|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
January 26, 1999
Captain Robert Taylor
Dear Captain Taylor:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 122099.
The Amarillo Police Department (the "department") received a request for specified police reports pertaining to allegations of sexual abuse of a child. You contend that the requested information must be withheld in its entirety pursuant to section 261.201 of the Family Code in conjunction with section 552.101 of the Government Code.
Section 552.101 of the Government Code protects "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." (Emphasis added.)
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. [Emphasis added.]
You have not informed this office of any rules the department has adopted that would permit access to the requested records. Because the information at issue pertains to investigations of the sexual abuse of a child, this office concludes that the department must withhold the requested records in their entirety pursuant to section 261.201 of the Family Code. But see Fam. Code § 261.201(b) (provision for court ordered access), (f) (limited right of access to records held by Department of Protective and Regulatory Services).
Since we have resolved this request under section 552.101 in conjunction with Family Code 261.201, we need not address your claim 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,
David Van Brunt Price
Ref: ID# 122099
Enclosures: Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Annette G. Brehm
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US