Texas Public Record Laws

Citations

Texas Government Code, Chapter 552
(http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.552.htm)

Exemptions to Disclosure

Information excepted from disclosure includes:

  • Confidential information;
  • Trade secrets;
  • An interagency or intra-agency memorandum or letter that would not be available by law to a party in litigation with the agency;
  • Geological or geophysical information or data, including maps concerning wells;
  • Records created during a motor vehicle emissions inspection;
  • Certain information regarding biological agents and toxins.
  • A rare book or original manuscript that was not created or maintained in the conduct of official business of a governmental body and that is held by a private or public archival and manuscript repository for the purpose of historical research. Sec. 552.120
  • An oral history interview, personal paper, unpublished letter, or organizational record of a nongovernmental entity that was not created or maintained in the conduct of official business of a governmental body and that is held by a private or public archival and manuscript repository for the purpose of historical research to the extent that the archival and manuscript repository and the donor of the interview, paper, letter, or record agree to limit disclosure of the item. 552.121

Access Rights

Non-exempt records are available to the public. Can charge costs of material, labor, and overhead, unless the request is for 50 pages or fewer in which case only the cost of copies can be charged.

Destruction of Public Records

Sec. 552.004. PRESERVATION OF INFORMATION. A governmental body or, for information of an elective county office, the elected county officer, may determine a time for which information that is not currently in use will be preserved, subject to any applicable rule or law governing the destruction and other disposition of state and local government records or public information.

Sec. 552.351. DESTRUCTION, REMOVAL, OR ALTERATION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person willfully destroys, mutilates, removes without permission as provided by this chapter, or alters public information. (b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by: (1) a fine of not less than $25 or more than $4,000; (2) confinement in the county jail for not less than three days or more than three months; or (3) both the fine and confinement.