Click for home page Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
John Cornyn
image
 

January 14, 1999

Ms. Heather Silver
Assistant City Attorney
Criminal Law and Police Division
City of Dallas
Municipal Building
Dallas, Texas 75201

OR99-0109

Dear Ms. Silver:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Texas Open Records Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 121249.

The Dallas Police Department (the "department") received a request for information concerning a specific homicide. You state that you have released all responsive documents with the exception of a page from the department's gang member file. You contend that this page is excepted from disclosure pursuant to section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the submitted document.

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.

(b) An internal record or notation of a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that is maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement or prosecution is excepted from [public disclosure] if: (1) release of the internal record or notation would interfere with law enforcement or prosecution; (2) the internal record or notation relates to law enforcement only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication; or (3) the internal record or notation: (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.

(c) This section does not except from [public disclosure] information that is basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime.

Gov't Code 552.108. You explain how the department makes use of its gang member file in law enforcement investigations. You also explain how publicly disclosing gang member information would interfere with the investigation, detection, and prosecution of crime. Therefore, we conclude that the department may withhold the requested information from disclosure pursuant to section 552.108 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 on as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact our office.

Yours very truly,

June B. Harden
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

JBH/ch

Ref.: ID# 121249

Enclosures: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Kirby Williamson
P.O. Box 1147
Rockwall, Texas 75087
(w/o enclosures)


 

POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US
An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


Home | ORLs