Texas Government Code - GOV'T § 552.301. Request for Attorney General Decision




(a) A governmental body that receives a written request for information that it wishes to withhold from public disclosure and that it considers to be within one of the exceptions under Subchapter C   1 must ask for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within that exception if there has not been a previous determination about whether the information falls within one of the exceptions.

(a-1) For the purposes of this subchapter, if a governmental body receives a written request by United States mail and cannot adequately establish the actual date on which the governmental body received the request, the written request is considered to have been received by the governmental body on the third business day after the date of the postmark on a properly addressed request.

(b) The governmental body must ask for the attorney general's decision and state the exceptions that apply within a reasonable time but not later than the 10th business day after the date of receiving the written request.

(c) For purposes of this subchapter, a written request includes a request made in writing that is sent to the officer for public information, or the person designated by that officer, by electronic mail or facsimile transmission.

(d) A governmental body that requests an attorney general decision under Subsection (a) must provide to the requestor within a reasonable time but not later than the 10th business day after the date of receiving the requestor's written request:

(1) a written statement that the governmental body wishes to withhold the requested information and has asked for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within an exception to public disclosure;  and

(2) a copy of the governmental body's written communication to the attorney general asking for the decision or, if the governmental body's written communication to the attorney general discloses the requested information, a redacted copy of that written communication.

(e) A governmental body that requests an attorney general decision under Subsection (a) must within a reasonable time but not later than the 15th business day after the date of receiving the written request:

(1) submit to the attorney general:

(A) written comments stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply that would allow the information to be withheld;

(B) a copy of the written request for information;

(C) a signed statement as to the date on which the written request for information was received by the governmental body or evidence sufficient to establish that date;  and

(D) a copy of the specific information requested, or submit representative samples of the information if a voluminous amount of information was requested;  and

(2) label that copy of the specific information, or of the representative samples, to indicate which exceptions apply to which parts of the copy.

(e-1) A governmental body that submits written comments to the attorney general under Subsection (e)(1)(A) shall send a copy of those comments to the person who requested the information from the governmental body not later than the 15th business day after the date of receiving the written request.  If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the person must be a redacted copy.

(f) A governmental body must release the requested information and is prohibited from asking for a decision from the attorney general about whether information requested under this chapter is within an exception under Subchapter C   1 if:

(1) the governmental body has previously requested and received a determination from the attorney general concerning the precise information at issue in a pending request;  and

(2) the attorney general or a court determined that the information is public information under this chapter that is not excepted by Subchapter C.

(g) A governmental body may ask for another decision from the attorney general concerning the precise information that was at issue in a prior decision made by the attorney general under this subchapter if:

(1) a suit challenging the prior decision was timely filed against the attorney general in accordance with this chapter concerning the precise information at issue;

(2) the attorney general determines that the requestor has voluntarily withdrawn the request for the information in writing or has abandoned the request;  and

(3) the parties agree to dismiss the lawsuit.

1 V.T.C.A., Government Code § 552.101 et seq.




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