|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
October 3, 2000
Mr. Sim W. Goodall
Dear Mr. Goodall:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 139791.
The Arlington Police Department (the "department") received a request for "any police report or call out" from January, 1998, through July, 2000, to a particular address, the names of all involved persons, and the nature of the call(s). You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code, in conjunction with section 261.201 of the Family Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.
Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Section 261.201(a) of the Family Code provides:
The following information is confidential, is not subject to public release under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code and applicable federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency:
(1) a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect [of a child] made under this chapter and the identity of the person making the report; and
(2) except as otherwise provided in this section, the files, reports, records, communications, audiotapes, videotapes, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.
The information responsive to the request in this case consists of reports, records, and working papers used or developed in an investigation made under chapter 261 of the Family Code and is therefore confidential by statute. As you have not cited any specific rule that the department has adopted with regard to the release of this type of information, these records are presumed confidential in their entirety. See Open Records Decision No. 440 at 2 (1986). Accordingly, the department must not release this requested information.
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).
Please remember that under the Act the release of information triggers certain procedures for costs and charges to the requestor. If records are released in compliance with this ruling, be sure that all charges for the information are at or below the legal amounts. Questions or complaints about over-charging must be directed to the General Services Commission at 512/475-2497.
Patricia Michels Anderson
Ref: ID# 139791
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Vince Bohrer