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April 5, 2000

Ms. Lisa Aguilar
Assistant City Attorney
City of Corpus Christi
P.O. Box 9277
Corpus Christi, Texas 78469-9277

OR2000-1296

Dear Ms. Aguilar:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 133714.

The City of Corpus Christi (the "city") received a request for the following information:

1) The offense report and CAD transcript from the November 9, 1999 murder on the 700 block of Crestview; and

2) The offense report and CAD transcript from the November 29, 1996 murder at the Corpus Christi State School.

You inform our office that there is no CAD transcript available for the murder at the Corpus Christi State School. You further inform our office that the city has released to the requestor the CAD transcript from the murder on the 700 block of Crestview, as well as basic information in the offense reports.(1) See Gov't Code 552.108(c) (section 552.108 does not apply to basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime); 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). You claim that the remaining information in the offense reports is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the offense reports that you have submitted to our office as Exhibit C.

Section 552.108, the "law enforcement exception," provides:

(a) [i]nformation held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from [public disclosure] if: (1) release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime; (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; or (3) it is information that: (A) is prepared by an attorney representing the state in anticipation of or in the course of preparing for criminal litigation; or (B) reflects the mental impressions or legal reasoning of an attorney representing the state.

You inform our office that the requested offense reports concern investigations which are currently pending. Because the investigations are pending, we agree that the release of the offense reports would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. Gov't Code 552.108(a)(1); see also Houston Chronicle, 531 S.W.2d at 177 (delineating law enforcement interests that are present in active cases). Therefore, we find that you may withhold the remaining information in the offense reports from disclosure under section 552.108(a)(1). We note that you have the discretion to release all or part of the remaining information that is not otherwise confidential by law. Gov't Code 552.007.

This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.

This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code 552.301(f). If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. 552.324(b). In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id. 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. 552.321(a).

If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records; 2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at 877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. 552.3215(e).

If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. Id. 552.321(a); Texas Department of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.-Austin 1992, no writ).

If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling.

Sincerely,

Kathryn S. Knechtel
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

KSK/ljp

Ref: ID# 133714

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Nicole Perez
KZTV-10
P.O. Box TV-10
Corpus Christi, Texas 78403
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. You have submitted to our office as Exhibit B the redacted portions of the offense reports that you have released to the requestor as basic information.
 

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