|TEXANS FOR PUBLIC JUSTICE,||
||IN THE DISTRICT COURT|
||OF TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS|
|HON. GABI S. CANALES||
||______ JUDICIAL DISTRICT|
PLAINTIFF'S ORIGINAL PETITION
COMES NOW Plaintiff, Texans for Public Justice, complaining of the conduct of defendant and, in support thereof, respectfully shows as follows:
Plaintiff intends for this suit to be conducted under Discovery Level 2, pursuant to TEX. R. CIV. P. 190.
Plaintiff, Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), is a non-profit research and policy organization dedicated to maintaining and promoting the public's interest and openness in government, with its office in Austin, Travis County, Texas.
Defendant, Hon. Gabi S. Canales, is a duly elected state representative who maintains a legislative office in the capitol complex in Austin, Travis County, Texas. Defendant is a state official and is governed by the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA). Defendant may be served with process at her legislative office, at the House of Representatives, P.O. Box 2910, Austin, Travis County, Texas, 78768-2910.
Venue is proper in Travis County.
In February of 2003, plaintiff made a written request for public information under the TPIA from defendant. Specifically, plaintiff requested information pertaining to defendants applications and/or requests for Legislative Continuances, pursuant to Chapter 30 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Such documents are within the definition of Public Information under the TPIA and such documents exist solely by virtue of defendant holding public office. Defendant responded that she refused to make public such information, because there are no records in this office that meet plaintiff's request. Defendant, evidently, bases her refusal to comply with the TPIA based upon an improper conception that such public information need not be disclosed because it is stored at another location.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Defendantís failure to produce the information requested by plaintiff violates TPIA and plaintiff is entitled to appropriate relief, including mandamus, declaratory and/or injunctive relief. The information that defendant failed to provide to plaintiff is made public pursuant to, inter alia, TEX. GOV. CODE '552.001, 552.002, 552.022, and is also presumed to be public pursuant to '552.303. Plaintiff seeks a judgment, including injunctive relief, and/or a declaration, that said information that plaintiff requested of defendant is public information under the terms of the TPIA and/or that defendant violated TPIA in failing to provide plaintiff the information requested by it. Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive and/or mandamus relief compelling defendant to make available to plaintiff the requested documents.
As a result of defendant's conduct, plaintiff has been forced to retain counsel and is entitled to recover its reasonable and necessary costs and attorney's fees from defendant, including but not limited to, any and all necessary fees and expenses incurred in any appeal, with the maximum amount of pre- and/or post-judgment interest on any such award.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, plaintiff respectfully prays that this Court:
- Grant plaintiff appropriate relief, including, but not limited to, declaratory, and/or injunctive relief declaring and holding that the acts of defendant stated herein were violative of plaintiff's rights under the Texas Public Information Act and requiring defendant to produce to all records requested by plaintiff;
- Grant plaintiff judgment against defendant for all reasonable and necessary attorney's fees and costs, with the maximum amount of pre-and post-judgment interest allowed by law; and
- Grant plaintiff any and all additional relief as this Court deems proper and just.
WISEMAN, DURST, OWEN & COLVIN, P.C.