|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 30, 1999
Ms. Kristi DeCluitt
Dear Ms. DeCluitt:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127021
The City of College Station (the "city") received a request for information pertaining to a specific assault. You indicate that the city has released the front page offense report information. See Gov't Code § 552.108(c); Houston Chronicle Publ'g Co. v. City of Houston, 531 S.W.2d 177 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1975), writ ref'd n.r.e. per curiam, 536 S.W.2d 559 (Tex. 1976); Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976). You claim, however, that the remaining portions of the case file are excepted from disclosure under sections 552.101 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the submitted information.
Initially, we note that the submitted documents contain medical records governed by another statute. The Medical Practice Act (the "MPA"), article 4495b of Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, protects from disclosure "[r]ecords of the identity, diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of a patient by a physician that are created or maintained by a physician." V.T.C.S. art. 4495b, § 5.08(b). The MPA provides for both confidentiality of medical records and certain statutory access requirements. Id. at 2. The medical records submitted to this office for review may only be released as provided by the MPA.
Section 552.108, the "law enforcement exception," provides in relevant part as follows:
(a) [i]nformation held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from the requirements of 552.021 if: (1) release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime; [or] (2) it is information that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication[.]
A governmental body claiming section 552.108(a)(2) must demonstrate that the requested information relates to a criminal investigation that has concluded in a final result other than a conviction or deferred adjudication. You explain that "[n]o charges were filed in this case and the case has been 'exceptionally cleared' by the College Station Police Department." We conclude that you have shown the applicability of section 552.108(a)(2) to the remaining submitted information. Thus, the city may withhold the remaining portions of the case file.
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 on as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact our office.
June B. Harden
Ref: ID# 127021
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Teresa VanHyfte
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US