Kentucky Access to Justice Commission receives grant to improve access to civil justice system
Kentucky is one of 11 states to receive a Justice for All planning grant from the National Center for State Courts.
The Justice for All project supports Access to Justice Commissions in their efforts to form partnerships with stakeholders in the civil justice community. The grant is supported by funding from the Public Welfare Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.
The grant will allow the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, created by the Supreme Court of Kentucky in 2010, to develop a strategic plan with the goal of giving all Kentuckians access to justice for their essential civil legal needs.
The KAJC will also work with other organizations to assess and use available resources that will help low- and moderate-income citizens handle the legal aspects of matters such as foreclosure, bankruptcy and divorce.
The Justice for All project kicked off Feb. 22, 2019, at the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort.
More than 100 representatives from Kentucky's legal, business and civic communities gathered to begin inventorying the civil legal resources and capabilities that currently exist in Kentucky.
“I’m pleased with the overwhelming response from this unique and diverse group of providers,” said Supreme Court Justice Michelle M. Keller, who is chair of the KAJC. “They will help examine the issue of access to justice for all Kentuckians. Our objective will be to find ways we can work together to create a seamless process that identifies civil legal resources to assist those who seek our help.”
Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. also spoke at the kick-off to commend those who support access to the civil justice system.
“The commonwealth is facing an overwhelming need to help low-and moderate-income individuals and families navigate a path to proper resolution of civil legal issues,” he said. “We must work together to resolve issues that threaten the safety, health, financial security and overall well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Minton, Jr.
The Justice for All grant will be implemented over the next 15 months in three phases:
1. Identify civil legal and legal adjacent resources and capabilities that exist in Kentucky to help citizens resolve legal issues.
2. Examine gaps and barriers in those resources, capabilities and the provider network.
3. Prioritize the most critical needs and implement achievable steps that ensure access to justice for all citizens.
Glenda Harrison, executive director of the KAJC, said that next steps include holding additional meetings, and using surveys and listening sessions to receive feedback from key stakeholders across the state.
“We’re thrilled with the interest this project has generated and will work diligently to produce a strategic plan that can be used as a roadmap on the path to justice for all,” Harrison said.
(provided by The Kentucky Access to Justice Commission)