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Official Opinions


January 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
11-135 The Honorable Jackson H. Miller
Member, House of Delegates
Discusses the application of a proposed amendment to Article I, § 11 of the Constitution of Virginia relating to the taking or damaging of private property by the power of eminent domain.

The Honorable Jeffrey L. McWaters
Member, Senate of Virginia

A member of the General Assembly is not precluded from raising funds for a candidate for federal office while the General Assembly is in session. 

11-112 The Honorable Gerald E. Mabe, II
Commonwealth's Attorney
Wythe County
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act  encompasses felony convictions for manufacturing controlled substances or for obtaining controlled substances by false pretenses.  Also,  those persons with such convictions are disqualified from receiving food stamp benefits because § 63.2-505.2 does not exempt such convictions from the application of the federal law. 



The Honorable Thomas K. Norment
Member, Senate of Virginia

The phrase “agricultural products,” as stated in § 15.2-2288, is not defined by the definitions set forth in § 3.2-6400.