NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
October 25, 1994
In re: David E. Blank/University of Louisville
OPEN RECORDS DECISION
This appeal originated in a request for records submitted by Dr. David E. Blank to the University of Louisville on September 5, 1994. Dr. Blank requested access to documents containing the home addresses of five persons identified as "retired UL defendants." Two of those individuals are apparently members of the U of L Board of Trustees.
On behalf of the University, Dr. William J. Morison responded to Dr. Blank's request, advising him as follows:
With respect to the matter of current addresses of University employees, the only employee address information the University is required to release under the statute is the person's University mailing address. To furnish an employee's or former employee's home address, we believe, would be, in the words of the statute, 'a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' (KRS 61.878(1)(a)).
Citing OAG 92-59, Dr. Morison noted that the Attorney General "has consistently taken this position."
We are asked to determine if the University of Louisville properly denied Dr. Blank's open records request. For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the University's response was consistent with the Open Records Act.
As Dr. Morison correctly notes, this Office has long recognized that the home addresses of public employees, and by extension, former public employees, are excluded from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Open Records Act by operation of KRS 61.878(1)(a). That exception authorizes the nondisclosure of:
Public records containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwar- ranted invasion of personal privacy.
In an early open records opinion, this Office recognized:
The public is entitled to know the name, position, work station and salary of state employees. These are matters in which the public has an interest since state employees are carrying on the public's business at public expense. However, a state employee is entitled to privacy as to his personal life, including his home address.
OAG 76-717, p. 2. See also, OAG 79-275; OAG 82-506; OAG 84-51; OAG 87-37; OAG 89-90; OAG 90-19; OAG 92-59. Thus, it is a well-established principle in open records law that "[w]hile the public has a right to know about that which is related to the government employee's public and work related activities, his home address normally would be unrelated to his official job activities." OAG 87-37, p. 4.
We decline to comment on Dr. Blank's assertion that his request was improperly denied although made pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 4 and 84, and his allegation of cover-up. These issues are not properly cognizable under the Open Records Act. Our review is limited to the issue of whether the University of Louisville violated the provisions of KRS 61.870 to 61.884 in denying Dr. Blank's request. In our view, the University's actions were entirely consistent with the Act.
Dr. Blank may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court. Pursuant to KRS 61.880(3), the Attorney General must be notified of any action
in circuit court, but may not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceedings.
Amye B. Majors
Assistant Attorney General
Dr. William J. Morison
University Archives & Records Center
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
Dr. David E. Blank, Ph.D.
2119 Baringer Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40204