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Official Opinions


July 2011 Opinions

Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Official opinions will be posted as they are issued, generally within 24 to 48 hours. Please check this page at regular intervals to determine whether additional opinions have been issued.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Official opinions represent the attorney general’s analysis of current law based on his thorough research of existing statutes, the Virginia and United States constitutions, and relevant court decisions.  Official opinions do not create new law, nor do they change existing law.  Creating and amending laws are the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the attorney general.  

Official opinions are legal advice, not personal opinions, and do not reflect the attorney general’s personal views about what the law should be.  Such advice is provided to ensure clients/the requester are in compliance with the law.  While the opinions may be given deference by the courts, they are not binding on the courts.

The official opinions issued by the attorney general are part of the duties of the office (see Code § 2.2-505).  A person authorized by statute, such as the governor, a member of the General Assembly, a constitutional officer, or the head of a state agency, can ask the attorney general for an official opinion on the law. Members of the general public are not authorized to ask for opinions.


Requestor Summary
11-091 Honorable Rex A. Davis
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Newport News
Section 15.2-1613.1 authorizes the fee to be assessed only when a person is admitted, or re-admitted, to jail after conviction.  If a person is convicted, but is not admitted or readmitted to jail following conviction, the fee may not be assessed.
11-082 Honorable Clarence E. "Bud" Phillips
Member, House of Delegates
Section 27-14 does not permit a locality to adopt an ordinance authorizing a volunteer fire department to assess and charge a fee to an individual’s homeowners’ or automobile insurance policy for responding to a fire emergency.
11-057 Honorable Jack Kennedy
Clerk of Court, Wise County Circuit Court
The determination of whether a particular filing qualifies as a “proceeding” under § 8.01-335(A) requires a review of its specific contents.  Also, when an attorney files a copy of a letter to opposing counsel with the Clerk of Court, such a filing does not constitute a “proceeding” under § 8.01-335, but the filed letter may indicate that there are other ongoing proceedings pending in the action, thereby foreclosing the discontinuance of the action.
11-061 Hons. John O’Bannon, III, MD and L. Scott Lingamfelter, Members, House of Delegates
Hons. Linda Puller, Stephen Newman, Members, Senate of Virginia
Addresses various questions related to application of real estate tax exemption provided under Article X, § 6-A of the Virginia Constitution and Code §§ 58.1-3219.5 and 58.1-3219.6, including eligibility of certain veterans, surviving spouses and property titled in trusts. 
11-071 Matthew J. Britton, Esq., Commonwealth’s Attorney, King George County Under the plain language of § 22.1-30(A), a planning commission member is not precluded from being elected to, and serving on, a school board.
11-088 Dennis E. Jones, Esq., County Attorney, Russell County Under § 15.2-1605.1, the Board of Supervisors may authorize a 5% salary supplement to constitutional officers and their employees to be paid out of county funds.
11-078 The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia
Under the present state of the law, the University of Virginia lawfully may promulgate a policy that prohibits persons from openly carrying a firearm in the buildings that are subject to the policy.  Further, with respect to persons who have a concealed carry permit, because the University adopted a policy rather than a regulation, it has not “otherwise prohibited by law” persons with a concealed carry permit from possessing a handgun, and, therefore, the policies may not be used to prohibit persons with such a permit from carrying a concealed firearm into the buildings covered by the policy.
11-059 The Honorable Albert C. Pollard, Jr.
Member, House of Delegates
Chapter 573 does not apply to contracts that are primarily for the acquisition of goods, including tomatoes, but that it can apply if the contract is primarily to acquire services.  Further Chapter 573 does not apply to subcontractors.  Finally, seasonal workers, who return to a contractor’s work site after having left the country and lawfully re-entered, are “newly hired” for purposes of E-Verify if they did not have at all times a reasonable expectation of resuming employment.
11-069 J. Vaden Hunt, Esquire
County Attorney, Pittsylvania County
Based on the plain language of § 4.1-124(A), neither a member of the Board nor the Board in its entirety is authorized to petition the circuit court for a referendum on mixed beverage sales.