Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

May 1, 2013

Appeal filed in regional jail suit

May 1, 2013 — The Kentucky Jailers Association (KJA) and the elected jailers of Boyd and Carter counties have appealed a judge’s ruling dismissing their lawsuit challenging the legality the two counties forming a regional jail authority.

KJA attorney Jim Deckard also filed a request for an extension of the injunction granted in September in the case. Both motions were filed Friday in Franklin Circuit Court.

The appeal addresses the ruling handed down April 17 by Judge Phillip Shepherd who granted a motion for summary judgment by the defendants in the suit.

In addition to the two fiscal courts, the defendants included the Northeast Regional Jail Authority and the Kentucky Department for Local Government.

Shepherd found the interlocal agreement creating the NJRA was a “valid exercise of the authority” granted to the fiscal courts under state law and that the law “explicitly grants” two or more counties the ability to create a regional jail authority.

As to whether the establishment of the authority would usurp the authority of Boyd Jailer Joe Burchett and Carter Jailer R.W. Boggs, Shepherd said he could find nothing in the state constitution or in any enabling statute “that requires the county jailer to supervise, manage or be in any way involved in running the county jail.”

In the KJA lawsuit, Deckard maintained the NRJA does not meet the state’s statutory definition for a regional jail authority because state law “limits the operation and maintenance of a regional jail to one jail that may be owned and operated by one county to hold prisoners for another county or a single jail owned and operated by two counties.”

Shepherd, however, found there was nothing in state law that prohibits an interlocal authority from operating multiple jails in multiple counties.

The motion for an extension of the injunction will be heard May 6 at 9 a.m.

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