August 9, 2000
Ms. Elaine S. Hengen
Assistant City Attorney
The City of El Paso
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901-1196
Dear Ms. Hengen:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under
chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 139286.
The City of El Paso Police Department (the "department") received a request for case
number 00-116315. You state that the requested information is the same as that sought in
an earlier public information request which was ruled upon by this office in Open Records
Letter No. 2000-2698 (2000). Open Records Letter No. 2000-2698 concluded that the
department could withhold the requested information under section 552.101 of the
Government Code in conjunction with section 261.201 of the Family Code because the
information pertained to a report of child abuse or neglect. Therefore, you may withhold the
information which was the subject of the former request in accordance with Open Records
Letter No. 2000-2698.
This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the
facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous
determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.
This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the
governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited
from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code § 552.301(f). If the
governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by
filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. § 552.324(b). In order to get the full
benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id.
§ 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the
governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney
general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. § 552.321(a).
If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested
information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the
statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the
governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records;
2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be
provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental
body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one
of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should
report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at
877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney.
Id. § 552.3215(e).
If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the
requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental
body. Id. § 552.321(a); Texas Department of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408,411 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992, no writ).
If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments
about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for
contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days
of the date of this ruling.
Carla Gay Dickson
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division
Ref: ID# 139286
cc: Mr. Jesus M. Ortega, Jr.
International Investigative & Security Consultants
Post Office Box 291179
El Paso, Texas 79929-1179
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer
Home | ORLs