February 25, 1994
Hon. Raymond Houp
Anderson County Jailer
197 E. Court Street
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky 40342
Dear Mr. Houp:
In your letter to this office dated January 14, 1994, you raise two questions:
1. May the Anderson County Jailer or his deputies transport juvenile and mental patients to the Franklin County Regional Jail? Your jail is a holdover jail.
2. Is the sheriff's office responsible for transportation of prisoners to circuit court?
To answer your questions, we need to consider the following statutes.
KRS 71.020 states as follows:
Each jailer shall have the custody, rule and charge of the jail in his county and of all persons in the jail and shall keep the same himself or by his deputy or deputies. Where the jail admits the residence of the same therein he or one!(1) of his deputies may reside in the jail.
KRS 71.040 states as follows:
At the time of booking, the jailer shall receive and keep in the jail all persons who are lawfully committed thereto, until they are lawfully discharged, unless the person is in need of emergency medical attention, in which case the arresting officer shall obtain medical attention for the person prior to delivery to the jail. The jailer shall treat them humanely and furnish them with proper food and lodging during their confinement. He shall deliver those who die in jail to their friends, if requested, or have them decently buried at the expense of the county.
KRS 441.510(3) states as follows:
(3) In any county where there is no jail or the county operates a holdover jail, the fiscal court shall adopt a transportation plan which establishes the party responsible for transporting prisoners as necessary.
(a) The fiscal court may require the jailer to serve as transportation officer to be responsible for transporting prisoners as necessary; or
(b) The fiscal court may require the sheriff to serve as transportation officer to be responsible for transporting prisoners as necessary; or
(c) The fiscal court may adopt any reasonable transportation plan so long as the party responsible for transporting prisoners is specified.
As to your first question, it is up to the Anderson Fiscal Court to adopt a transportation plan and designate either the jailer or sheriff as transportation officer. If Anderson Fiscal Court should designate the jailer as transportation officer, the Anderson Jailer should transport the juveniles and mental patients to the Franklin County Regional Jail. KRS 441.510(3)(c) is a very flexible statutory provision and allows the fiscal court great leeway when it comes to counties such as yours which operate a holdover jail.
In a telephone conversation, you stated that the Anderson Fiscal Court has not adopted any transportation plan whatsoever pursuant to KRS 441.510(3). In such a case we fall back on KRS 441.505(1) which states that the fiscal court must provide for the transportation of prisoners from the jail budget. The sheriff has the responsibility for transporting prisoners in that case. OAG 84-330.
As to your second question, once again it is up to the fiscal court to adopt a transportation plan. The simplest procedure would appear to be to designate either the jailer or sheriff to be responsible for transporting prisoners in all cases. This is no there would not be the inevitable conflicts which would arise when the sheriff or jailer would transport prisoners depending upon the situation. The statute was obviously designed to be very flexible so that the fiscal court could avoid these types of conflicts with a reasonable transportation plan. KRS 441.510(3)(c).
Joseph R. Johnson
Assistant Attorney General