|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
April 30, 1999
Ms. Cary L. Bovey
Dear Ms. Bovey:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Open Records Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124863.
You assert that the requested information is excepted from disclosure based on section 552.108 of the Government Code.(1) Section 552.108(a)(2) excepts from disclosure information concerning an investigation that concluded in a result other than conviction or deferred adjudication. Based on the information you provided, we understand you to assert that the requested information pertains to a case that concluded in a result other than conviction or deferred adjudication. Therefore, we agree that section 552.108(a)(2) is applicable.(2)
However section 552.108 is inapplicable to basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime. Gov't Code § 552.108(c). We believe such basic information refers to the information held to be public in Houston Chronicle Publishing Co. v. City of Houston, 531 S.W.2d 177 (Tex. Civ. App. --Houston [14th Dist.] 1975), writ ref'd n.r.e. per curiam, 536 S.W.2d 559 (Tex. 1976). Thus, with the exception of the basic front page offense and arrest information, you may withhold the requested information from disclosure based on section 552.108(a)(2).(3) We note that you have the discretion to release all or part of the remaining information that is not otherwise confidential by law. Gov't Code § 552.007.
We are resolving this matter with this 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 may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
Ruth H. Soucy
Ref.: ID# 124863
Encl: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Robert Haslam
1. Information filed with a court is generally a matter of public record and may not be withheld from disclosure. Star-Telegram, Inc. v. Walker, 834 S.W.2d 54 (Tex. 1992).
2. We note that the submitted documents include an autopsy report. Autopsy reports prepared by a medical examiner are expressly made public by the Code of Criminal Procedure. Code Crim. Proc. art. 49.25, § 11. Therefore, you must release the autopsy report.
3. Generally, basic information may not be withheld from public disclosure under section 552.103. Open Records Decision No. 362 (1983).
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