|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
November 16, 1999
Ms. Kristi DeCluitt
Dear Ms. DeCluitt:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 129540.
The City of College Station (the "city") received a request for numerous documents relating to a city landfill project.(1) You originally claimed that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under sections 552.103 and 552.107 of the Government Code. However, in subsequent correspondence submitted to our office, you indicated that the city no longer reasonably anticipates litigation and therefore you have withdrawn your section 552.103 claim. Accordingly, we have considered only the exception you claim under Government Code section 552.107 and have reviewed the submitted information.(2)
You contend that Exhibit B-1 is excepted from disclosure under section 552.107.(3) Section 552.107(1) excepts information that an attorney cannot disclose because of a duty to his client. In Open Records Decision No. 574 (1990), this office concluded that section 552.107 excepts from public disclosure only "privileged information," that is, information that reflects either confidential communications from the client to the attorney or the attorney's legal advice or opinions; it does not apply to all client information held by a governmental body's attorney. Open Records Decision No. 574 at 5 (1990). Section 552.107(1) does not except purely factual information from disclosure, nor does it protect information gathered by an attorney as a fact-finder. Open Records Decision Nos. 574 (1990), 559 (1990), 462 (1987). Section 552.107(1) does not except from disclosure factual recounting of events or the documentation of calls made, meetings attended, and memos sent. Open Records Decision No. 574 at 5 (1990).
The document you have marked as Exhibit B-1 consists of a memorandum of law from an attorney who is working for the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency (hereinafter the "BVSWMA"). The BVSWMA is an entity owned by the cities of College Station and Bryan. We believe that the memorandum consists of the opinions of the attorney. Therefore, you may withhold this information from disclosure pursuant to Government Code section 552.107.
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.
Carla Gay Dickson
Ref: ID# 129540
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Mr. C.J. Kling
1. You refer to this request as PKWMM Request No. 3.
2. In reaching our conclusion here, we assume that the "representative sample" of records submitted to this office is truly representative of the requested records as a whole. See Open Records Decision Nos. 499 (1988); 497 (1988). This open records letter does not reach, and therefore does not authorize the withholding of, any other requested records to the extent that those records contain substantially different types of information than that submitted to this office.
3. We assume that you have released Exhibits B-2 through B-5 after having withdrawn your section 552.103 claim.
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