District Judge Amy Sullivan Anderson, who serves Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties, participated in the 2008 District Judges College hosted Sept. 21-24 in Lexington by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
District Court handles juvenile matters, city and county ordinances, misdemeanors, traffic offenses, probates of will, felony preliminary hearings, small claims and civil cases involving $4,000 or less. District judges serve four-year terms.
"Our goal is to equip district judges with the knowledge and skills needed to handle everyday issues that affect their courtrooms," stated Chief Regional District Judge Karen A. Thomas, who serves Campbell County and is president of the Kentucky District Judges Association. "This college provided excellent sessions on the latest topics and core functions."
Thomas S. Hodson, professor and director of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, taught a session on media relations that explored the tension that often exists between journalists and the courts and methods for working effectively with the media. Rita Ruggles, program administrator for the state's Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addiction Services, and several judges presented a session on medications associated with mental health issues.
Other sessions included a case law update, landlord and tenant law, juvenile contempt and status offenders, judicial ethics, preliminary hearings, criminal procedures and docket management. Kentucky district judges, Administrative Office of the Courts personnel and attorneys with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Judicial Ethics Committee taught the sessions.
Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. also addressed the judges during the college. This was the first District Judges College since Chief Justice Minton took office.