Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Ky.gov An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Scales of Justice

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Mine Safety Review Commission (MSRC) involved in mine safety?

The Mine Safety Review Commission is an administrative agency whose purpose is to conduct hearings concerning mine safety laws.  Commission members have a judicial function established by state law to hear the charges and defenses to allegations of mine safety laws. MSRC members issue orders, conduct formal hearings and make final determinations in cases involving violations of Kentucky mine safety laws.

Mine safety allegations are made by the Kentucky Division of Mine Safety (DMS) in a formal document called a complaint.  The DMS prosecutes cases as an independent agency separate and distinct from the MSRC.

I have knowledge of mine safety violations.  How can I file a complaint?

The general counsel of the Office of Legal Services, Natural Resources Legal Division representing the DMS, or one of his staff attorneys, files complaints for the commission's review.  If you believe you have knowledge of the violation of mine safety laws, you may contact one of the DMS district offices or contact the general counsel:

John G. Horne II, General Counsel
Office of General Counsel
300 Sower Blvd. 3rd Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Office phone: 502-564-2356
Fax: 502-564-7484

IMPORTANT: So that fair and impartial determinations regarding alleged violations can be made, the members of the commission must respectfully request that you do not contact commission members to discuss the details of ANY case.

I've been served with a complaint by DMS.  Do I have to hire an attorney?

No, there is no requirement that you hire an attorney. You may choose to hire an attorney to represent you, or you may appear “pro se,” that is without counsel. The U.S. Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution guarantee that you will have a fair and impartial hearing. All defendants will be given the opportunity to be heard in a fair and impartial hearing and will be treated at all times with respect.

How can I settle my case?

The DMS prosecutes all cases before the MSRC. Contact the general counsel for DMS if you would like to discuss a possible settlement. Please do not contact the members of the commission to discuss settlement terms.

If I am found guilty, what is the range of penalties?

The range of penalties is set out in the Kentucky Revised Statutes and Kentucky Administrative Regulations. Links to those laws and regulations can be found here.  Typical penalties ordered by the MSRC may place a miner's license or the miner's certification on probation, or it may suspend or revoke a license for a period of time commensurate with the violation(s).

How can I find out if the commission has heard other cases like mine? Can I see the results of other cases?

Yes, many of the recent cases are available on the Final Rulings Web page. When a case is settled or a hearing held, a final order is issued. Once the time for an appeal of a final order has run, the commission will release it to the public pursuant to the Kentucky open records law.

If you would like the MSRC to send you a copy of a final order, you may write or fax a request to the MSRC stating the type of information you need. The commission has three business days to respond to your request and will charge a nominal fee of 15 cents per page. Send your open records requests in writing to:

John G. Horne II, General Counsel
Office of General Counsel
300 Sower Blvd. 3rd Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Office phone: 502-564-2356
Fax: 502-564-7484