Texas Public Information Act
Public Information Requests
The Government Affairs section of the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office handles a myriad of issues involving legal advice to elected officials, contract review, and open records requests for both the County Attorney’s Office as well as other County agencies who receive an open records request and request legal advice. Our largest client is the Sheriff’s Office, who consistently receives over 7,000 open records requests annually.
The staff of the Open Records Division of the Sheriff’s Office, as the custodian of the records, is required to make an initial determination regarding whether information may be released, or if an Attorney General opinion is required. The most common requests that trigger Attorney General rulings are those that involve pending court cases, open investigations, juvenile records, and records involving investigations of child abuse.
Each judicial decision and legislative change that modifies exceptions to the Public Information Act affects our responses. Every single request for information that comes into our office is scrutinized for whether information may be legally released, not only because we have an obligation to release public information, but because the public has a right to know about County information.
Each elected official is the officer for public information and is the custodian of the information created or received by that county official’s office. When there is no elected official, the chief administrative officer of a governmental body is the officer for public information. Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.201. Open records requests may also be sent to the County department that holds the records requested. A link to contact information for each department is located at CLICK HERE.
For a brief summary of the Texas Public Information Act CLICK HERE
For the complete text (335 pages) of the 2018 Texas Public Information Handbook CLICK HERE
To make an open records request with the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, please click the link below: