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February 5, 1999

Ms. Sharon Sela
Assistant City Attorney
Criminal Law and Police Division
City of Dallas
City Hall
Dallas, Texas 75201

OR99-0343

Dear Ms. Sela:

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# 121782.

The Dallas Police Department (the "department") received a request for information pertaining to a specific incident. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under sections 552.101 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." Section 261.201(a) of the Family Code provides as follows:

(a) The following information is confidential, is not subject to public release under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code and applicable federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency:

(1) a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect made under this chapter and the identity of the person making the report; and

(2) except as otherwise provided in this section, the files, reports, records, communications, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.

Because the requested information relates to an allegation of child neglect, the information is within the scope of section 261.201 of the Family Code. We are not aware of any rules promulgated by the department which permit the dissemination of this type of information. Accordingly, the requested information is made confidential by section 261.201 of the Family Code and must be withheld from disclosure under section 552.101 of the Government Code.(1)

Because we are able to resolve this matter under section 552.101, we need not address your section 552.108 claim. 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# 121782

Enclosures: Submitted documents


 

Footnotes

1. We note that if the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services has created a file on this alleged neglect, the child's parent(s) may have the statutory right to review that file. See Fam. Code 261.201(f).
 

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