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October 29, 1999

Mr. Steven D. Monte;
Assistant City Attorney
Criminal Law and Police Division
City of Dallas
2014 Main Street, Room 206
Dallas, Texas 75201

OR99-3044

Dear Mr. Monteacute;:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 130254.

The Dallas Police Department (the "department") received an open records request for an offense report, service number 0661886-H. You contend that the requested information is excepted from required public disclosure pursuant to section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the documents submitted.

Section 552.108 of the Government Code provides in part:

(a) Information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from the [requirement of public disclosure] . . . 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 [requirement of public disclosure] . . . 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 [requirement of public disclosure] . . . information that is basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime.

Because you have informed us that the records at issue pertain to a pending criminal investigation, we conclude that you have met your burden of establishing that the release of the requested information at this time could interfere with law enforcement or prosecution. 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). You therefore may withhold most of the requested information at this time pursuant to section 552.108(a)(1).

Section 552.108 does not, however, except from required public disclosure "basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime." Gov't Code 552.108(c). Because you have raised no other exception to disclosure, the department must release these types of information in accordance with Houston Chronicle Publishing Company 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).

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,

Patricia Michels Anderson
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

PMA/ch

Ref: ID# 130254

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Ms. Sheila Koster
Methodist Hospitals of Dallas
P.O. Box 227116
Dallas, Texas 75222-7116
(w/o enclosures)


 

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