|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 11, 1999
Ms. Portia Poindexter
Dear Ms. Poindexter:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128241.
The Fort Bend County Court at Law Number Two (the "court") received a request for certain motions and orders. You claim that the court is not subject to the Public Information Act under section 552.003 and that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. We have considered your arguments and reviewed the submitted information.
It appears that the requestor is seeking records of the judiciary. The Public Information Act does not apply to records of the judiciary. See Gov't Code § 552.003(1)(B). The Public Information Act neither authorizes information held by the judiciary to be withheld nor requires it to be disclosed. Attorney General Opinion DM-166; Open Records Decision No. 25 (1974). Accordingly, the Public Information Act does not require you to provide the requestor with the information that he has requested.(1)
Because section 552.003 of the Government Code is dispositive, we need not address your section 552.101 claim. If you have any questions about this letter, please contact our office.
Sue M. Lee
encl: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. P.M. Clinton
1. We note, however, that Texas courts have recognized a common-law right of the public to copy and inspect records of the judiciary. See Davenport v. Garcia, 834 S.W.2d 4, 24 (Tex. 1992); Attorney General Opinion DM-166 (1992) (historical perspective of right of public access to records of judiciary); Open Records Decision No. 618 (1993). Also, records held by county clerks are open to public inspection pursuant to other statutory law. Local Gov't Code § 191.006.
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