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September 13, 1999

Ms. Tenley A. Aldredge
Assistant County Attorney
County of Travis
P.O. Box 1748
Austin, Texas 78767

OR99-2542

Dear Ms. Aldredge:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 128073.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office received a request for all information regarding an assault. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under sections 552.101, 552.103, 552.108, 552.117, and 552.130 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and reviewed the documents at issue.

Section 552.108(a)(1) of the Government Code excepts from disclosure "[i]nformation held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime . . . if . . . release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime." You inform us that the requested information relates to a pending criminal prosecution. Based upon this representation, we conclude that the release of the requested information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. See 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) (court delineates law enforcement interests that are present in active cases).

We note, however, that information normally found on the front page of an offense report is generally considered public. See generally 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); Open Records Decision No. 127 (1976). Thus, you must release the type of information that is considered to be front page offense report information, even if this information is not actually located on the front page of the offense report. Although section 552.108(a)(1) authorizes you to 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. See Gov't Code 552.007.

Because we are able to resolve this matter under section 552.108, we do not address your additional arguments against disclosure. 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,

Karen E. Hattaway
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

KEH/ljp

Ref: ID# 128073

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Phillip Poehl
7504 Burly Oak Circle
Austin, Texas 78745
(w/o enclosures)


 

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