|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 18, 1999
Ms Stephanie Harris
Dear Ms. Harris:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 126712.
The Paris Police Department (the "department") received a request for police records that you contend are confidential under section 58.007 of the Family Code in conjunction with section 552.101 of the Government Code. Section 552.101 of the Government Code protects from disclosure information that is confidential by law. Family Code section 58.007(c) reads, in part, as follows:
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), law enforcement records and files concerning a child may not be disclosed to the public and shall be:
(1) kept separate from adult files and records, and
(2) maintained on a local basis only and not sent to a central state or federal depository, except as provided by Subchapter B.
We agree that section 58.007(c) of the Family, in conjunction with section 552.101 of the Government Code, makes the records at issue confidential.
We also note that if there are records concerning the requestor's child held by the juvenile court, court clerk, juvenile probation department, or prosecuting attorney, section 58.007(b) provides that the juvenile court can allow access to such records when petitioned by a person "having a legitimate interest in the proceeding or the work of the court." We also note that the department received a notice from the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (the "DPRS"). If there are records concerning the requestor's child which are held by the
DPRS, the requestor may be entitled to access to some of those records. Section 261.201(f) of the Family Code provides that the department, upon request and subject to its own rules:
shall provide to the parent, managing conservator, or other legal representative of a child who is the subject of reported abuse or neglect information concerning the reported abuse or neglect that would otherwise be confidential under this section if the department has edited the information to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the person who made the report and any other person whose life or safety may be endangered by the 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# 126712
Encl. Submitted documents
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US