Judicial Disqualification Resource Center


Judicial Disqualification in Kentucky

fried chickenIn Kentucky, disqualification issues are sometimes considered in light of the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct, Supreme Court Rule 4.300; or, in criminal cases, pursuant to Criminal Rule 59.05. As a general rule, however, a party who seeks to disqualify a Kentucky judge will usually base its motion on Ky. Rev. Stat. §26A.015, subsections (2)(a) and (e).

As an alternative to seeking disqualification under §26A.015, a party may file an affidavit seeking disqualification under Ky. Rev. Stat. §26A.020, which permits a party who does not believe that he will receive a fair trial to file an affidavit with the appropriate circuit court clerk.

When a disqualification motion has been filed in Kentucky, the challenged judge is without jurisdiction to proceed further in the matter until the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court acts or a special judge is appointed to decide the matter.


1. To review a recent (Dec. 2013) Journal-Times editorial questioning whether a Franklin County Circuit Court judge should recuse from a death penalty case click here

2. To review Snowden v. City of Wilmore, 2013 WL 132543 (Ky. App. 1/11/2013), a recent case in which the Kentucky Court of Appeals held that the challenged judge was not required to recuse himself click here

3. For an analysis of Kentucky recusal and disqualification law which is updated annually see Flamm, R., Judicial Disqualification: Recusal and Disqualification of Judges (Second Edition, 2007), § 28.19 See also Kentucky Bar Association Ethics Opinion KBA E-402 (1997) citing, as a reference, Richard Flamm, Judicial Disqualification (1996). To locate Kentucky libraries that have the current edition of this book click here