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August 2, 1999
Mr. Miles K. Risley
Senior assistant City Attorney
Legal Department
City of Victoria
P.O. Box 1758
Victoria, Texas 77902-1758

OR99-2161

Dear Mr. Risley:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 126563.

The City of Victoria Police Department (the "department") received a request for information pertaining to an incident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. You have released some of the requested information. You claim that the remaining requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.108 of the Government Code provides:

    (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;

        (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;

        (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 an exception under 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). You have not asserted that the case is ongoing or explained how release of the requested information interferes with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime. Accordingly, we conclude that you may not withhold the information under subsections 552.108(a)(1) and (b)(1).

You also have not explained that the information concerns an investigation that concluded in a result other than conviction or deferred adjudication. Thus, you may not withhold the requested information under subsections 552.108(a)(2) and (b)(2). Lastly, you have not shown the applicability of subsections 552.108(a)(3) and (b)(3). Thus, except for the information discussed below, you must release the information.

We note that the documents contain information protected from disclosure by sections 552.101 and 552.130 of the Government Code. The social security numbers in the documents may be confidential if they were obtained or are maintained by the department pursuant to any provision of law, enacted on or after October 1, 1990. 42 U.S.C. section 405(c)(2)(C)(vii); see Open Records Decision No. 622 (1994). Section 552.130 excepts information that relates to a motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state or a motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state. Thus, you must withhold the driver's license numbers and license plate numbers under section 552.130.

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.

Sincerely,

Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

YHL\nc

Ref: ID# 126563

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Erica B. Barfield
4405 N. Navarro, #907
Victoria, Texas 77904
(w/o enclosures)


 

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