Inmate who plead to life on Murder now seeks all records in the State's file through an open records request.
Anyone else getting requests like these? If the Defendant can't get copies of the discovery through his attorney due to the discovery rules prior to trial, how can he do so through such a request after pleading guilty and waiving all rights to appeal? I would assume the dead man's bloody photographs would be considered contraband in TDCJ and he would not be allowed to possess them. Sending it to the AG for an opinion, but just curious if this is something anyone else has dealt with, and if so, what was the result?
Unless the law has changed, I think that PIA requests from inmates can simply be denied without seeking an AG opinion. You might take a look at the current version of the AG's open records handbook.
The exception John is referring to can be found in section 552.028 of the Government Code. You don’t have to respond to inmate open records requests unless they come from the inmate’s attorney.
There’s one caveat: In Re Bonilla, 424 S.W. 3d 528 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004). The upshot is that if the inmate is making a request for the purpose of perfecting an appeal, and your office is the only source of the document(s) the inmate needs, failure to turn them over is a violation of open access to courts.
So if you don’t respond, there’s a chance you may be forced to later.
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