|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
March 24, 1999
Mr. James R. Schnurr
Dear Mr. Schnurr:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 123019.
The Dallas Police Department (the"department") received a request for all criminal records of three named individuals. You have supplied the responsive information, contending that it is excepted from disclosure by section 552.101 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim 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." 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). We conclude that the responsive information is confidential and may not be disclosed.
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.
Michael J. Burns
Ref:: ID# 123019
Enclosures: Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Brooke Gilliam
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US