|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
June 23, 1999
Ms. Michelle M. Michaelson
Dear Ms. Michaelson:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 125281.
The City of Dallas Police Department (the "department") received a request for information, but you contend the requested records are protected from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. You have informed this office that the department received the request on March 19, 1999.(1) Section 552.301 of the Government Code requires a governmental body to submit a request for a decision to this office within ten business days after the governmental body's receipt of the request for information. Your request was not made timely within ten business days after the department's receipt of the request for records. When a request for an open records decision is not made within the time period prescribed by section 552.301, the requested information is presumed to be public. See Gov't Code § 552.302. This presumption of openness can only be overcome by a compelling demonstration that the information should not be made public. See Open Records Decision No. 150 (1977) (presumption of openness overcome by a showing that the information is made confidential by another source of law or affects third party interests). As you have not provided any such compelling reasons as to why the information at issue should not be released, the documents at issue are presumed public and must be released.(2)
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.
Ruth H. Soucy
Ref: ID# 125281
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Roberto Garza
1. Because you did not submit a copy of the request letter to this office, we rely upon your representation as to when the request was received. We note that your failure to submit the request letter also results in the presumption the information is public. Gov't Code §§ 552.301(b)(2), .303.
2. Generally, sections 552.103, 552.108, and 552.111 do not provide a compelling demonstration to overcome the presumption of openness. See Open Records Decision Nos. 586 (1991), 551 (1990), 473 (1987), 470 (1987).
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