Definition of Public Record

A public record is defined as including, “all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, discs, diskettes, recordings, software, or other documentation regardless of physical form or characteristics, which are prepared, owned, used, in the possession of or retained by a public agency.” 1

Exemptions to Public Records

There are 42 exemptions. See KY Rev Stat § 61.878 (2021) for the complete list.

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

3 Days. 2

Information on Fees

An agency cannot charge for searching, only for copying for noncommercial requests. For noncommercial, agencies can charge at actual cost for their time copying records. Commercial requests can have both search and copying charged for and this can be done at “reasonable” charge. The case Friend v. Rees, 696 S.W.2d 325 (Ky. Ct. App.,1985) found that 10 cents was a reasonable fee. 3

Enforcement Mechanisms

There are no penalties for a noncompliant agency, although if the requester wins in court attorneys fees can be covered and at the discretion of the court they may be awarded $25 per day the agency was in violation of the act. 4

Attorney Fees

Yes, if you prevail in your case. 5

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

Goldwater Institute