What is Public Information?
Public information includes any information that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental entity, regardless of format.
As a governmental entity, the City is subject to the Public Information Act (the "Act") that is sometimes referred to as the Open Records Act. The City of DeSoto strives to keep open the lines of communication with its citizens.
What are Vital Statistics?
Vital Statistics can include Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Divorce Decrees, Naturalization Documentation, Adoption Records, and Land Records. The City of DeSoto is not a repository for Vital Statistics. Records of this nature, for occurrences within Dallas County, are on file with the Dallas County Clerk's Office.
How do I Obtain Public Information?
Requests for Public Information do not require a specific form, but one is provided below for your convenience. Requests must be in writing and include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the City to accurately identify and locate the information requested. Please note that the Act requires the City to provide copies of existing records, but does not require the City to create records that do not now exist, do any research or answer questions.
The request should also include the requestor's contact information: name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. It is important that the contact information provided is accurate to avoid delays. In some cases, the City may need to contact the requestor to clarify the request.
Large, time-consuming requests may require the City to contact the requestor and confirm applicable charges. An advanced deposit may be required. For more information on the Act, you may visit any of the links listed at the bottom of the page.
Requests may be submitted by any of the means listed. Note: If you choose to email your request, it will be directed to Alicia Thomas, Interim City Secretary.
E-Mail: City Secretary
Mail: Alicia Thomas, Interim City Secretary
Public Records Coordinator
211 East Pleasant Run Road
DeSoto, Texas 75115
Click for a printable version of the Public Records Request Form.
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When Will I Receive the Public Information?
The Public Information Act requires that the City promptly produce the public information and that requests must be accomplished in a reasonable time period. There is often a misconception that the records must be produced within ten (10) days. In some instances, records can be produced in less than ten (10) days, but in other cases, which entail producing a substantial number of documents, it may take several weeks. If it will take longer than ten (10) business days to provide requested records, the City must certify in writing to the requestor when (within a reasonable time) the information will be available.
The Act outlines in detail types of records that are prohibited or excluded from disclosure. If the City feels that the requested information falls within one of the statutory exceptions, the City must request a ruling from the Attorney General within ten (10) business days after the date the City received the written request. The Attorney General's office will then hand down an opinion on whether the information is to be released or withheld.
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2020 Texas Public Information Handbook
This link will enable you to view the actual text of the Act.
2020 Open Meeting Act Handbook
This link will enable you to view the 2020 Open Meetings Act Handbook.
Texas Public Information Act Made Easy
This link will enable you to view a publication by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas that contains frequently asked questions about the Act.
Office of the Attorney General of Texas
This link will take you the Attorney General's Open Government resource.