Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, April 11, 2002

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE ISSUES RULING ON DOCUMENTS RELATING TO SUGAR LAND MAN'S DEATH

AUSTIN - The Texas Attorney General's Office today issued an open records ruling on requests received by the Sugar Land Police Department for information related to the death of John Clifford Baxter. In accordance with the Texas Public Information Act, the police department sought an open records decision after receiving numerous requests seeking documents relating to the Baxter death. The ruling is available at www.oag.state.tx.us (click on the City of Sugar Land Open Records Ruling link, and refer to OR2002-1655 to view the PDF). (click here for HTML version)

Today's ruling instructs the Sugar Land Police Department to release the following items:

  • The note written by John Clifford Baxter
  • John Clifford Baxter's Texas driver license
  • Police photos taken of John Clifford Baxter, along with photos taken of his vehicle
  • An autopsy order signed by Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace Jim Richard
  • Basic information from the Sugar Land Police Department's report (also known as the front page report, or incident report)

Additionally, the Attorney General's Office today issued five open records rulings to Fort Bend County and Harris County on requests related to the investigation of Baxter's death. Those rulings -- OR2002-1656, OR2002-1657, OR2002-1658, OR2002-1659 and OR2002-1660 -- can also be accessed through the same web site. (Click here to see them in HTML)

When an Attorney General's ruling finds that the information in question must be released, the governmental body is required to do so promptly and, in most circumstances, within 10 business days. If the governmental body or an interested third party disagrees with the ruling, a lawsuit must be filed against the governmental body and/or the Attorney General's Office within 30 calendar days.

Questions regarding the possible release of the documents at issue should be directed to the Sugar Land Police Department at 281-275-2838; or to Fort Bend or Harris County.

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