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February 9, 1999

Mr. Don Hatcher, Chief
Leander Police Department
P. O. Box 319
Leander, Texas 78646-0319

OR99-0383

Dear Mr. Hatcher:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 122049.

The Leander Police Department received a request for a particular incident report. You state that you "have disclosed information as required in Open Records Decision No. 127." You contend that the narrative portion of the incident report is excepted from disclosure pursuant to section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.

Section 552.108 of the Government Code provides as follows:

(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: (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 the requirements of Section 552.021 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 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. Generally, a governmental body claiming section 552.108 must reasonably explain, if the information does not supply the explanation on its face, how and why the release of the requested information would interfere with law enforcement. See Gov't Code 552.108(a)(1), (b)(1), .301(b)(1); see also Ex parte Pruitt, 551 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. 1977). First, you have not stated that the requested information pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution, nor have you explained how its release would interfere in some way with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. See Gov't Code 552.108(a)(1). Thus, you have not met your burden under section 552.108(a)(1). A governmental body claiming section 552.108(a)(2) must demonstrate that the requested information relates to a criminal investigation that has concluded in a final result other than a conviction or deferred adjudication. It is not clear to this office, nor have you explained, how or if the investigation has actually concluded. Lastly, you do not assert that the information at issue was prepared by an attorney representing the state or that it reflects the mental impressions or legal reasoning of an attorney representing the state. See Gov't Code 552.108(a)(3). You may not withhold the narrative portion of the incident report from disclosure because you have not met your burden of showing the applicability of section 552.108. You must release the incident report narrative to the requestor.

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,

Karen E. Hattaway
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

KEH/ch

Ref: ID# 122049

Enclosures: Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Kam Wagert
130 Lakewood Trail
Leander, Texas 78641
(w/o enclosures)


 

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