|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
December 28, 2000
Mr. Arthur E. Clayton
Dear Mr. Clayton:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act (the "Act"), chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 142786.
The County Attorney's Office of Johnson County ("CAO") received a request for information related to criminal proceedings involving a named juvenile. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government 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." This section encompasses information protected by statute. Section 58.007(b) of the Family Code provides as follows:
(b) Except as provided by Article 15.27, Code of Criminal Procedure, the records and files of a juvenile court, a clerk of court, a juvenile probation department, or a prosecuting attorney relating to a child who is a party to a proceeding under this title are open to inspection only by:
(1) the judge, probation officers, and professional staff or consultants of the juvenile court;
(2) a juvenile justice agency as that term is defined by Section 58.101;
(3) an attorney for a party to the proceeding;
(4) a public or private agency or institution providing supervision of the child by arrangement of the juvenile court, or having custody of the child under juvenile court order; or
(5) with leave of the juvenile court, any other person, agency, or institution having a legitimate interest in the proceeding or in the work of the court.
Fam. Code § 58.007(b)(1)-(5) (emphasis added). The submitted documents are records kept by a prosecuting attorney relating to a child who is a party to a proceeding. Because none of the exceptions to confidentiality apply, we conclude that the submitted information is made confidential by section 58.007(b) of the Family Code. Thus, you must withhold the requested information in its entirety pursuant to section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 58.007(b) of the Family Code.
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 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 Hadassah Schloss at the General Services Commission at 512/475-2497.
Stephen P. Agan
Ref: ID# 142786
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Ryan D. Adair