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Texas high court redefines response time in state open records law

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Texas Supreme Court reversed an appeals court decision and said that state agencies do not have to meet a…

The Texas Supreme Court reversed an appeals court decision and said that state agencies do not have to meet a 10-day deadline for responding to a public records request if they ask for further clarification, The Texas Tribune reported.

The case began when the city of Dallas asked for clarification on a broad records request made in 2002. The state attorney general said that the 10-day response window was paused, not restarted, until the requester responds. If the request was made on the 3rd day of the 10-day window, for example, the city would then have another 7 days from when the clarification is made to fulfill or deny the request on legal grounds. Two lower courts agreed with the attorney general’s interpretation.

The state Supreme Court, however, disagreed, saying the response window "is measured from the date a party seeking public information responds to a governmental body’s good-faith request for clarification or narrowing of an unclear or overbroad information request."