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For the first time, the public will have access to records held by the administrative arm of Kentucky’s courts system, though there are several exceptions to the new policy.

The state’s judicial branch had for years refused to adhere to the state’s open records law, saying that the legislature couldn’t write laws that govern them because of the separation of powers principle.

Kentucky's attorney general is asking a court to deny Western Kentucky University’s request for a stay in its lawsuit against the campus newspaper. 

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald after the school denied the newspaper's open records request for documents related to sexual misconduct investigations involving university employees.  The university maintains the records are not subject to disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

WKU is asking for a stay until a similar case is resolved involving the University of Kentucky and its student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel.

WKU

An attorney representing Western Kentucky University’s student newspaper thinks an open records lawsuit could take several months to resolve.

The comments from Mike Abate come after a hearing related to the lawsuit scheduled for Monday was canceled.

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky student newspaper to prevent the release of documents related to potential sexual harassment allegations made against university employees.

The hearing was canceled after WKU agreed to a motion allowing the state Attorney General’s office to intervene on the side of the newspapers. Abate says it’s a key development.

Attorney General: WKU Open Records Denials Were Illegal

Feb 2, 2017
WKU

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has found that Western Kentucky University officials acted illegally by turning down open records requests from two student newspaper representatives.

The Daily News of Bowling Green reports that Beshear concluded in a Jan. 26 ruling that WKU's decisions to turn down open records requests from Matthew Smith of the Kentucky Kernel and Nicole Ares of the College Heights Herald violated the state's open records statute.

Both students last fall sought access to records related to sexual misconduct investigations.

The attorney general wrote that Smith and Ares must be allowed access to the disputed records, with the exception of personal identifiers of the complaintant and witnesses.

Glasgow Newspaper Wins Fight for Jail Report

Feb 8, 2013
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A newspaper in southern Kentucky has won its fight for records of a jail investigation.

The Glasgow Daily Times reports that an agreed order of dismissal was filed Thursday in Barren Circuit Court in a case that began when the newspaper filed an open records request with Barren Fiscal Court almost nine months ago.

The court order states the county must hand over an unredacted copy of the report immediately. The report was produced by a private investigator for the Fiscal Court at a cost of $3,500.

County officials said they originally denied the request because they didn't have physical possession of the report, but the newspaper argued officials intentionally voted not to take possession so the report wouldn't be public record.

The Kentucky attorney general's office has ruled in favor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in the newspaper's attempt to see documents from Eastern Kentucky University about the departure this year of the school's arts center director.

An open records dispute between city officials in Owensboro and the town's newspaper is headed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Messenger-Inquirer reports that city commissioners voted Tuesday night to appeal a circuit judge's opinion that the city must release two internal investigations it opened last year against former police spokeswoman Marian Cosgrove.

Barren County officials are appealing a judge's order to release an investigative report on the local jail to The Glasgow Daily Times. The newspaper, meanwhile, has asked a judge to hold county officials in contempt for not releasing the document.

A judge is expected to decide soon whether all notes and recordings taken during an investigation into the Barren County Detention Center are public records and if any of the files will be edited before release.