|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 31, 1999
Lt. Arturo Valdez
Dear Lt. Valdez:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128746.
The McAllen Police Department received a request for records pertaining to offense report number 99-22736. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.
Section 552.108(a)(1) of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "[i]nformation held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime . . . if . . . release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime." You state that the requested records relate to an ongoing criminal case. Based upon this representation, we conclude that the release of the requested records would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. See 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) (court delineates law enforcement interests that are present in active cases).
We note, however, that information normally found on the front page of an offense report is generally considered public. See generally 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). Thus, you must release the type of information that is considered to be front page offense report information, even if this information is not actually located on the front page of the requested records. Although section 552.108(a)(1) authorizes you to withhold the remaining information from disclosure, you may choose to release all or part of the information at issue that is not otherwise confidential by law. See Gov't Code § 552.007.
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.
E. Joanna Fitzgeeald
Ref: ID# 128746
Encl: Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Cati Castellanos
The McAllen Police Department received a request for records pertaining to offense report number 99-22736. The requested records are excepted from disclosure under section 552.108(a)(1) because the records relate to an ongoing criminal investigation, and release of the records at this time would interfere with that investigation. However, basic information is open under section 552.108(c).
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