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July 13, 1999

Mr. Steven D. Monté
Assistant City Attorney
Criminal Law and Police Division
City of Dallas
City Hall
Dallas, Texas 75201

OR99-1936

Dear Mr. Monté:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127456.

The City of Dallas Police Department (the "department") received a request for all the arrest and incident records of a certain person. 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 representative sample of documents submitted.(1)

Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Where an individual's criminal history information has been compiled by a governmental entity, the information takes on a character that implicates the individual's right to privacy. See United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989). In this instance, the requestor asks for all the criminal records of a named individual. In this case, we believe that this individual's right to privacy has been implicated. Thus, to the extent that the department has records in which the named individual is a possible suspect, we conclude that the department must withhold this information under section 552.101 of the Government Code. See id.; see also Gov't Code 411.106(b).

We are resolving this matter with an 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 should not be relied on as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

YHL/eaf

Ref.: ID# 127456

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. James E. Temple
302 North Polk
Desoto, Texas 75115
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. In reaching our conclusion here, we assume that the "representative sample" of records submitted to this office is truly representative of the requested records as a whole. See Open Records Decision Nos. 499 (1988), 497 (1988). This open records letter does not reach, and therefore does not authorize the withholding of, any other requested records to the extent that those records contain substantially different types of information than that submitted to this office.
 

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