Open Records Requests
The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) is committed to providing access to public information maintained by the agency.
Unlike judicial courts, SOAH is an executive branch state agency that is subject to the Texas Public Information Act (PIA), Texas Government Code Chapter 552. Therefore, SOAH is both allowed and required to process all requests for administrative case records, hearing recordings, or other information according to that law.
All requests are required to be treated uniformly without regard to the status of the requestor, including requestors who are parties or representatives in cases at SOAH.
SOAH Case Records Available Online
In most situations, it is not necessary to submit an open records request for SOAH case records because up-to-date information is publicly accessible online.
Case records for most hearings at SOAH are available online through re:SearchTX, the electronic court records system hosted by the State of Texas. re:SearchTX serves as an official repository of SOAH case records.
The electronic records available through re:SearchTX are automatically updated with the filing or issuance of any new documents in a SOAH case, and records available through re:SearchTX may be relied upon in the same manner as an original or certified copy. Re:SearchTX also provides alerts and other search tools to allow users to easily locate and receive notifications about SOAH case filings. Although you must register for an account, there is no cost to obtain SOAH records through re:SearchTX.
As a matter of competent and diligent representation, SOAH expects attorneys and authorized representatives to establish access to re:SearchTX, monitor case filings, and obtain their own case records through eFileTexas and re:SearchTX without unduly relying on SOAH’s open records process.
Records that are not publicly accessible through re:SearchTX include:
General docket case records filed at SOAH prior to March 3, 2020*
Administrative Driver's License cases referred by the Texas Department of Public Safety prior to June 1, 2022.
Records of special education due process proceedings referred by the Texas Education Agency
Audio recordings of SOAH hearings
Confidential cases and documents. In accordance with applicable confidentiality laws, some information in SOAH case records may be redacted and confidential cases or records may be accessible only to certain authorized users of re:SearchTX. You may view or download a listing of confidential case types and information at SOAH on our website.
For more information on how to search SOAH case records online using the re:SearchTX system, please see SOAH's re:SearchTX at SOAH FAQs.
*To obtain copies of case records filed prior to March 2, 2020 that are not available in re:SearchTX, you may submit an open records request.
To obtain ALR case scheduling information, visit SOAH’s Driver’s License Hearings Schedule page.
To obtain General Docket scheduling information, visit SOAH’s General Hearings and Mediation Schedule page.
To request a transcript for an ALR appeal, follow the instructions provided on SOAH’s Driver’s License Hearing Appeal Transcript page.
How to Submit an Open Records Request
To submit an open records request:
You must submit your request in writing by email or United States Postal Mail to the addresses designated below in accordance with section 552.234 of the Texas Government Code.
Please include your name, address, or other contact information, and a clear description of the records you are requesting.
Send your open records request by email or United States Postal Mail to:
Public Information Coordinator
State Office of Administrative Hearings
P.O. Box 13025
Austin, Texas 78711-3025
You will be notified in writing if there are costs associated with your records request. The Office of the Attorney General sets what a state agency may charge for information. For questions about the Public Information Act, please consult the Texas Office of Attorney General, Open Records Division.
Tips to Request Information
Your request must be in writing by one of the designated methods. Only written open records requests submitted to the designated email address or mailing address trigger obligations under the PIA.
Be as specific as possible in your request and include a timeframe when appropriate.
If you are requesting confidential information, you may be required to verify your identity or provide proof of your authorization to receive the information.
Your request should be for documents or other information already in existence. The open records law does not require SOAH to create new information, answer questions, provide case status updates, perform legal research, provide supplemental service of process, or comply with a request to supply information in the future if it becomes available. SOAH’s open records staff is not authorized to accept case filings or respond to case-related communications that are not open records requests.
Some categories of information do not have to be released under Texas law. Exceptions to disclosure fall into two general categories: (1) mandatory exceptions that make information confidential and require a governmental body to withhold information, and (2) discretionary exceptions that allow but do not require a governmental body to withhold information. You may find information about mandatory and discretionary exceptions on the Texas Attorney General’s website.
In most instances, a governmental body is required to request an open records decision from the Attorney General in order to withhold information from a requestor. However, your request can authorize SOAH to redact information that is subject to an exception without having to first request an Attorney General decision. You are not required to agree to the redaction of any information responsive to your request, but doing so can help to expedite the handling of your request.