Supreme Court examines Kentucky's medical review panels

Business Law

After Ezra Claycomb was born with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy, his mother considered filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. But in 2017, Kentucky's Republican-controlled legislature passed a law requiring all such lawsuits first be reviewed by a panel of doctors.

The law gave the panel nine months to issue an opinion on whether the lawsuit is frivolous — yet section 14 of Kentucky's Constitution says every person has access to the courts "without ... delay."

Claycomb's parents sued to block the new law, making Kentucky the latest state to have its medical review panels challenged in court.

A circuit judge agreed the law was unconstitutional. But Republican Gov. Matt Bevin appealed that decision to the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments Wednesday.

"This is a modern day version of the poll tax," said attorney J. Guthrie True, who represents Claycomb in a lawsuit he says has class action status to represent all patients. "This has one purpose, and that is to obstruct the courthouse door."

Matthew Kuhn, an attorney for the governor, said the state Constitution's ban on delaying access to the courts only applies to the court system itself. It does not apply to the legislature, which he says has the power to impose rules on the court system. He noted Kentucky has other laws that limit when people can file lawsuits. For example, heirs wanting to sue the executor of an estate must wait at least six months after the executor has been appointed before they can do so. Kuhn says that law has never been challenged.

Kuhn said the medical review process is helpful because it gets the two sides talking before a lawsuit is filed, which could jumpstart settlement discussions. It also makes sure both sides have all the evidence collected before they go to a judge.

Related listings

  • Retailers hope for certainty as Supreme Court hears tax case

    Retailers hope for certainty as Supreme Court hears tax case

    Business Law 04/11/2018

    Retailers are hoping for a resolution this year from the Supreme Court, which hears arguments Tuesday in a decades-old dispute: Whether companies must collect sales tax on items sold in a state where they don't have a store or other building.If the c...

  •  Indian court grants bail to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan

    Indian court grants bail to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan

    Business Law 03/11/2018

    A court on Saturday granted bail to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who will be allowed to remain free while he appeals his conviction on charges of poaching rare deer in a wildlife preserve two decades ago.Khan was convicted Thursday and sentenced ...

  • Cambodian court again rejects bail for opposition leader

    Cambodian court again rejects bail for opposition leader

    Business Law 02/01/2018

    An appeals court in Cambodia on Thursday denied a second request for the release on bail of opposition leader Kem Sokha, who has been charged with treason.The court appearance in Phnom Penh by Kem Sokha, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, wa...

USCIS Continuing Form I-751 Data Entry

USCIS has completed receipting and data entry for all filings of Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, received between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018. Petitioners should receive receipt notices by Oct. 22, 2018.

On June 13, 2018, USCIS announced that the California Service Center (CSC) was experiencing a delay in initial data entry for Form I-751. After changing the filing location for Form I-751 from the USCIS Service Centers to the USCIS Lockbox facilities in September, USCIS completed receipting and data entry of these petitions on Oct. 1.

If you submitted a Form I-751 to the CSC between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice, do not file a duplicate Form I-751 unless you have received a rejection notice or have been instructed to do so by the CSC.

If your two-year green card has expired and you have not received a receipt notice, you may schedule an appointment online for you and any eligible dependents to be seen at your local field office. If possible, bring evidence that you sent your Form I-751 via the U.S. Postal Service or a delivery service, such as FedEx. If you have any questions about the process, visit the USCIS Contact Center page.