Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

May 31, 2013

NRJA injunction granted

By Leeann Akers - Editor

May 31, 2013 —

 A Franklin Circuit Judge has granted a temporary injunction to the Kentucky Jailers Association in a case concerning the creation of a regional jail alliance between Boyd and Carter counties.

 In an order handed down Friday, Judge Phillip Shepherd said that the “status quo” should remain in effect for 20 days to allow the KJA to file a motion for injunctive relief with the appellate court. Once that motion is filed, the injunction will remain in place until the final ruling is made in that court.

 “The Court grants this order to ensure the Plaintiffs the opportunity to present their claims to an appellate court before the actions of the defendants could render such final judgement ineffectual if they prevail on appeal,” Shepherd said in the motion.

 When the court ruled against the KJA in April, Phillips said that the issues presented by the KJA and the jailers of Boyd and Carter counties were “substantial issues of statutory interpretation.” Friday's motion states that “The case presents important legal issues regarding the power of fiscal courts to alter the duties of a constitutionally elected official

 Boyd and Carter fiscal courts entered into an agreement last spring to operate the jails in the two counties under a single authority headquartered in Catlettsburg, which led to the lawsuit.

 Both parties agreed to the injunction, which barred the two fiscal courts from filing a copy of the interlocal agreement establishing the NRJA with the secretary of state and the county clerks of both counties.

 Proponents of the move, including Boyd Judge-Executive Williams “Bud” Stevens and Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace, both maintain such an arrangement would promote efficiency and help both counties bring their spiraling jail costs under control.

 Opponents, however, argued the move was a political play aimed at stripping power from Boggs and Burchett, both of whom have frequently found themselves at odds with their fiscal courts.

 The interlocal agreement states the NJRA will commence operation when a governing board is appointed by Stevens and Wallace, a budget is prepared and approved by both fiscal courts and an agreement is reached between the NJRA and the counties on the use of respective jails in each county.