|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
June 28, 1999
Mr. Don Hatcher
Dear Mr. Hatcher:
You have asked whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 126699.
The Leander Police Department received a request for the "criminal arrest record of Scott Eugene Burnell." A compilation of arrest and offense reports of a named individual constitutes a criminal history record of that individual. Criminal history information may be withheld from required public disclosure under common-law privacy if it meets the criteria articulated for section 552.101 of the act by the Texas Supreme Court in Industrial Found. v. Texas Industrial Accident Board, 540 S.W.2d 668, 685 (Tex. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 931 (1977). See also Gov't Code 411.084 (prohibiting release of criminal history information obtained from Department of Public Safety).
In United States Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989), the United States Supreme Court concluded that where an individual's CHRI is compiled or summarized by a governmental entity, the information takes on a character that implicates an individual's right of privacy in a manner that the same individual records in an uncompiled state do not. Based on Reporters Committee, this office has concluded that a request for all law enforcement records of a specified individual implicates the individual's common-law privacy rights, and the responsive information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101. Thus, you may not release the requested information.(1)
We are resolving this matter with this informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.
Ruth H. Soucy
Ref.: ID# 126699
Encl. Submitted documents
cc: Ms. Gretchen Burnell
1. We have marked a submitted document that does not appear to be responsive to this particular request for records.
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US