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Appeals panel to meet in Benton

Staff report

A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in three civil cases at 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. April 22 at the Marshall County Judicial Center in Benton.

The panel consists of Judges Jeff S. Taylor of Owensboro and Shea Nickell and Donna Dixon of Paducah. The proceedings are open to the public.

Nickell noted that the Court of Appeals rarely conducts oral arguments outside its Frankfort and Louisville courtrooms. He said the event will allow local citizens, students and attorneys a rare opportunity to observe an appellate court in far western Kentucky. Panels occasionally travel throughout the state to hear cases elsewhere, particularly to save costs to the court system and parties involved. 

Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. Losing parties of non-criminal cases tried in circuit or district court may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court's decision. 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 each of the seven appellate court districts - serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges divide into panels of three to review and decide cases.

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