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February 29, 2000

Mr. Wyman Hopkins
Administrative Sergeant
City of Rosenberg
2120 Fourth Street
Rosenberg, Texas 77471

OR2000-0768

Dear Sergeant Hopkins:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 134058.

The City of Rosenberg (the "city") received a request for a police report on a theft. Y ou seek to withhold portions of the responsive report under sections 552.108 and 552.130 of he Government Code.

Section 552.108(a)(2) excepts from required public disclosure

(a) Information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime . . . if:

. . . .

(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[.]

You advise that the investigation of the case to which the requested information pertains has been concluded and the case has not resulted in a conviction or deferred adjudication. The information on its faec indicates that the case is "inactive." Based on your representations and our review of the information at issue, we conclude that you may withhold, under section 552.108(a)(2) the portions of the report for which you sought the protection of that provision.

Section 552.130 provides in relevant part as follows:

(a) Information is excepted from [required public disclosure] if the information relates to:

(1) a motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state; [or]

(2) a motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state[.]

The records at issue contain drivers license and VIN numbers. This information must be withheld under section 552.130.

We note that the report also contains a social security number. Social security numbers that were obtained or maintained by a governmental body pursuant to any provision of law enacted on or after October 1, 1990, are confidential pursuant to section 405(c)(2)(C)(viii) of title 42 of the United States Code and must be withheld. Except as noted above, you must release the information responsive to the request.

This letter ruling is limited to the particular records at issue in this request and limited to the facts as presented to us; therefore, this ruling must not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records or any other circumstances.

This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the governmental body and of the requestor. For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. Gov't Code 552.301(f). If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. Id. 552.324(b). In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. Id. 552.353(b)(3), (c). If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling. Id. 552.321(a).

If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1) release the public records; 2) notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3) notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court. If the governmental body fails to do one of these three things within 10 calendar days of this ruling, then the requestor should report that failure to the attorney general's Open Government Hotline, toll free, at 877/673-6839. The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. Id. 552.3215(e).

If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. Id. 552.321(a); Texas Department of Public Safety v. Gilbreath, 842 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.-Austin 1992, no writ).

If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office. Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling.

Sincerely,

William Walker
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

WMW/ljp

Ref: ID# 134058

Encl. Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Martin Caballero
5105 Avenue H
Rosenberg, Texas 77471
(w/o enclosures)


 

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