|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
January 21, 1999
Ms. E. Cary Grace
Dear Ms. Grace:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 121708.
The City of Houston (the "city") received a request for HPD Offense Report No. 0911432996F. You submit the requested information to this office and contend that it is exempt from disclosure pursuant to sections 552.101 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.
After reviewing the submitted information, we conclude that the entire police report is confidential under section 552.101, which excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision."
Section 261.201(a) of the Family Code provides:
The following information is confidential, is not subject to public release under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code and applicable federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency:
(1) a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect [of a child] made under this chapter and the identity of the person making the report; and
(2) except as otherwise provided in this section, the files, reports, records, communications, audiotapes, videotapes, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.
The information at issue resulted from an investigation of the assault of a child. We are not aware of any rules promulgated by the city which permit the dissemination of information about the assault of children. Accordingly, the information submitted is made confidential in its entirety by section 261.201 of the Family Code and must be withheld from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. See Open Records Decision No. 440 (1986) (applying former Fam. Code § 34.08).(1)
Since we have ruled that the information must not be disclosed under section 261.201 of the Family Code, we need not addressed the contention that the information is exempt from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code.
We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
Yours very truly,
Emilie F. Stewart
Ref: ID# 121708
Enclosures: Submitted documents
1. Section 700.103 of title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code provides:
A child protective services client may review all information in the client's case record except the identity of the complainant, information exempted from disclosure under the Open Records Act, and information exempted under other state laws.
40 T.A.C. § 700.103. Although we do not address here whether the requestor is a client for purposes of the above-quoted regulation, we do note that the requestor might be entitled to review the information in the possession of DPRS under the regulation.
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US