The modern Circuit Courts are trial courts with original jurisdiction in cases involving capital offenses and other felonies; land disputes; contested probates of wills; and civil lawsuits. Circuit courts also have the power to issue injunctions, writs of prohibition, writs of mandamus, and appeals from the decisions of administrative agencies.
Circuit judges now serve in eight-year terms. As of 2016 there are 57 circuits, which may have one or more judges, depending on the population and docket size. Circuits may include one or more counties; some have up to four. Ohio County is part of the 38th Circuit, which also includes Butler, Edmonson, and Hancock counties. Originally, Ohio County and Breckenridge County comprised a Circuit which always met in Ohio County.
Our Ohio County Circuit Court was first established by the Kentucky legislature by an Act dated December 20, 1802. Prior to this Kentucky had a system of District and General Courts. The following is a copy of the 1802 Act that first established Circuit Courts: