KENTUCKY DETENTION CENTERS MUST MAINTAIN PUBLIC RECORDS

Eplion v. Burchett (Ky. App., 2012) NO. 2009-CA-001741-MR February 16, 2012

The OAG determined that the detention center had committed a number of procedural and substantive violations of the Act and that the above response evinced a misunderstanding of the obligations of the agency and its officials.

In particular, the OAG concluded the detention center had failed to respond to Eplion’s request in a timely manner, KRS 61.880(1); had failed to provide him with a detailed explanation of why officials were unable to render a decision regarding production of the records within the three-day period, KRS 61.872(5); had failed to set a date certain when Eplion would be able to review the records, KRS 61.872(5); and had failed to maintain the records as required by KRS 171.680(1) and KRS 64.830.

The OAG informed the officials that the records requested belonged not to the past or present jailers as individuals, but to the agency, and that they had an obligation to maintain the records amassed by their predecessors. 07-ORD-020, 2007 WL 530212 (Ky.A.G.), p. 6 (citing 76 C.J.S. Records §2 (“[a] written memorial of a transaction in a public office, when made by a public officer, becomes a public record belonging to the office, and not his private property)).

As a result of the OAG’s order, detention center officials were required to complete training with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives regarding their duties of recordkeeping and disclosure under the Act.

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