|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
October 5, 1999
Ms. Dianne Eagleton, Supervisor
Dear Ms. Eagleton:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128703.
The City of North Richland Hills Police Department (the "Department") received a request for offense report number 99079937. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code and section 58.007 of the Family Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and reviewed the submitted information. We conclude that the report is excepted from disclosure pursuant to section 552.101 of the Government Code as information deemed confidential by law.(1)
Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Accordingly, section 552.101 encompasses confidentiality provisions such as Family Code section 58.007. Juvenile law enforcement records relating to conduct that occurred on or after September 1, 1997, are confidential under section 58.007. The relevant language of that statute reads 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.
Section 51.02(2)(A) defines "child" as a person who is ten years of age or older and under seventeen years of age. Here, the requested offense report is a juvenile law enforcement record concerning juvenile conduct that occurred after September 1, 1997. It does not appear that any of the exceptions in section 58.007 apply. Therefore, the report is confidential pursuant to section 58.007(c) of the Family Code. Accordingly, the Department must withhold the report from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code.
As section 58.007 of the Family Code is dispositive, we will not address your section 552.108 claim. 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.
Ref: ID# 128703
Encl: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. E.R. Buckman
1. The Attorney General will raise section 552.101 on behalf of a governmental body, but ordinarily will not raise other exceptions. Open Records Decision Nos. 481 (1987), 480 (1987), 470 (1987).
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US