Kentucky is one of nearly two dozen states where supreme courts have formed Access to Justice Commissions to engage the judiciary in delivering civil legal aid to low-income citizens.
Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. announced the creation of the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission at a news conference on Oct. 14, 2010. He was joined by Justice Bill Cunningham, the Supreme Court of Kentucky liaison on the commission, and Judge Roger L. Crittenden (ret.), interim chair of the commission.
- Identify the needs of the legal services community in providing civil legal services to the poor.
- Create a statewide plan to deliver the civil legal services.
- Develop strategies to increase resources and funding for the civil legal services.
The Kentucky Access to Justice Commission has been formed by an order of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Chief Justice Minton will appoint 19 of the 25 commission's voting members and five ex-officio members to the commission. The KAJC’s first meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2011.
The need for civil legal aid in Kentucky is great and continues to grow. Kentucky Legal Aid receives 4,000 calls a month requesting legal help and closes about 24,000 cases each year, which provides critical assistance to 68,000 low-income families and children who have nowhere else to turn for help. About 55 percent of the people who apply and are eligible for civil legal aid services are turned away because of lack of resources.