Case Details


CID Authority

Filing State



Kentucky Court of Appeals




ABC Corp. v. Commonwealth ex rel. Conway, 2012 Ky. App. LEXIS 156 (Ky. Ct. App. 2012).


AG authority to issue subpoenas is upheld, even though the subpoena did not recite the reason for its issuance. AG must have a reason for issuring the subpoena.

Case Description

The attorney general of Kentucky issued a CID to National College, a for-profit undergraduate college. The Kentucky Consumer Protection Act (KCPA)provides that the attorney general may issue CIDs either when “the attorney general has reason to believe that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by [KCPA], or when he believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person in fact has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in, any act or practice declared to be unlawful by [KCPA].” National College sued the attorney general, alleging that he had no reason to believe it had violated or was about to violate the KCPA, and that the public interest did not require that he investigate any past or present violation. The trial court held that the attorney general did have authority to issue the CID, and National College appealed. The appellate court affirmed, holding that there was no requirement that the CID recite the reasons for its issuance, and holding “Law-enforcing agencies have a legitimate right to satisfy themselves that corporate behavior is consistent with the law and the public interest.” National College argued that later statutory language required that the information sought must be relevant to the investigation, even if the attorney general is acting under the “public interest” prong of the statute. The court held that “But there must be a suspicion of some wrongdoing or the attorney general would not have a basis to begin an investigation.”