November 1, 1993





IN RE: Thomas Hensley/Laurel County Circuit Court Clerk's






This matter comes to the Attorney General as an apparent appeal by Thomas Hensley as a result of his attempts to obtain copies of documents from the Laurel County Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Although the document received by this office has a Laurel County Circuit Court case number on it, Mr. Hensley requests the Attorney General to investigate the matter and find that the Laurel Circuit Court Clerk's Office has violated the terms and provisions of the Open Records Act (KRS 61.870 to KRS 61.884).


Evidently a request was made by Mr. Hensley to the Circuit Court Clerk's Office for copies of various records and the clerk's office did not or could not furnish the items requested.


This office has consistently concluded that records of the court system are not governed by the terms and provisions of the Open Records Act. In Ex Parte Farley, 570 S.W.2d 617, 624 (1978), the Kentucky Supreme Court said "that the custody and control of the records generated by the courts in the course of their work are inseparable from the judicial function itself, and are not subject to statutory regulation." See also York v. Commonwealth, Ky.App., 815 S.W.2d 415 (1991); KRS 26A.200 and KRS 26A.220; and OAG 91-45, OAG 91-193, and 93-ORD-122.


We, therefore, conclude that the Laurel County Circuit Court Clerk's Office did not violate the terms and provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act as KRS 61.870









through KRS 61.884 are not applicable to the records of the court system. Such records are subject to the control and direction of the Kentucky Supreme Court.


Mr. Hensley may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. Pursuant to KRS 61.880(3), the Attorney General should be notified of any action filed in the circuit court, but he shall not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceedings.







Thomas R. Emerson

Assistant Attorney General

(502) 564-7600






Copies of this decision

have been mailed to:


Thomas Hensley #113153

Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex

P.O. Box 636

West Liberty, Kentucky 41472


Laurel County Circuit

Court Clerk's Office


London, Kentucky 40741