Sheriff  John D. Pickard

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Where is the Sheriff's Office?
The Sheriff's Office is located at 401 Court Square Barbourville KY inside the courthouse.. 

What are the Sheriff's Office's hours?
The office itself is open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 12:00 Pm on Saturday. The Sheriff’s Office has someone on call 24 hours a day seven day’s a week.

What is the Sheriff's Office's Phone number?
606-546-3181 during regular office hours for non emergency (Sheriff's Office)
606-546-3441 after regular office hours for non emergency (Dispatch Center)
Dial 911 for Emergency calls (Dispatch Center)

What is the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law?
Knowing the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law will clear up many misunderstanding 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 does it cost to have a vehicle inspected? Where do I go to have it done?
It costs $5.00 per vehicle inspected.  You can bring the vehicle to the Sheriff”s Office  and inform the staff that you have a vehicle that needs inspection.   

What paperwork do I need to bring to have my vehicle inspected?
 You need to bring your valid drivers license and the car's out of state title.  Additionally, for the car to pass inspection, you must bring the car in a drivable, roadworthy condition.  You will also have to bring the necessary payment for the applicable fees. (see above)  If the vehicle is a salvage vehicle, you will also need a sworn affidavit regarding the vehicle's history and origin

What is a Civil Summons?
A Civil Summons is a court order demanding the appearance of an individual before the court to answer to civil charges (meaning 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 pay my Property Taxes?
Where do I get a copy of my previous years taxes?
I need 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.
I hear gunshots near my home.  I live in the county.  What can be done?
It is not illegal to discharge a weapon in the county as long as the weapon is discharged in a safe and responsible manner that does not endanger another individuals property, livestock or well being.
If you are concerned that the gunfire you hear is threatening your safety, do not hesitate to call the Sheriff's office.  A Deputy will respond and attempt to ascertain the situation for you.
How do I take a warrant or criminal summons out on someone?
Go to the county attorney's office between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday.
How do I get a Concealed Carry permit?
Come to the Sheriff's office during normal business hours and you will be given an application, this needs to be filled out and a picture no smaller than 3 ½ x 4 and no larger than 4 x 5 need to be brought with you. This and a fee of $60.00 will be mailed to the state and you will get notice in the mail as to when you may pick up your permit.
What is Trespassing?  What are my rights as a property owner?
Trespassing is the act of an individual entering into or remaining on property that he/she has been advised to vacate or not enter by the property owner.
If you are the property owner, you have the right to say who can or cannot be on your property, as long as you have not allowed them to previously set up residence at that property.  If you have allowed the individual to set up residence, you may have to treat the individual as a tenant and go through the eviction process.  The County Attorney will be able to tell you if this is applicable to you.

If an individual (non resident) has entered onto your property without your consent, and refuses your demands to vacate your property, call the Sheriff's Office.

If an individual, who is not a resident of your property, and who was previously allowed entrance onto your property, but due to some course of events, is no longer desired on your property. And the same individual refuses your demands for him/her to vacate your property.  Call the Sheriff's Office.

What should I do or not do when I am stopped by Law Enforcement?
Keep in mind that a traffic stop is one of the most dangerous duties a law enforcement officer performs.  Even though you know that you are an "average law abiding citizen", the officer does not.  Due to this fact, the officer will utilize many trained and regimented steps during the traffic stop to ensure your, and his or her safety.  You can help the situation by keeping this list of  "do's and don'ts" in mind if you are stopped.


  • ·        Stay Calm.
  • ·        Pull as far off to the right side of the road as safely possible.  By doing so, the officer can place his vehicle in a way that will help protect you from passing traffic.
  • ·        Wait to retrieve your documents until the officer asks for them.  From his/her vehicle, the officer cannot see what you are retrieving from your glove box, dash or floorboard.
  • ·        Remember that your cooperation is greatly appreciated
  • ·        Realize, that if you do disagree with the stop or the resulting citation, the purpose for the assigned court date on the citation is to give you the ability to state your disagreement with the citation and give a case for it's dismissal.


  • ·        Don't immediately get defensive.  The stop may be for your safety or simply for matter of identification.
  • ·        Don't get out of the vehicle.  This will probably be mistaken as aggression on your part.
  • ·        Don't make a lot of sudden movements.  The officer cannot see what you are reaching for from the vantage of  his/her vehicle.
  • ·        Don't assume you're going to get a ticket.
    At what level of intoxication is it illegal for me to drive?
    It is illegal for any individual to operate a motor vehicle when the individual's level of intoxication impairs their ability to safely and properly operate the vehicle.
    As of October 1st, 2000, the per se DUI blood alcohol content changed from .10 to .08.  "Per se" mean that you are automatically presumed DUI.  You can be convicted of DUI with a lesser blood alcohol content.
    Don't drink and drive.
    Is there a quota on the number of traffic tickets an officer has to write?
    No, absolutely, positively not.  Officers receive absolutely no benefit from writing any number of  traffic citations.
    Violence / Spouse Abuse
    If you are victim of Domestic Violence IMMEDIATELY call 911. DO NOT HESITATE. Any hesitation on your part could place you in greater danger. If you fail to act, it will make your abuser feel that he can continue the abuse without any impact to him. Do not allow yourself to be a victim.
    There are situations in which your abuser can be arrested without a warrant.
    To offer additional protection to you and your children, you can go to the prosecutor's office and file for an EPO (Emergency Protective Order.)  The EPO will list restrictions against your abuser and any violation of these restrictions will allow Deputies responding to your situation to arrest your abuser. By filing for an EPO, you give law enforcement a very powerful tool that they can use to help you..
    The EPO will stay in effect for up to 14 days. At the end of the period, you will come before the Judge and he will hear your case. At that time, the Judge may decide to put a DVO (Domestic Violence Order) in place. A DVO can last up to two years and can place restrictions against your abuser as the Judge sees fit. At the end of the DVO period, your situation will be reviewed. If the Judge decides that you are still in danger of abuse, another DVO will be issued. The duration of a DVO is limited to 2 years, but there is no limit to the number of DVO's issued.
    There are numerous Safe Houses and Spouse Abuse centers in the state of Kentucky that will help you through your situation. Contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-829-1122 or the 24 hour Spouse abuse Crisis line at 1-800-544-2022 AFTER you have called 911. These organizations can provide you with additional support for you and your children.
    Violation of an EPO or DVO
    If you have an EPO or DVO against an individual and that individual violates any of the restrictions of the EPO/DVO, Immediately call 911.

    Child Abuse
    It is up to all of us to protect the children of our community. If you suspect a child is a victim of abuse immediately call 911 and report your suspicions. Do not second guess yourself or your suspicions, your hesitation may waste valuable time and subject an innocent child to grave danger.
    After you have reported the abuse to the Sheriff's Office, you can contact the Adult / Child abuse reporting hotline (800-752-6200) to get information on the support services that are offered locally.

    Sexual Assault
    If you are the victim of a sexual assault, immediately call 911. DO NOT BATHE OR CHANGE CLOTHES. 
    After you have called 911, you can call The Rape Crisis Center at 1-800- and they will provide additional help and counseling to you. 

    Assault by an unknown or unrelated person.
    If you are assaulted by a person unknown or unrelated to you, call 911. A Deputy will respond and ascertain your situation. In some cases a law enforcement officer can make an arrest on assault without a warrant, in other cases, the law enforcement officer must have witnessed the assault in order to make an arrest. The responding Deputy will address theses issues as they pertain to your situation. You may be advised by the responding Deputy to go to the County Attorney's office and take charges out on your Assaulter.

    If you are a victim of a theft or burglary, immediately call the Sheriff's office. It is imperative that you do not disturb the scene of the crime. As soon as you realize that you've been the victim of a theft/burglary, do not move any objects in the vicinity. Do not touch any surfaces. Any disturbance you make to the area my severely hinder the apprehension of the perpetrator.
    There are some things that you can do before becoming a victim that may deter, prevent, or aid the apprehension of a thief.
    ·Mark your property with identifying information.
    ·Periodically inventory your property.
    ·Upon purchase of new property, write down serial numbers and item descriptions (make, model, color, etc.), and keep the record in a safe location.
    ·Install outdoor lighting around your home. Motion sensing and/or standard.
    ·Keep shrubs and vegetation that grows next to your home neatly trimmed short to the ground, so as not to provide concealment of a would be thief.
    ·Inform your neighbors of extended trips and vacations.
    ·Install and USE deadbolt locks.
    ·Get to know your Neighbors. Be "Neighborly." If Neighbors are acquaintances and get to know one another, they will be able to recognize people on their neighbors property that don't belong there.

    ·Do not leave garage doors partially open to allow pets to come and go. This is an open door policy to a burglar. You've now provided them with concealed entry to the interior of your home.
    ·LOCK your car doors upon exit.
    ·Report suspicious persons and vehicles in your neighborhood. WRITE DOWN your observations, Get license plates! Write down clothing description, hair color, height, weight, sex, Logos & markings on clothing.

    Things that make a person or vehicle suspicious
    1.Person standing around for extended periods of time or wandering aimlessly.
    2.Person using abnormal paths of movement through the neighborhood. (i.e.. walking between houses or through wood line)
    3.Vehicle parked for extended periods while occupied.
    4.Vehicle parking in multiple locations in the neighborhood.
    5.Vehicle driving to the end of dead end streets and turning around without stopping at a residence.
    6.Vehicles wandering aimlessly through the neighborhood.

    Harassment (verbal or direct nonverbal threats)
    If you are the victim of harassment, call the Sheriff's Office and a Deputy will respond to help you. Unless the Deputy is a witness to the threats, you will need to take charges against your harasser with the County Attorney's office.
    Write down all harassing statements and actions that were used against you. Record the time and date of every event. This record will be invaluable to you when the case goes before the courts. Make sure you record all statements as exactly as possible.

    Harassing Communications (threatening phone calls or letters)
    If you are the victim of threatening phone calls or letters, report your situation to the sheriff's office so there will be a record of the events. You will then need to take out charges against your harasser with the County Attorney's office.
    If the threats are in written form, keep all the threatening correspondence for evidence. Bring the correspondence with you when you go to the County Attorney's office.
    If the threats are made over the telephone and to your answering machine, remove the tape from your machine and keep it as evidence.
    As soon as you receive a harassing phone call, write down all the threats that were made against you, and record the date and time. These records will prove very beneficial to you during the court case.

    Theft by Deception (Cold Checks):
    A person is guilty of Theft by Deception when they knowingly write you a check that will not be honored by the financial institution that it is drawn on.
    If you have been written a "cold check," attempt to make contact with the individual that wrote you the check in order to allow them the opportunity to honor the check. If they choose to not remedy the situation or you are unable to make contact with the individual, bring the returned check to the county attorney's office and request a summons or warrant against the individual.
    How to help protect your self from these thieves.
    1.If you have doubts about the person and the validity of their check, DO NOT PERFORM THE TRANSACTION. Insist on cash payment. Yes, you might unintentionally offend someone, but you won't lose your money and property. A little healthy scrutiny at the onset can save you hours of worry and time in court.
    2.If you do take a check, insist on seeing multiple forms of picture ID. YOU write down their Drivers license number, and social security number on the check, don't allow them to do it.
    3.Check and make sure that the address on their Drivers license and the address on their check match. If they don't, that means they are moving around a lot. Why is that so? Are they moving around a lot to keep the creditors at bay? Are they forced to move around a lot because they fail to pay their rent? Do the two not match because the banks keep closing their accounts? At any rate, the law requires a person to change the address on their drivers license within 10 days of their moving. They are thumbing their nose at the law, why do you think they won't do the same to you when you confront them later expecting payment?
    4.If the individual trying to give you a check cannot provide you with proper identification, tell them to come back when they have proper ID or cash. Realize that when you accept a check you are accepting a promissory note on FAITH of their GOOD NAME. Now think about it, should you accept a promise made on someone's name... when you don't absolutely, positively, even know their name or where they live?
    5.If they act offended and stomp away, realize it's probably because they didn't want you to know who they were or where they lived... and you just foiled their attempt at stealing from you. Let them go. A legitimate buyer will come along. Don't let greed cloud your better judgment.

    Landlords requesting tenant eviction.
    There are many Civil laws regarding the landlord / tenant relationship. Some protect the landlord, some protect the tenant.
    There is a proper and legal manner by which to evict a tenant. The best advice that can be given is that you, as landlord, should acquire the services of lawyer to guide you through the proper process of eviction. If you are a rental property owner, at many levels, it would be in your best interest to have a working relationship with a reputable lawyer.
    Realize that you, as landlord, without going through the formal and legal eviction process,
    ·Change the locks on the doors
    ·Take front doors off hinges
    ·Throw the "renters" property out on the street.
    ·Cut off utilities
    This is not to say that the Court does not recognize the plight of the landlord. The Court realizes that the rented property is YOUR PROPERTY. And the Court agrees that you are very much entitled to proper and timely payment for the use of your property.
    On that note, Do not hesitate to initiate the eviction process. There are specific amounts of time that are given to the renter in order to find another place to live. Therefore, your timely action will only help you in the long run.
    If the renter damages your property intentionally due to your serving an eviction notice on them, realize that you can sue them in civil court for monetary reimbursement, and depending on the damage, take out criminal charges.
    Again, get a good lawyer and start the eviction process immediately.



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