|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
November 16, 1999
Ms. Lisa Aguilar
Dear Ms. Aguilar:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 130899.
The City of Corpus Christi (the "city") received a request for "any offense reports generated by the Corpus Christi Police Department involving [a named individual] ... as a suspect of crime." You have provided for our review information that is responsive to the request. You assert the requested information is excepted from public disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code. We have reviewed the information you have submitted and considered the exception you assert.
Section 552.101 of the Government Code protects "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision," including information protected by the common-law right of privacy. Industrial Found. v. Texas Indus. Accident Bd., 540 S.W.2d 668, 683-85 (Tex. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 931 (1977). We note at the outset that the requestor is essentially asking that the city compile the criminal history of a named individual.
Where an individual's criminal history information has been compiled by a governmental entity, the information takes on a character that implicates the individual's right to privacy. See United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989) (concluding that federal regulations which limit access to criminal history record information that states obtain from the federal government or other states recognize privacy interest in such information). Similarly, open records decisions issued by this office acknowledge this privacy interest. See Open Records Decision Nos. 616 (1993), 565 (1990). In the present case, the common-law right of privacy is implicated because the requestor is someone other than the named individual. The city, therefore, must withhold all compilations of the referenced individual's criminal history pursuant to section 552.101.
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# 130899
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Nicole Perez
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US