This page describes Opinions of the Attorney General (OAGs). If you are interested in open records and open meetings decisions, please visit our Open Records and Open Meetings page.
Opinions by Year
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Opinions of the Attorney General are issued under the authority of KRS 15.025, which states:
15.025 Conditions to furnishing opinions — The Attorney General, when requested in writing, under KRS 15.020, shall furnish such opinions subject to the following conditions:
(1) When questions of law of interest to the Commonwealth are submitted by a state department, agency, board or commission;
(2) When public questions of law are submitted by either house of the Legislature or by any member of the Legislature;
(3) When public questions of law pertaining to local government are submitted in writing by the proper public official of the county or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth;
(4) When, in the discretion of the Attorney General, the question presented is of such public interest that an Attorney General's opinion on the subject is deemed desirable and when provided for by regulation pursuant to the provisions of this section.
The Attorney General provides legal opinions to public officials to assist them in the performance of their duties. When special circumstances exist, the Attorney General may provide opinions to members of the general public on issues of significant public interest. Opinions of the Attorney General (OAGs) do not have the force of law, but they are persuasive and public officials are expected to follow them. Formal opinions are thoroughly reviewed and represent the official position of the Office of the Attorney General.OAGs may be cited in all Kentucky courts. The citation form for an OAG in the form issued by the Attorney General is: OAG 94-25. If you are citing an OAG from the version published by Banks-Baldwin, the citation form is: Opinions of the Attorney General of Kentucky OAG 94-25 at 2-65 (Banks-Baldwin 1994). In addition to OAGs (often called formal opinions), the Attorney General sometimes issues letters to public officials providing legal advice or information. These miscellaneous advice letters are not published and do not receive the same detailed review as OAGs. They are not considered legal authority and should not be cited.
Conflicts of interest and incompatible offices
The Office of the Attorney General has prepared a booklet summarizing the important concepts pertaining to incompatible offices and conflicts of interest. Wherever possible, this booklet will be sent to persons with questions in this area in lieu of an opinion. Download the booklet here: Conflicts of Interest (84k PDF).
Published and unpublished opinions
Since 1960, the official publisher of opinions has been Banks-Baldwin. Only opinions designated by the Attorney General as "published" were printed in the Banks-Baldwin volumes. However, annotations to all opinions were given in the Kentucky Revised Statutes published by West Publishing and Michie. Therefore many opinions annotated in the KRS publications cannot be found in the official Banks-Baldwin volumes.Today the Attorney General observes no distinction between published and unpublished opinions. All formal opinions are given an OAG number and sent to Banks-Baldwin for publication. The Attorney General cites both published and unpublished opinions and does not consider unpublished opinions less authoritative than published opinions.
How to get a copy of an existing opinion
If you would like a copy of an opinion, the Attorney General will provide a copy of any opinion free of charge. The opinion will be mailed to you. (Please note that we have posted most OAGs from 1992 to the present). To request a copy of an opinion, please submit your request in writing to:
Attn: Debbie Mullins
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 118
Frankfort, KY 40601
You must provide the OAG number of the opinion (e.g., for opinion #20 from 1994 the number is "OAG-94-20"). We cannot do research to find opinions for you. For example, a request for "all opinions on the state lottery" cannot be honored.
How to request a new opinion
Before you request an opinion, please attempt to answer the question by consulting readily available legal resources. The Attorney General expects that any attorney requesting an opinion has conducted legal research and will include that research with the opinion request. Requests for new opinions must be submitted in writing to:
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 118
Frankfort, KY 40601
Is a particular opinion still current?
Frequently we are asked whether a particular opinion, usually an older opinion, still represents the views of the Attorney General. There are many factors, such as subsequent legislation and court decisions, that can affect the statements of law made in an opinion. To determine whether an opinion is still correct requires in most cases a complete re-examination of the questions addressed in the opinion. Because we cannot possibly maintain a constant review of all the issues in all the Attorney General opinions, we cannot answers questions about the continuing validity of opinions. We strive in our opinions to explain the legal issues and the law as it existed when the opinion was written so that a person reading the opinion can on his own update the legal research described in the opinion.