Court of Appeals to Hear Shelby Co. Case

Nov 11, 2011

The Kentucky Court of Appeals will convene Monday, Nov. 14, in Frankfort to hear arguments about a Shelby County Circuit Court judgment that upheld deferment of a woman’s parole eligibility for 20 years. Proceedings are open to the public and will take place at 9:45 a.m. EST in the Court of Appeals Courtroom at 360 Democrat Drive.

Barbara Gordon sued the Kentucky Parole Board in Shelby County Circuit Court after the board voted to deny her parole request and revisit the matter in 20 years. The trial court affirmed the parole board’s ruling. Gordon is appealing the court’s decision.

A three-judge panel comprised of Court of Appeals Judges Michelle M. Keller, Janet L. Stumbo and Laurance B. VanMeter will hear oral arguments in Barbara Gordon v Kentucky Parole Board. Judge Stumbo will preside.

Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.

Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.


MONDAY, NOV. 14, 2011

9:45 AM 2011-CA-000205

Summary: Civil. This is a matter-of-right appeal. The Circuit Court denied appellant Barbara Gordon’s petition for declaration of rights and injunctive relief, which sought to challenge the constitutionality of deferring parole eligibility for 20 years. Issues in the appeal include whether the trial court and parole board correctly interpreted 501 KAR 1:030 Sec. 3(f) in deferring parole, whether deferment is in violation of ex post facto prohibitions in the Kentucky and U.S. constitutions and whether the trial court applied the proper standard in analyzing the appellant’s arguments.

Shelby County judge who presided in the case – Judge Charles R. Hickman

Appellant’s attorneys: Kathleen Schmidt and Meggan Smith

Appellee’s attorney: Wesley Duke

Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.