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March 29, 1999

Ms. Deesha Brown
Assistant City Attorney
Criminal Law and Police Department
City of Dallas
City Hall
Dallas, Texas 75201

OR99-0862

Dear Ms. Brown:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Open Records Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 123168.

The City of Dallas Police Department received a request from the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services for police reports on the arrest of a named individual on February 12, 1987 for sexual assault of a child. You seek to withhold the requested information under section 552.101 of the Government Code.

Section 552.101 requires withholding from public disclosure, inter alia, information made confidential by statute. Section 261.201 of the Family Code reads in part as follows:

(a) The following information is confidential, 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, audiotapes, videotapes, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.

The requested information appears to consist of reports, records, and working papers used or developed in an investigation made under chapter 261 of the Family Code and therefore, pursuant to section 261.201, may not be released to the public. However, although you have not informed us of any applicable rules adopted by the department to such effect, we believe that the department may, "consistent with [the Family] code" release the information at issue to the requestor here, the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, without loss of the confidentiality of the information. The Department of Protective and Regulatory Services is the responsible state-level agency under chapter 261 with regards to reports of child abuse and neglect. See Attorney General Opinion H-917 (1976) (inter-agency transfers of information without loss of confidentiality).

We are resolving this matter with this 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 may not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

William Walker
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

WMW/ch

Ref: ID# 123168

Enclosures: Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Ashley Lotts
Child Protective Services
Mail Code 088-6
2355 N. Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75207
(w/o enclosures)


 

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