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July 26, 1999

Ms. Tenley A. Aldredge
Assistant County Attorney
County of Travis
P.O. Box 1748
Austin, Texas 78767

OR99-2085

Dear Ms. Aldredge:

You ask 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# 126923.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office (the "sheriff") received a request for offense report 99-0006389. You claim that the requested offense report is excepted from disclosure under sections 552.101, 552.103, 552.108, and 552.130 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.108, the "law enforcement exception," provides in relevant part as follows:

    (a) [i]nformation held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from the requirements of 552.021 if: (1) release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime; [or] (2) it is information that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication[.]

You state that the submitted offense report relates to an active file awaiting further investigation or prosecution. Based on your assertion that the release of the offense report will interfere with the investigation or prosecution of crime, we conclude that the sheriff may withhold the offense report under section 552.108(a)(1). See Houston Chronicle Publ'g Co. v. City of Houston, 531 S.W.2d 177 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [14th dist.] 1975), writ ref'd n.r.e. per curiam, 536 S.W.2d 559 (Tex. 1976) (court delineates law enforcement interests that are present in active cases). We note, however, that basic information must be released in accordance with section 552.108(c) of the Government Code and Houston Chronicle Publ'g Co. v. City of Houston, 531 S.W.2d 177 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1975), writ ref'd n.r.e. per curiam, 536 S.W.2d 559 (Tex. 1976); Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976).(1) Thus, except for basic information, the department may withhold the offense report under section 552.108(a).

Because we are able to make a determination under section 552.108, we need not address you additional arguments against disclosure. 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,

June B. Harden
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

JBH/ch

Ref: ID# 126923

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Rick Freeman
Colbert, Freeman & Stribling
400 W. 14th Street, Suite 120
Austin, Texas 78701-1619
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. Basic information is the type of information that is considered to be front page offense report information, including a detailed description of the offense and arrest. Basic information does not have to be actually located on the front page of the offense report. See generally Houston Chronicle Publ'g Co., 531 S.W.2d at 187; Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976).
 

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