2:20pm

Wed December 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Judge Plans to Release Guidance for Children

A circuit judge plans to release new guidance on what information the state can withhold when it releases files on children who died or nearly died as a result of abuse or neglect. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said Wednesday that it seemed almost certain that rules the state had proposed to use would result in information being withheld that should be public under the law. Shepherd's ruling comes after the Lexington Herald-Leader and The (Louisville) Courier-Journal filed complaints against the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Shepherd also ordered the cabinet to give him unaltered copies of the internal reviews of fatalities and near-deaths by the end of Thursday. Shepherd will review those and decide whether the newspapers should get additional information that the cabinet initially withheld from them.