|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
August 25, 2000
Ms. Pamela Smith
Dear Ms. Smith:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 140338.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (the "department") received a request for all videotapes and incident reports made by a named officer "dating from July 1, 2000." You state that you have released the basic, front page offense report information. See 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). You claim that the remaining requested information is excepted under sections 552.103 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and reviewed the submitted information.
Section 552.108(a)(1) states that information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from required public disclosure "if release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime." Gov't Code § 552.108(a)(1). You inform us that the offense reports and portions of the videotapes pertain to pending cases. We therefore believe that the release of the information "would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime." Id. Thus, you may withhold this information under section 552.108(a)(1).
Next, you argue that section 552.108(a)(2) excepts the remaining portions of the videotapes from public disclosure. Section 552.108(a)(2) excepts from disclosure information concerning an investigation that concluded in a result other than conviction or deferred adjudication. You state that the remaining portions of the videotapes pertain to cases that did not result in any criminal cases being filed. Therefore, we agree that you may withhold this information under section 552.108(a)(2).
Because section 552.108 is dispositive, we do not address your other arguments against public disclosure. 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.
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 Dep't of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992, no writ).
Ref: ID# 140338
Encl. Submitted documents and videotapes
cc: Mr. R.A. "Jake" Dyer