Disclosing Driver’s License Photographs
Re: Whether a county's disclosure on its website of driver's license photographs received from the Department of Public Safety would violate the Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act or the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (RQ-0799-GA).
Submitted by Steven C. McCraw, Director
Texas Department of Public Safety
Summary, Opinion No. GA-789: The Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act and the Texas Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act do not prohibit the Department of Public Safety from disclosing driver's license photographs to the Dallas County Sheriff for use in carrying out law enforcement purposes. We cannot state as a matter of law whether the publication of such photos online would be permissible or would constitute an unauthorized redisclosure under the state or federal act.
County Jail Commissary Fund
Re: Use and management of a county jail commissary fund under Local Government Code section 351.0415 (RQ-0841-GA).
Submitted by Richard P. Bianchi
Aransas County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. 791: Local Government Code section 351.0415 grants the sheriff exclusive control of funds generated by the operation of a jail commissary, requires the sheriff to maintain commissary accounts, and provides that commissary proceeds may be used only to benefit inmates of the county jail. Commissary proceeds are not funds "belonging to the county" under Local Government Code section 113.021(a). Texas courts follow the common-law rule that interest follows principal unless lawfully separated from the principal. Section 113.021 separates interest from funds "belonging to the county" and allocates it to the county general fund. Because the commissary fund is not a fund "belonging to the county," interest remains with the commissary fund.
Land Annexed into Groundwater Conservation District
Re: Status of particular tracts of land annexed into one groundwater conservation district and subsequently included in special legislation creating a different district (RQ-0817-GA).
Submitted by Troy Fraser
Chair, Committee on Natural Resources
Texas State Senate
Summary, Opinion No. GA-792: Two different political subdivisions may not exercise jurisdiction over the same territory at the same time and for the same purpose. For purposes of statutory law, the 1995 special law creating the Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District prevails over the prior annexation of territory by the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District pursuant to general law. A disputed tract of land claimed both by the Jeff Davis County Underground Water Conservation District and the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District is exclusively within the territory of the Presidio District. A disputed tract of land claimed both by the Jeff Davis County Underground Water Conservation District and the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District is exclusively within the territory of the Middle Pecos District. A disputed tract of land claimed both by the Jeff Davis County Underground Water Conservation District and the Brewster County Groundwater Conservation District is exclusively within the territory of the Brewster District. In any of the above referenced scenarios, there may exist constitutional considerations that would require a different result.
School District and County Right of Way
Re: Whether a school district may access and use a county's right of way to install fiber optic cable (RQ-0818-GA).
Submitted by Garnet F. Coleman
Chair, Committee on County Affairs
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA-793: Because no statute grants school districts the right to access and use county road rights-of-way to install fiber-optic cable, a school district is not entitled to use county road rights-of-way for that purpose.