do I request public information from the CDA?
All Open Records requests
MUST be in writing.
All written requests shall
be addressed to the attention of Jennifer Tharp, Public
Information Officer/Chief Civil Prosecutor.
Written requests may be
received via mail, hand-delivery, fax, or e-mail.
Address your request to Comal County Criminal
District Attorney’s Office, Attention Public
Information Officer, 150 N. Seguin Ave., Suite 307,
New Braunfels, Texas 78130.
Leave your request
with the receptionist at our 150 N. Seguin Ave.,
Suite 314 location between the hours of 8:00 a.m.
through 12:00 (noon) or 1:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday.
Our fax number is (830)608-2008.
Send your request via
e-mail to the
CDA’s Public Information Officer. Web
mail users need to address the e-mail to
All written requests
Provide a detailed
list or description of the specific information you
are seeking (the more specific you make your
request, the better and faster we can meet your
address, phone number, or other means to contact you
regarding your request.
Texas law states that the
CDA cannot ask you why you need the information.
However, we may ask you to clarify your request in order
to determine the documents that pertain to your request
and to avoid sending you too much or too little
The Public Information Act
does not require the CDA to answer factual questions,
conduct legal research or create new information in
responding to a request. Open Records Decision Nos. 563
at 8 (1990) and 555 at 1-2 (1990). Likewise, the Act
does not require a governmental body to take affirmative
steps to create or obtain information that is not in its
possession, so long as no other individual or entity
holds the information on behalf of the governmental body
that receives the request. Section 552.002(a); Open
Records Decision Nos. 534 at 2-3 (1989) and 518 at 3
How is public information
provided to me?
If the document you seek
is available electronically, and you prefer it in that
form, we can usually provide the information on a
diskette or compact disc or send it to you via e-mail.
Otherwise, we will send paper copies to you via standard
If you prefer to merely
view the information, please state that in your written
request. When your request is received, the Public
Information Officer will contact you to set an
appointment for you to come to our office and view the
documents. Any information that is confidential by law
will be removed from the documents you view.
long does my request take?
The Public Information Act
generally gives the CDA ten (10) business days to fill
requests. If our office needs additional time, we will
let you know the date and time the information will be
available. We will also let you know if we do not have
the information you are seeking.
Please remember, the more
specific your request is, the quicker we are able to
locate the documents and provide them to you.
Note that you may face
greater delays if you request documents that contain
confidential or exempt information. When a requestor
asks for information the CDA believes is exempt from
public disclosure, the CDA must forward the request and
documents to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for a
ruling about the disclosure within ten (10) business
days of receiving the request. You will receive a copy
of CDA’s request to the Texas Attorney General’s Office
without the enclosed documents.
A typical exception that
applies to documents of the CDA is the Law Enforcement
Exception wherein release of the information would:
Interfere with the
detection, investigation, or prosecution of a
relates to an investigation that did not result in a
conviction or deferred adjudication;
to a threat against a peace officer or detention
by prosecutors or that reflects the prosecutor’s
mental impressions or legal reasoning. Section
552.108 Texas Government Code
Common examples of
confidential information include the identity of an
informant and offense reports or court documents of
To speed up the process,
you may want to state in your request that you do not
wish to receive information deemed confidential or
exempt by the Public Information Act, statutes, or
case law. When you indicate this, we will automatically
remove any such information from your requested
materials and send along the remainder of the
information to you.
Do I have to pay for the information?
As a general rule, if the
total charge comes to $5.00 or more, you will be
assessed charges to cover the costs associated with
processing your request.
If the cost is less than
$5.00, we will not charge you. If your request triggers
charges, we will notify you of the estimated charges and
wait for you to accept the charges before completing
your request. If the estimated cost exceeds $100.00,
you will be required to prepay a deposit or bond before
the CDA will provide the documents.
In accepting the charges,
please put this in writing to the Public Information
Officer. Once our office receives the acceptance for
your records we will mail the records to you or allow
you to pick them up which ever you prefer. Please state
your preference in your acceptance of the charges.
Common Charges include:
printouts (letter and legal size)
$0.10 per page
Please note that the CDA’s
Office provides standard, not certified copies of CDA
Most requests do not end
up costing the requestor anything. However, if filling
your request entails a great deal of time, effort, or
materials on the CDA’s part, you may face some costs.
Comal County has set a
36-hour limit on the amount of time that personnel 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. This time limit is for a 12-month period that
corresponds to Comal County’s fiscal year. Section
552.275 Texas Government Code
The Texas Attorney
General’s Open Records Division provides an Open
Government Hotline staffed by attorneys who specialize
in both the Public Information Act and the Open Meetings
Act. They can answer questions and help resolve
disputes involving open government laws. The Hotline
can be reached at (512)478-OPEN (6736) or toll-free at
(877)OPEN TEX (673-6839). The mailing address for the
Open Records Division is P.O. Box 12548, Austin, Texas