For the most part, the number of cases filed in Fayette County Circuit Court last year was pretty much like that of 2006. There was one significant exception, however.
According to records in the office of Circuit Clerk Marsha Wodtka, 7,162 traffic tickets were filed in that office. Thats a whopping 45 percent above the 2006 total of 4,931.
States Attorney Stephen Friedel is unsure why the number of tickets rose so dramatically in the past year, but believes that a lot of it may be due to an increased presence by the state police, including a number of details held to seek out motorists who are not complying with the states seat belt law.
The 2007 traffic ticket total is also much higher than the totals from 2005, 4,114; and 2004, 4,118.
Wodtkas office also saw a sizeable increase in the number of divorces filed in 2007. The total from the past year was 160, up 34.45 percent from 2006, when 119 divorces were filed. The totals from 2005 and 2004 were 86 and 109, respectively.
Friedels office filed 192 felony cases in 2007. That represents a 10.3 percent increase over the 2006 total, 174. In 2005, 171 felony cases were initiated, and the 2004 total was 160.
Misdemeanors were down by almost 16 percent, from 319 in 2006 to 302 this past year. Both totals are higher than the 2005 and 2004 figures, 264 and 274, respectively.
The number of tickets issued for driving under the influence was also down, a decrease from 143 in 2006 to 131 in 2007 (about 8 percent). The 2005 and 2004 figures were 192 and 109, respectively.
Juvenile offenses were up by 4 percent, from 70 in 2006 to 73 last year. The 2005 total was 61, and in 2004, 103 juvenile petitions were filed.