|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
February 4, 1999
Mr. Saul Pedregon
Dear Mr. Pedregon:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 122112.
The Dallas Police Department (the "department") received a request for a specified offense incident report referenced by service number 0339951-U, and all arrest reports on a particular person. You have released the offense report but you contend that the remainder of the requested information must be withheld pursuant to section 552.101 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claimed and have reviewed the documents at issue.
Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Information must be withheld from required public disclosure under common-law privacy if 1) the information contains highly intimate or embarrassing facts the publication of which would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person, and (2) the information is not of legitimate concern to the public. Industrial Found. v. Texas Indus. Accident Bd., 540 S.W.2d 668 (Tex. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 931 (1977).
Where an individual's criminal history information has been compiled by a governmental entity, the information takes on a character that implicates the individual's right to privacy. See United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989) (concluding that federal regulations which limit access to criminal history record information that states obtain from the federal government or other states recognize privacy interest in such information). Similarly, open records decisions issued by this office acknowledge this privacy interest. See Open Records Decision Nos. 616 (1993), 565 (1990). In this instance, the requestor asks for all information concerning a certain person. Thus, we believe that the individual's right to privacy has been implicated. We conclude that the department must withhold the requested records pursuant to section 552.101.
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# 122112
Enclosures: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Eugene Ned
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US