|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 2, 1999
Chief Don Hatcher
Dear Chief Hatcher:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 126308.
The Leander Police Department (the "department") received a request for the "police report of [a] 911 call to 501 Bentwood Dr. on 4/24/99." You have submitted a copy of the report to this office for review. You contend that the incident report is excepted from disclosure pursuant to section 552.108 of the Government Code.
After a review of the requested information, we conclude that it is made confidential by section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 261.201 of the Family Code. Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Section 261.201(a) of the Family Code provides:
The following information is confidential, is not subject to public release under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code and applicable federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency:
(1) a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect [of a child] made under this chapter and the identity of the person making the report; and
(2) except as otherwise provided in this section, the files, reports, records, communications, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.
We are not aware of any rules promulgated by the department which permit the dissemination of this type of information. Accordingly, the requested information is made confidential by section 261.201 of the Family Code and must be withheld from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code.(1) See Open Records Decision No. 440 (1986) (applying former Fam. Code § 34.08).
As section 261.201 of the Family Code is dispositive, we need not consider your section 552.108 claim. We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published pen 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 any questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
1. We note that if the investigation has been referred to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services ("DPRS"), a parent who is a requestor may be entitled to access to DPRS's records. Fam. Code § 261.201(f)
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