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February 3, 1999

Ms. Tenley Aldredge
Assistant County Attorney
County of Travis
314 West 11th Street, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78767

OR99-0311

Dear Ms. Aldredge:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 121699.

The Travis County Sheriff's Department (the "department") received a request for information regarding incident number 97116937. You have supplied the information responsive to this request, contending that it is excepted from public disclosure by sections 552.101 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.

Section 552.108(a)(2) of the Government Code excepts form public disclosure "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." Unless information relating to a criminal investigation or prosecution concluded in a result other than a conviction or deferred adjudication, it may not be withheld under section 552.108(a)(2). You relate, and our inspection of the documents confirms, that the subject case was "closed as unfounded." We therefore conclude that you have shown the applicability of section 552.108(a)(2) to the requested information. With the exception of "front page" information the responsive documents may be withheld. The type of information that is considered to be front page offense report information must be released irrespective of its actual location in the responsive documents. Gov't Code 552.108(c); 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) (delineating types of information that must be released); Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976).

Although section 552.108 provides that you may withhold the remaining information from disclosure, you may choose to release all or part of the information at issue that is not otherwise confidential by law. Gov't Code 552.007.

As the above discussion addresses all of the responsive information, we will not discuss your privacy rights argument. 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.

Yours very truly,

Michael Jay Burns
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

MJB/ch

Ref: ID# 121699

Enclosures: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. R. W. Fulbright
Marbridge Foundation
P.O. Box 257
Manchaca, Texas 78652
(w/o enclosures)


 

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