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Official Opinions


February 2012 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.


Opinion # Requestor Summary


Ronald S. Hallman, Esquire
City Attorney for the City of Chesapeake

Although the United States government exercises exclusive jurisdiction over the Naval Base of JEB Little Creek,  such jurisdiction does not prohibit the City of Virginia Beach from assessing a BPOL tax on activities carried out by a private company on that land.  Further, whether the activity of a business at a particular location is sufficient for it to become a  “definite place of business” is a question of fact to be determined by the local taxing official, or by a trier of fact if litigated,  consistent with the definitions set forth in § 58.1-3700.1 and 23 Va. Admin. Code § 10-500-10. 


The Honorable Richard K. Newman
Commonwealth Attorney for the
City of Hopewell

While a prosecutor is permitted to move to amend a misdemeanor charge alleging a violation of a municipal ordinance to the equivalent misdemeanor charge alleging a violation of state law when such an arrest or summons was made by an officer of a local police department or a deputy for a local sheriff’s department, any such an amendment is subject to judicial review and may be made only by an appropriate judicial officer.


Mark D. Stiles, Esquire
City Attorney
City of Virginia Beach

The Public Procurement Act allows localities to adopt design-build procedures that limit the locality to the selection of no more than five offerors deemed fully qualified and best suited for the project.



Sara Redding Wilson, Director
Department of Human Resource Management

David Von Moll
State Comptroller

The term “regular payroll check” refers to both the timing of the check and the amount of the check, so that the proposed legislative change to § 65.2-524 adequately defines “regular payroll payment” to avoid any penalty.  Additionally, makes no difference whether the deduction for the new retirement contribution begins before or after the injured employee is injured.  Finally, because neither the new 5 percent mandated member contribution toward retirement nor other deductions elected by the employee, including health-care premiums and flexible reimbursement account deductions, constitute an assignment of benefits or a claim of a creditor, they are not prohibited by the Act and may be deducted in appropriate circumstances.