Texas Government Code - GOV'T § 552.275. Requests That Require Large Amounts of Employee or Personnel Time

(a) A governmental body may establish reasonable monthly and yearly limits on the amount of time that personnel of the governmental body are required to spend producing public information for inspection or duplication by a requestor, or providing copies of public information to a requestor, without recovering its costs attributable to that personnel time.

(a-1) For purposes of this section, all county officials who have designated the same officer for public information may calculate the amount of time that personnel are required to spend collectively for purposes of the monthly or yearly limit.

(b) A yearly time limit established under Subsection (a) may not be less than 36 hours for a requestor during the 12-month period that corresponds to the fiscal year of the governmental body.  A monthly time limit established under Subsection (a) may not be less than 15 hours for a requestor for a one-month period.

(c) In determining whether a time limit established under Subsection (a) applies, any time spent complying with a request for public information submitted in the name of a minor, as defined by Section 101.003(a), Family Code , is to be included in the calculation of the cumulative amount of time spent complying with a request for public information by a parent, guardian, or other person who has control of the minor under a court order and with whom the minor resides, unless that parent, guardian, or other person establishes that another person submitted that request in the name of the minor.

(d) If a governmental body establishes a time limit under Subsection (a), each time the governmental body complies with a request for public information, the governmental body shall provide the requestor with a written statement of the amount of personnel time spent complying with that request and the cumulative amount of time spent complying with requests for public information from that requestor during the applicable monthly or yearly period.  The amount of time spent preparing the written statement may not be included in the amount of time included in the statement provided to the requestor under this subsection.

(e) Subject to Subsection (e-1), if in connection with a request for public information, the cumulative amount of personnel time spent complying with requests for public information from the same requestor equals or exceeds the limit established by the governmental body under Subsection (a), the governmental body shall provide the requestor with a written estimate of the total cost, including materials, personnel time, and overhead expenses, necessary to comply with the request.  The written estimate must be provided to the requestor on or before the 10th day after the date on which the public information was requested.  The amount of this charge relating to the cost of locating, compiling, and producing the public information shall be established by rules prescribed by the attorney general under Sections 552.262(a) and (b) .

(e-1) This subsection applies only to a request made by a requestor who has made a previous request to a governmental body that has not been withdrawn, for which the governmental body has located and compiled documents in response, and for which the governmental body has issued a statement under Subsection (e) that remains unpaid on the date the requestor submits the new request.  A governmental body is not required to locate, compile, produce, or provide copies of documents or prepare a statement under Subsection (e) in response to a new request described by this subsection until the date the requestor pays each unpaid statement issued under Subsection (e) in connection with a previous request or withdraws the previous request to which the statement applies.

(f) If the governmental body determines that additional time is required to prepare the written estimate under Subsection (e) and provides the requestor with a written statement of that determination, the governmental body must provide the written statement under that subsection as soon as practicable, but on or before the 10th day after the date the governmental body provided the statement under this subsection.

(g) If a governmental body provides a requestor with the written statement under Subsection (e) and the time limits prescribed by Subsection (a) regarding the requestor have been exceeded, the governmental body is not required to produce public information for inspection or duplication or to provide copies of public information in response to the requestor's request unless on or before the 10th day after the date the governmental body provided the written statement under that subsection, the requestor submits payment of the amount stated in the written statement provided under Subsection (e).

(h) If the requestor fails or refuses to submit payment under Subsection (g), the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the requestor's pending request for public information.

(i) This section does not prohibit a governmental body from providing a copy of public information without charge or at a reduced rate under Section 552.267 or from waiving a charge for providing a copy of public information under that section.

(j) This section does not apply if the requestor is an individual who, for a substantial portion of the individual's livelihood or for substantial financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information for and is seeking the information for:

(1) dissemination by a news medium or communication service provider, including:

(A) an individual who supervises or assists in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information;  or

(B) an individual who is or was a journalist, scholar, or researcher employed by an institution of higher education at the time the person made the request for information;  or

(2) creation or maintenance of an abstract plant as described by Section 2501.004, Insurance Code .

(k) This section does not apply if the requestor is an elected official of the United States, this state, or a political subdivision of this state.

(l) This section does not apply if the requestor is a representative of a publicly funded legal services organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986 , as amended, by being listed as an exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3) of that code.

(m) In this section:

(1) “Communication service provider” has the meaning assigned by Section 22.021, Civil Practice and Remedies Code .

(2) “News medium” means a newspaper, magazine or periodical, a book publisher, a news agency, a wire service, an FCC-licensed radio or television station or a network of such stations, a cable, satellite, or other transmission system or carrier or channel, or a channel or programming service for a station, network, system, or carrier, or an audio or audiovisual production company or Internet company or provider, or the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of that entity, that disseminates news or information to the public by any means, including:

(A) print;

(B) television;

(C) radio;

(D) photographic;

(E) mechanical;

(F) electronic;  and

(G) other means, known or unknown, that are accessible to the public.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard