Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces names of nominees for vacant Circuit and District Court judgeships in Jefferson County
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, today announced the nominees to fill a vacant circuit judgeship for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 4, and a vacant district judgeship for the 30th Judicial District, Division 16, both of which consist of Jefferson County.
The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the Circuit Court vacancy are Charles L. Cunningham Jr., William Douglas Kemper and Robert S. Silverthorn Jr., all of Louisville.
The Circuit Court judgeship was left vacant by Judge Denise Clayton, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals to represent the 4th Appellate District, Division 2.
The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the District Court vacancy are David P. Bowles, David Larry Holton II and Ann Bailey Smith, all of Louisville.
The District Court judgeship was left vacant by Judge Audra Jean Eckerle, who was elected circuit judge for the 30th Circuit, Division 7, consisting of Jefferson County.
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.