County divorce harris public record

In , officials across Texas asked the attorney general to withhold police and investigative records — like those Green requested — 16, times, making it by far the most-used exception. The attorney general approved the decisions 98 percent of the time, the analysis shows. In Texas, unlike in other states, public officials who want to withhold or redact records have to appeal to the attorney general. The only way to contest an outcome from there is to sue, which can be costly and take years.

The attorney general's office publishes its records opinions online, but the documents are difficult to search; there's no way to track how many requests involve certain kinds of information. ABC13 was able to make that possible by digitizing every decision going back 10 years, then running keyword queries.

The review sheds new light on the impact of a series of contentious court decisions, chief among them the state Supreme Court ruling in Boeing v. Paxton, which allowed companies with government contracts to argue against the release of information on their deals if it could cause competitive harm. Before Boeing, businesses could only ask to block information if it was a trade secret, such as a product design or formula.

They were right. Since , nearly 4, appeals to the attorney general's office have invoked Boeing, 95 percent of them allowing the denial of records. The number of appeals claiming competitive harm last year was up five-fold from In McAllen, the Boeing ruling stopped taxpayers from learning how much the city paid a pop star to sing at its holiday parade.

In Houston, it blocked the release of data on permits issued to Uber. The bar has dropped so low, a lawyer at the attorney general's office warned lawmakers last year, that companies have even asked to withhold their names from the public record. Proponents of the ruling have argued that information about a company's operation should always be protected, even if their contract is funded by tax dollars.

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A bipartisan response to strengthen the law after the Boeing decision failed last session. Lawmakers are trying again this year. Giovanni Capriglione, a Republican from suburban Fort Worth who is sponsoring one of the pieces of legislation. This bill will go a long way toward fixing that.

Harris county divorce records

The Texas open records law is often described as stronger than those in other states because of its built-in appeals process. Transparency advocates such as Joe Larsen, a Houston lawyer who specializes in records cases, say the structure is flawed. Agencies are only required to send the attorney general's office a sample of the records they want to withhold, and there's no oversight to ensure it's representative.

Officials can draw out the response process by asking for clarifications and lumping requests together when assessing fees, which might tie up smaller requests with those that are more costly and take more time.

Texas counties rally against statewide court records portal

Even if a record is clearly public, officials can send it to the attorney general as a way to delay its release. The attorney general's office has 45 business days to respond. In , the company that owns the Fort Bend Herald sued the Fort Bend County sheriff after he appealed to the attorney general to withhold the names of complainants in a local school bribery scandal.

The name of complainants and other basic information about an investigation are considered public under the law. Soon after the lawsuit was filed, the sheriff turned over the information.

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By then, the newspaper had already incurred substantial legal fees. Larsen, who filed a brief on the newspaper's behalf, said often the only practical way to get records, and get them quickly, is to sue and force the government's hand. That's not feasible for many who request information. There are dozens of exceptions now carved into the Texas records law, and many of them have become more expansive over the years. Under the law, officials can withhold records such as internal emails and memos if they contain advice or opinions on "policymaking" decisions.

The rule was designed to help employees speak freely when crafting rules and other lasting policy measures. It's not a blanket protection, however, as the state Supreme Court clarified in a pivotal decision. Today, though, the attorney general's office believes that only "routine" personnel and administrative discussions are public.

That was the interpretation used earlier this year to block the Chronicle from obtaining email discussions among employees at the Health and Human Services Commission on how much to award the Heidi Group. The anti-abortion group was eventually awarded millions in family planning funding, then went on to serve far fewer low-income women than expected. The use of the policymaking exception has more than doubled over the past decade, according to ABC13's analysis.

1. Why use this guide?

It's up 14 percent since Paxton took office. Agencies are also failing more frequently to meet deadlines under the law, the analysis found. Complaints about officials not responding to requests in time reached a record high last year, at nearly 2, Most were allowed to withhold records anyway. Green was eventually able to get records on her son's death, but only after a year of intense research and consultations with friends in the legal community.

She has since sued the sheriff's office , which runs the jail, claiming it failed to give Patrick the care he was constitutionally afforded. Green's attorney in the suit, Randall Kallinen, has litigated civil rights cases in Texas for decades. As the Chief Election Officer of the third largest county in the United States, I am highly aware of the responsibility of ensuring each citizen the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to serving you in the future! Prior to that, she was elected as an At-Large, Countywide board member on the Harris County Board of Education in for a 6 year term. While on the board, she supported federal grants that maximized local tax dollars resulting in savings for the school districts and the taxpayers.

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Along with the rest of the board, she was successful in reducing HCDE property taxes for the last four years of her term. Her past work experience includes tenures as Asst. Austin State universities. She also earned a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University where she received the Morphet Award for her dissertation developing a new leadership theory.

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  • She and her husband Tim have three grown children and two grandchildren. Trautman has always believed that as an elected official, she should make government work for the individual, and she understands that as a public servant, she works for the people of Harris County and not the other way around. Diane Trautman Harris County Clerk. Home How do I Get a copy of my birth certificate Get a copy of my marriage license Get a Keepsake marriage license document.

    File a deed Search for deeds. Harris County Clerk's Office Welcome. Harris County Clerk's Office.

    Harris County Clerk's Office Services. Records documents related to real property transactions. Maintains an index and issues copies of all recorded documents. Maintains and issues copies of birth, death and marriage licenses. Issues marriage licenses. Files Assumed Name Certificates.