|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
June 23, 1999
Ms. Tenley A. Aldredge
Dear Mr. Aldredge:
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# 126805.
Travis County received a request that sought information regarding named individuals. You assert that records responsive to the request are protected under section 552.101, 552.108, and 552.130 of the Government Code. Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Criminal history information may be withheld from required public disclosure under common-law privacy if it meets the criteria articulated for section 552.101 of the Public Information Act by the Texas Supreme Court in Industrial Found. v. Texas Indus. Accident Bd., 540 S.W.2d 668, 685 (Tex. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 931 (1977). See also Gov't Code 411.084 (prohibiting release of criminal history information obtained from Department of Public Safety).
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. As this appears to be a request for the compiled offense reports of the named individuals, we agree that the requested information is confidential under section 552.101 and must be withheld from disclosure.
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# 124484
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Carol Shank
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US