December 30, 1996

In re: Jeff Funk/Kentucky State Penitentiary

Open Records Decision

This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the Kentucky State Penitentiary's (KSP) denial of Mr. Jeff Funk's open records requests for copies of all records in his institutional file which were not exempt from disclosure.

In his first request, dated November 13, 1996, Mr. Funk requested to see his institutional file in its entirety. Ms. L. J. Conger, Custodian of Records, KSP, by letter dated November 14, 1996, denied his request. Relying on KRS 61.872 (2), Ms. Conger advised Mr. Funk that he needed to describe specifically the records he was seeking to inspect. In her response, she states in part:

Further clarification and investigation into the Attorney General's ruling regarding inmates reviewing files have determined inmates must be specific as to which records they wish to review. General Counsel has advised this office that inmates will no longer be allowed to review their institutional files in its entirety. Specific records and dates are required for this office to appropriately determine if such a request is within the guidelines of the Open Records Law. Therefore, based on this clarification your request to review your file in its entirety is being denied. You may resubmit your request detailing specific information contained in the institutional file. (Emphasis in the original.)

By letter dated November 15, 1996, Mr. Funk resubmitted his request. He requested to inspect “all non-exempt documents and paperwork in my institutional file covering the time period from Feb. 8, 1995 to Nov. 15, 1996.” In addition, he requested that if further clarification as to the documents requested was still required, then he asked that the title and description of all records contained in his file be provided to him.

By letter dated November 19, 1996, Ms. Conger, in denying his second request, reiterated her original response that if he would specifically describe the non-exempt records he wished to inspect, they would be made available for his review. She further advised him that the KSP was not required to either make a list or describe for him the documents contained in his file.

Dispositive of the issue raised in this appeal is OAG 92-56, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated by reference. In that decision, we held that an inmate must identify the specific documents in his institutional file which he wishes to inspect rather than requesting the non-confidential portions of his file. In OAG 92-56, we stated:

If a requester cannot describe the documents he wishes to inspect with sufficient specificity there is no requirement that the public agency conduct a search for such material. OAG 84-342; OAG 89-8.

Moreover, this office has consistently recognized that a public agency is not obligated to compile a list or create a record to satisfy an open records request. 96-ORD- 251.

Accordingly, we conclude that the Kentucky State Penitentiary properly denied Mr. Funk's blanket request to inspect all non-confidential parts of his institutional record and his request to prepare a list or describe for him the documents contained in his file.

A party aggrieved by this decision may appeal it by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. Pursuant to KRS61.880(3), the Attorney General should be notified of any action in circuit court, but should not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceeding.

A. B. Chandler III

Attorney General

James M. Ringo

Assistant Attorney General



Distributed to:

Jeff Funk #118742

Kentucky State Penitentiary

P. O. Box 128

Eddyville KY 42038

L. J. Conger

Records Department

Kentucky State Penitentiary

P. O. Box 128

Eddyville KY 42038