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August 24, 2000

Mr. Charles Allen II
Legal Office
Richardson Police Department
P O Box 831078
Richardson, Texas 75083-1078

OR2000-3240

Dear Mr. Allen:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code, the Public Information Act (the "Act"). Your request was assigned ID# 138271.

The City of Richardson Police Department (the "department") received a request for "copies of all reports related to 1404 Baltimore, Richardson, Texas, from October, 1986 to present." The department has apparently made some responsive information available to the requestor.(1) You have submitted for our review additional information that is responsive to the request, consisting of "call for service" sheets, "call reports," incident reports, and "CAD Operations" reports. You assert that the information you have submitted is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.

In relevant part, section 552.108 provides:

(a) Information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from the requirements of Section 552.021 if:

. . .

(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[.]

. . .

(c) This section does not except from the requirements of Section 552.021 information that is basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime.

Gov't Code 552.108. You state that "[a]ll of the records requested contain information dealing with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication; and are, thereby, exempt from production." Based on this representation and our review of the submitted documents, we agree that the department has demonstrated the applicability of section 552.108(a)(2) to the information at issue.

However, we note that section 552.108 is inapplicable to basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime. Gov't Code 552.108(c). We believe such basic information refers to the information held to be public in Houston Chronicle Publishing 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). In Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976), this office summarized the types of information made public pursuant to Houston Chronicle. See Open Records Decision No. 127 at 4 (1976). The department must release to the requestor this information, whether or not the information is found of the front page of an incident report.

In summary, with the exception of the basic front page information contained in the submitted documents that must be released to the requestor pursuant to section 552.108(c), the department may withhold the requested information from disclosure based on section 552.108(a)(2).(2)

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,

Michael Garbarino
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MG/pr

Ref: ID# 138271

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Dipankar Chandra
1404 Baltimore
Richardson, Texas 75081
(w/o enclosures)


 

Footnotes

1. You have provided for our review correspondence from the department to the requestor and an invoice. The correspondence to the requestor indicates the department enclosed press releases, and that certain copies have been made available to the requestor. For answers to questions pertaining to costs, you or the requestor may contact the General Services Commission at (512) 475-2497. See also Gov't Code 552.2615.

2. We additionally 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.
 

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