|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
June 23, 1999
Mr. Ronald J. Neiman
Dear Mr. Neiman:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 125165.
The Lewisville Police Department (the "department") received a request for all incident reports involving two named individuals. The requestor in this situation essentially seeks a compilation of the criminal history record information ("CHRI") for these two named individuals. CHRI must be withheld from required public disclosure under common-law privacy if it meets the criteria articulated for section 552.101 of the Government Code. Section 552.101 excepts "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Section 552.101 encompasses the doctrines of common-law and constitutional privacy. Common-law privacy protects information 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, 685 (Tex. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 931 (1977).
In United States Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989), the United States Supreme Court concluded that where an individual's CHRI is compiled or summarized by a governmental entity, the information takes on a character that implicates an individual's right of privacy in a manner that the same individual records in an uncompiled state do not. Based on Reporters Committee, this office has concluded that a request for all law enforcement records of a specified individual implicates the individual's common-law privacy rights, and the responsive information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101. The information requested is thus protected from disclosure.
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# 125165
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Rebecca E. Hamilton
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US