Constanzo attends Circuit Judges Association event

Staff Report

November 28, 2013

FRANKFORT — Bell Circuit Court Judge Robert V. Costanzo, participated in the 2013 Circuit Judges Fall College Nov. 18-20 in Lexington.

The Administrative Office of the Courts provided the judicial education program for the state’s circuit judges.

Judges received updates on case law and legislation and attended sessions on court technology, bail, e-discovery, court interpreting for individuals who are deaf or non-English speaking and bankruptcy’s effect on state court rulings.

The judges also heard from Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. about trends in the state’s court system.

“While justice remains at the core of what we do, certain aspects of being a judge have changed since many of us took office,” said Costanzo.

“Today, the makeup of our citizenry is different, technology is part of everyday life and we’re operating under a budget crisis. Factors such as these affect how judges carry out our duties, and it’s important that we move with these changes to better serve the public.”

Circuit judges also had the opportunity to attend courses about problem-solving courts, such as Veterans Treatment Courts and drug court, substance abuse issues, search and seizure and tax delinquency. Another session focused on a judge’s responsibilities in appointing counsel for defendants and considering waivers of counsel from defendants who want to represent themselves.

The college also offered sessions specifically for Family Court judges about child traumatic stress and recent federal legislation on child abuse and neglect and children in foster care.

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

The college included 18.75 hours of continuing education credit for the circuit judges.

Circuit Court is the court of general jurisdiction that hears civil matters involving more than $5,000, capital offenses and felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases and contested probate cases.