|Office of the Attorney General - State of Texas
November 1, 1999
Mr. Gary W. Smith
Dear Mr. Smith:
You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 130565.
The City of Baytown Police Department (the "department") received a request for information regarding a "child molestation case about 10 yrs ago in Baytown, Tx by Bobby J. Credille D.O.B. 6/49." You indicate the information requested is the investigative file and report prepared in response to information received by the department alleging sexual assault of a child. You first assert the requested information must be withheld under section 552.101 in conjunction with section 261.201 of the Family Code. You further assert that the requested information is excepted from public disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the documents at issue.
Section 552.101 excepts from disclosure "information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision." This section encompasses information protected by other statutes. Section 261.201(a) of the Family Code provides that
(a) The following information is confidential, is 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.
Our review of the documents at issue indicates the requested information here consists of "files, reports, records, communications, audiotapes, videotapes, [or] working papers used or developed" in an investigation conducted under chapter 261 of the Family Code. Fam. Code § 261.001(1). We believe that subsection (a) is applicable to the requested information. You have not informed this office of any rules the department has adopted that would permit access to the requested records. Thus, you must withhold the requested information under section 552.101 in conjunction with section 261.201 of the Family Code.
Because we make a determination under section 552.101, 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.
Ref: ID# 130565
Enclosures: Submitted documents
cc: Mr. Wesley Westbrook
POST OFFICE BOX 12548, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711-2548 TEL: (512) 463-2100 WEB: WWW.OAG.STATE.TX.US