April 21, 1993




IN RE: Anna R. Mason/Kentucky Bar Association




This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the actions of the Kentucky Bar Association relative to Ms. Anna R. Mason's request to inspect a record in the Bar Association's custody. That record is identified as the letter dismissing Ms. Mason's complaint against her attorney. Ms. Mason explains that she received a letter from Mr. Bruce K. Davis, Executive Director of the Bar Association, notifying her that her complaint had been dismissed. She subsequently attempted to obtain a copy of the "dismissal" from Mr. Ray Clooney, Bar Counsel, but was unsuccessful in her efforts.


We are asked to determine if the Kentucky Bar Association violated the Open Records Act by failing to release a copy of the letter dismissing Ms. Mason's complaint. Based on the reasoning of OAG 91-47, and the authorities cited therein, we conclude that the Bar Association is not a public agency for purposes of the Open Records Act, and therefore cannot be said to have violated the Act by failing to release the letter of dismissal.


In OAG 91-47, a copy of which is enclosed, this Office held that the Kentucky Bar Association exists solely by virtue of the rules of the Kentucky Supreme Court expressly authorized by Section 116 of the state Constitution, and is accountable to the Court only. OAG 91-47, p. 2-3, citing Ex parte Auditor of Public Accounts, Ky., 609 S.W.2d 682, 686 (1980). Records

maintained by agencies of the Court, including the Kentucky Bar Association, enjoy a special status, and are placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court. Such records are not subject to statutory regulation. Ex parte Farley, Ky., 570 S.W.2d 617, 624 (1978). Because the Bar Association is not a public agency within the meaning of KRS 61.870(1), and its records are placed under the jurisdiction of the Court, it cannot be said to have violated the Open Records Act by failing to release a copy of the letter of dismissal sent to Ms. Mason's former attorney.


Ms. Anna R. Mason may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882.














Distributed to:


Hon. Bruce K. Davis

Executive Director

Kentucky Bar Association

Kentucky Bar Center

514 W. Main Street

Frankfort, KY 40601


Ms. Anna R. Mason

203 Franklin Hill Drive

P. O. Box 4315

Adairville, KY 42202