May 3, 1994





IN RE: Lonnie Payne/Madison County Circuit Court

Clerk's Office






This matter comes to the Attorney General as an apparent appeal by Lonnie Payne relative to his attempts to obtain copies of various documents from the Madison County Circuit Court Clerk's Office.


A request was made by Mr. Payne to the Circuit Court Clerk's Office for copies of specific documents 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, Ky., 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 regulation." See also York v. Commonwealth, Ky.App., 815 S.W.2d 415 (1991); KRS 26A.200 and KRS 26A.220; and OAG 91-193, 93-ORD-122, 93-ORD-128, and 94-ORD-2.


We, therefore, conclude that the Madison 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. Payne 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:


Lonnie Payne #105050

Kentucky State Reformatory

3001 West Highway 146

LaGrange, Kentucky 40032


Madison County Circuit

Court Clerk's Office

Madison County Courthouse

Richmond, Kentucky 40475