PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST
Submit Your Request Online
Other Methods to Submit a Public Information Request
To submit a request in person, please print the Public Information Request form and drop it off at City Hall, located at 100 N. 13th Street, Alpine, Texas 79830.
To submit a request by email, please fill out the Public Information Request form and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit a request by USPS mail, please fill out the Public Information Request form and mail the completed form to:
City of Alpine
100 N. 13th Street
Alpine, Texas 79830
Texas Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act requires governmental agencies to make available for inspection and copying all information that is collected, assembled, or maintained or maintained by or for a governmental body if it owns or has a right of access to the information, except for information the Act exempts or prohibits from disclosure, according to Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code.
Making a Request
The Act is triggered when a person submits a written request to a governmental body. The request must ask for records or information already in existence. The Act does not require a governmental body to create new information, to do legal research, or to answer questions. In preparing a request, a person may want to ask the governmental body what information is available.
Although the Public Information Request form is not a requirement, the City encourages Requestors to use the form or to provide all of the following information in their written request:
- Full Name
- Email Address (for faster responses)
- Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Detailed descriptions of records sought
Charges to the Requestor
A person may ask to view the information, get copies of the information, or both. If a request is for copies of information, the governmental body may charge for the copies. If a request is only for an opportunity to inspect information, then usually the governmental body may not impose a charge on the requestor. However, under certain limited circumstances a governmental body may impose a charge for access to information. All charges imposed by a governmental body for copies or for access to information must comply with the rules prescribed by the Office of the Attorney General, unless another statute authorizes a governmental body to set its own charges.
There is a required fee of $15.00 per hour of labor for requests that exceed 50 pages or requests that are completed electronically.
The following is a summary of the charges for copies of public information that have been adopted by the Attorney General.
(1) Standard paper copy--$.10 per page.
(2) Nonstandard-size copy:
• Diskette: $1.00;
• Magnetic tape: actual cost;
• Data cartridge: actual cost;
• Tape cartridge: actual cost;
• Rewritable CD (CD-RW)--$1.00;
• Non-rewritable CD (CD-R)--$1.00;
• Digital video disc (DVD)--$3.00;
• JAZ drive—actual cost;
• Other electronic media—actual cost;
• Audio cassette--$1.00;
• Oversize paper copy(e.g.: 11 inches by 17 inches, greenbar, bluebar, not including maps and photographs using specialty paper)--$.50;
• Specialty paper (e.g.: Mylar, blueprint, blueline, map, photographic)—Actual cost.
(3) Labor charge:
• For programming--$28.50 per hour;
• For locating, compiling, and reproducing--$15 per hour.
(4) Overhead charge—20% of labor charge.
(5) Microfiche or microfilm charge:
• Paper copy--$.10 per page;
• Fiche or film copy—Actual cost.
(6) Remote document retrieval charge—Actual cost.
(7) Computer resource charge:
• Mainframe--$10 per CPU minute;
• Midsize--$1.50 per CPU minute;
•Client/Server system--$2.20 per clock hour;
• PC or LAN--$1.00 per clock hour.
(8) Miscellaneous supplies--Actual cost.
(9) Postage and shipping charge--Actual cost.
(10) Photographs--Actual cost as calculated in accordance with §70.9(5) of this title.
(11) Maps--Actual cost as calculated in accordance with §70.9(4) of this title.
(12) Other costs--Actual cost.
(13) Outsourced/Contracted Services--Actual cost for the copy.
(14) No Sales Tax--No Sales Tax shall be applied to copies of public information.
Exceptions to the Act
Although the Act makes most government information available to the public, some exceptions exist. If an exception might apply and the governmental body wishes to withhold the information, the governmental body generally must, within ten business days of receiving the open records request, refer the matter to the Texas Office of the Attorney General ("OAG") for a ruling on whether an exception applies. If the OAG rules that an exception applies, the governmental body will not release the information. If a governmental body improperly fails to release information, the Act authorizes the requestor or the OAG to file a civil lawsuit to compel the governmental body to release the information.
Lodge a Complaint
To reach the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s ("OAG") Open Government Hotline, call toll-free (877) 673-6839 (877-OPEN TEX). Hotline staff can answer questions about the proper procedures for using and complying with the Act and can assist both governmental bodies and people requesting information from a governmental body. Hotline staff also review written complaints about alleged violations of the Act.
If a complaint relates to charges, contact the OAG’s Cost Hotline toll-free at (888) 672-6787 (888-ORCOSTS) or forward a written complaint. Certain violations of the Act may involve possible criminal penalties. Those violations must be reported to the appropriate county attorney or criminal district attorney.
Rights of Requestors
All people who request public information have the right to:
- Receive treatment equal to all other requestors
- Receive a statement of estimated charges in advance
- Choose whether to inspect the requested information, receive a copy of the information, or both
- Be notified when the governmental body asks the Texas Office of the Attorney General ("OAG) for a ruling on whether the information may or must be withheld
- Be copied on the governmental body's written comments to the OAG stating the reason why the stated exceptions apply
- Lodge a complaint with the OAG or the County Attorney, or the District Attorney, as appropriate, regarding any alleged violation of the Act
Responsibilities of Requestors
All people who request public information have the responsibility to:
- Submit a written request according to a governmental body’s reasonable procedures
- Include enough description and detail of the requested information so the governmental body can accurately identify and locate the requested items Cooperate with the governmental body’s reasonable requests to clarify the type or amount of information requested
- Respond promptly in writing to all written communications from the governmental body (including any written estimate of charges)
- Make a timely payment for all valid charges Keep all appointments for inspection of records or for pick-up of copies
Rights of Governmental Bodies
All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the right to:
- Establish reasonable procedures for inspecting or copying information
- Request and receive clarification of vague or overly broad requests
- Request a Texas Office of the Attorney General ruling regarding whether any information may or must be withheld
- Receive timely payment for all copy charges or other charges
- Obtain payment of overdue balances exceeding $100 or obtain a security deposit before processing additional requests from the same requestor
- Request a bond, prepayment or deposit if estimated costs exceed $100 (or, if the governmental body has fewer than 16 employees, $50)
Responsibilities of Governmental Body
All governmental bodies responding to information requests have the responsibility to:
- Treat all requestors equally
- Complete open records training as required by law
- Be informed of open records laws and educate employees on the requirements of those laws
- Inform the requestor of cost estimates and any changes in the estimates
- Confirm the requestor agrees to pay the costs before incurring the costs
- Provide requested information promptly
- Inform the requestor if the information will not be provided within ten business days and give an estimated date on which it will be provided
- Cooperate with the requestor to schedule reasonable times for inspecting or copying information
- Follow attorney general rules on charges; do not overcharge on any items; do not bill for items that must be provided without charge
- Inform third parties if their proprietary information is being requested from the governmental body
- Inform the requestor when the Texas Office of the Attorney General ("OAG") has been asked to rule on whether information may or must be withheld
- Copy the requestor on written comments submitted to the OAG stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply
- Comply with any OAG ruling on whether an exception applies or file suit against the OAG within 30 days
- Respond in writing to all written communications from the OAG regarding complaints about violations of the Act
Birth, Death, Marriage, Deeds, Property Tax Records
For records related to the following categories, please contact the Brewster County Clerk.
- Plat Maps
- Property Ownership
- Property Tax Payments