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John Cornyn
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August 31, 1999

Mr. Darrell G-M Noga
Cooper & Scully, P.C.
Founders Square
900 Jackson Street, Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75202

OR99-2457

Dear Mr. Noga:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128618.

The City of Coppell (the "city"), which you represent, received a request for an incident report regarding an arrest. You assert that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code in conjunction with section 58.007 of the Family Code.(1) We have considered your arguments and have reviewed the representative sample of documents submitted.(2)

Section 552.101 of the Government Code protects "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Therefore, section 552.101 encompasses confidentiality provisions such as Family Code section 58.007. Juvenile law enforcement records relating to conduct that occurred on or after September 1, 1997 are confidential under section 58.007. The relevant language of that statute reads as follows:

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), law enforcement records and files concerning a child may not be disclosed to the public and shall be:

(1) kept separate from adult files and records; and

(2) maintained on a local basis only and not sent to a central state or federal depository, except as provided by Subchapter B.

Section 51.02(2)(A) defines "child" as a person who is ten years of age or older and under seventeen years of age.

The report at issue is a law enforcement record concerning juvenile conduct that occurred after September 1, 1997. Thus, the report is confidential pursuant to section 58.007(c) of the Family Code. Accordingly, the city must withhold the report from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code.

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 upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

E. Joanna Fitzgerald
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division
EJF/nc
Ref: ID# 128618-99
Encl.: Submitted documents


 

Footnotes

1. Because this office believes that section 552.101 of the Government Code, in conjunction with section 58.007 of the Family Code, is dispositive of this matter, this letter does not address your argument regarding section 552.108 of the Government Code.

2. 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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