Jefferson County Attorney works with justice and community partners to offer amnesty dockets

May 12, 2022

Citizens with outstanding bench warrants for low-level and nonviolent offenses in Jefferson County will have an opportunity to resolve their cases without fear of arrest, thanks to the work of County Attorney Mike O’Connell, the local court system and other justice and community partners.

Three “amnesty dockets” will be offered June 7, 8 and 9 at 1 p.m. in Jefferson District Court. Individuals interested must sign up online or at the Hall of Justice by May 31 so that cases can be screened for qualification and those eligible notified of the date, time and courtroom in which their case has been redocketed.

The County Attorney’s office spearheaded the months long effort to facilitate these dockets with public officials including the offices of Jefferson District Chief Judge Annette Karem, Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson, Sheriff John Aubrey, Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine, Chief Public Defender Leo Smith, the private criminal defense bar and community partners including the ACLU of Kentucky, Louisville Urban League and the Bail Project.

“The motto I’ve set for my office is try every day to do the next right thing,” O’Connell said. “Everyone has worked together on this to give people the chance to move ahead with their lives and resolve some outstanding cases.”

Individuals may sign up at and must appear in person on their redocketed court date in June, as warrants will not be recalled until the person appears. The following offenses do not qualify to be on the amnesty docket:

• Violent misdemeanor or violent Class D Felony

• Any domestic violence offense

• Any case that involves a gun

• Class A, B or C Felonies

The creation of the amnesty dockets does not mean warrants will not be served during this time. Anyone with a warrant that does not qualify for the Amnesty Docket is encouraged to contact an attorney or go to the Hall of Justice (600 West Main Street) and see a case manager to schedule a court date.

The deadline to sign up is May 31 and the amount of cases that can be heard is limited. If public response shows a need for additional amnesty dockets, more could be considered in the future.

The amnesty dockets follow the County Attorney’s efforts, along with District Court judges and the office of the Circuit Court Clerk, to move to dismiss bench warrants five years old or more that meet these same criteria. That effort concluded in April and purged nearly 12,000 open cases that were nonviolent and did not involve restitution owed to a victim.

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