Three Louisville attorneys nominated for vacancy on Jefferson County Family Court

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The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced nominees to fill a vacant Family Court judgeship in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County is the 30th Judicial Circuit and the vacancy is in the circuit’s 9th division.

The three nominees for the judgeship are attorneys Judith K. Bartholomew, Gina Kay Calvert and Ellie Garcia Kerstetter, all of Louisville. Each of them received their juris doctors from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

Chief Justice John Minton (Photo Provided)

Chief Justice John Minton (Photo Provided)

Bartholomew served as a Jefferson District Court judge from 1999 to 2009 and then as a senior judge from 2009 to 2014. Calvert has served as a Jefferson District Court judge since January 2010. Kerstetter is a solo law practitioner.

The Family Court judicial seat became vacant when Judge Stephen M. George retired in December 2015.

Family Court is a division of Circuit Court. In counties that have a Family Court, the court has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.

When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the JNC publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected. Attorneys may 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 Minton 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 the governor for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement and his office makes the announcement.

From Administrative Office of the Courts Communications

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