FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the fee for the service of papers?
Processing fee for service of papers is $70.00 per legal document.
What is the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law?
Knowing the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law will clear up many misunderstandings citizens face when dealing with the Courts and Law Enforcement. The Courts are able to address both Criminal and Civil Law, while law enforcement is only capable of addressing Criminal Law.
Simply put, Civil Law is the group of laws that address matters of dispute in the regard to property, custody, money and services. A short list of matters that would fall under Civil law would include: landlord/tenant disputes, divorce proceedings, child custody proceedings, property disputes (real estate or material), etc.
A cursory definition of Criminal Law would be; The group of laws that address Criminal Offenses. A few examples of Criminal Offenses would be: Theft (by deception or unlawful taking), Assault, Robbery, Wanton endangerment, Trafficking in Controlled substances, Alcohol Intoxication and DUI.
Do not feel that a law enforcement officer is ignoring your problem if he refers you to the County Attorney’s office and explains that your situation is a civil matter. The officer is simply trying to guide you to the proper personnel who can address your situation. The officer does not have the authority or jurisdiction to preside over matters that are civil in nature.
In other instances, the officer may instruct you to obtain a court order regarding your situation. By your obtaining the court order, you now have given the law enforcement officer limited jurisdiction, as granted by the court, to help you remedy your situation, even though the situation may be fundamentally civil in nature. Again, the law enforcement officer cannot act on a situation that is civil in nature until he/she has been ordered to do so by the court. It will be up to you to secure this order.
What is a Civil Summons?
A Civil Summons is a notification that a legal action has been filed against you. Once this document is served to you, you have 20 days to respond to the plaintiffs attorney. The complaint attached to the civil summons explains the civil charges (meaining non-criminal) that have been filed with the court by another citizen or a business.
What is a Criminal Summons?
A Criminal Summons is a Court order demanding the appearance of an individual before the court to answer to criminal charges. These charges can be levied against an individual by the court solely on behalf of the Commonwealth or on behalf of the Commonwealth in response to a criminal complaint entered by a citizen or business.
What is a Subpoena?
A subpoena is a court order demanding the appearance of an individual before the court in order to give testimony. It is issued because the court believes that the individual being subpoenaed has pertinent knowledge of the case that is being tried.
What is a Warrant?
A warrant is a court order commanding all law enforcement officers in the state to take the individual listed on the warrant into custody (arrest) upon contact with that individual.
I’ve been served, what if I don’t show up?
If you’ve been served a criminal summons and you do not show up in court, and have not cleared your absence with the County or Commonwealth Attorney’s office prior to your date in court, in all probability, a warrant for your arrest on the charge of Contempt of Court will be issued.
Where do I find information on mortgages and deeds?
This information can be obtained in either the County Clerk or PVA office.
I have a property line dispute with a neighbor, what do I do?
If the dispute is violent and physical, Call 911.
If the dispute is non-violent and not physical, you should contact the County Attorney’s Office during business hours and explain your situation to them. (see also “Difference between Civil & Criminal Law at top of page”)
Can I have a Deputy escort me to get personal property from a residence?
If you are having trouble claiming personal property from a residence that you are vacating due to a quarrel with your previous roommate / spouse / significant other, you must obtain a court order requesting an escort by a Deputy to claim your property. You can attempt to obtain a court order by contacting the County Attorney’s office during business hours. A Deputy cannot escort you to claim your property without this order. (see also “Difference between Civil & Criminal Law at top of page”)
There is an abandoned vehicle on / in front of my property?
If the vehicle in on your private property, you can have the vehicle towed at your discretion. You simply have to call the towing company and have them come and tow the vehicle. When calling the towing company, ensure that the towing fees will be charged to the owner of the vehicle and not to you.
If the vehicle is on the roadway in front of your property, or is sitting adjoining to your property, or if you are the least bit unsure if the vehicle is on your property, you need to call the Sheriff’s office and a Deputy will respond and ascertain whether or not the vehicle will be towed.
Where do I get information about a Sheriff’s Sale for Real Estate?
This is not actually a Sheriff’s Sale. The proper term in Kentucky is a Master Commissioner’s Sale.
Contact the law office of Michael Clark at (606) 782-1532.
I would like to report an incident that I have been involved in or observed. Do I contact the Sheriff’s office to do that?
No. If you wish to report anything to a Law Enforcement Agency you will need to contact Bracken County Dispatch at (606) 735-2700 so that a dispatcher may put you into contact with the appropriate agency.
I filed a police report or was involved in an automobile accident, where do I pick up a copy of that report?
You will need to contact the department/agency for which the responding officer works.
I need an officer to be sent to my location. How do I request that be done?
You should contact the Bracken County Dispatch Center. In the event of an emergency you should dial 911. In the event of a non-emergency the dispatch center can be reached at (606) 735-2700.
Where can I request a copy of a background check?
The Sheriff’s office does take finger prints but does not generate background checks. If you are in need of an official background check for the State of Kentucky you will have to place the request with the Administrative Offices of the Courts Records Unit. Information for that office can be obtained on their website www.kycourts.gov.
I think I have a warrant out for my arrest. Can I request this information from the Sheriff’s office over the telephone?
No. To obtain warrant information from the Sheriff’s office you must go to the Sheriff’s office, present a photo ID, and request that a deputy check for warrant information.
I have questions about my legal rights in an eviction proceeding, probate case, or other civil matter. Can I contact the Sheriff’s Office for an explanation of those rights?
No. The Sheriff’s Office is not a law office and cannot give you legal advice. You may contact an attorney or agency such as Legal Aid of Northern Kentucky to request assistance with such information.
I received a notice from the Sheriff’s Office on my door. What should I do?
A written notice left on a door or mailbox means that you have paperwork in the Sheriff’s office pertaining to a court case. You should not ignore such paperwork as it may have a bearing on child custody, financial matters, or in the event of a criminal summons could result in a warrant for your arrest if the summons goes un-served.
I think my tax bill is incorrect. Who do I call to correct this?
Although the bill is mailed from the Sheriff’s Office, we do not prepare or create the bills. We simply send them out and collect. The Bracken County Property Valuation Administration is responsible for creating and/or editing or exonerating all County tax amounts. They can be reached at (606) 735-2228.
I do not recall receiving my tax bill in the mail, how do I go about paying my property taxes?
Property taxes are due each year by December 31st. If you do not recall receiving a tax bill in the month of October, you should contact the Sheriff’s office and ask for your bill amount. Payment may then be made in person, via mail, or via telephone if you are paying with a credit card.
I do not recall receiving my property tax bill and did not pay my taxes by the annual due date. Now my payment is late. Will the late fee be waived?
Pursuant to the Kentucky Administrative Regulations regarding permissible reasons for the waiver of late fees, not receiving a bill is not a permissible reason. Tax amounts are available through the Sheriff’s Office and Property Valuation Administration office throughout the tax season and taxes are due at the same time of year each year. It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that they have paid their taxes by the due date. If you do not recall receiving your bill in October you should contact the Sheriff’s Office and request your payment amount.
Can I use two types of tender to pay my taxes?
No. Taxes must be paid with one type of tender, i.e. check, cash, credit card.
Is there a payment plan for taxes?
No. Taxes must be paid in full in a single transaction.