Justice Donald C. Wintersheimer Digital Collection

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Family Courts:
Kuprion v. Fitzgerald

On April 29, 1993, Penny L. Kuprion filed a petition for dissolution of marriage with the clerk of the Jefferson Circuit Court. The matter was assigned to the Jefferson "Family Court". Kuprion claimed that the "Family Court" was unconstitutional, she moved the Family Court Judge to reassign the matter to Jefferson Circuit Court. Her motion was denied.

The issues presented to the Court were whether a district judge lacks subject matter jurisdiction to grant a decree of dissolution; whether the Chief Justice can grant district judges the power to hear dissolution cases; whether the creation of the Jefferson Family Court violated Sections 27 and 28 of the Kentucky Constitution and whether the appellant is denied equal protection of the law under the Federal and State Constitutions.

The Court concluded that Judge Fitzgerald is presiding over the dissolution action in a proper and constitutional manner pursuant to his appointment as a special circuit judge in conformity with Section 110(5)(b) of the Constitution. The Family Court project does not create a new and unconstitutional court in violation of Sections 27, 28 or 109 of the Constitution. Consequently, Penny L. Kuprion was not denied equal protection of the law pursuant to either the United States or Kentucky Constitutions.

  • Appellant Brief - 1994 [Download]
  • Brief for Appellee - 1994 [Download]
  • Reply Brief for Appellant - 1994 [Download]
  • Discussion Draft - 1994 [Download]
  • Opinion of the Court - 1994 [Download]
  • Order Ammending Opinion - 1994 [Download]
  • Appellant Brief without appendices - 1994 [Download]
  • Brief for Appellee without appendices - 1994 [Download]