear for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement, and his office makes the announcement.
District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction which hears civil cases involving $4,000 or less, juvenile matters, city and county ordinances, misdemeanors and cases relating to domestic violence and abuse, guardianships for disabled people, traffic offenses, small claims, probate of wills and felony preliminary hearings.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort supports the activities of 4,000 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks.