Official Opinions

Opinion In Reference To

Interest earned on educational purpose sales taxes and on special county one percent sales and use taxes is required to be used exclusively for the purpose or purposes specified in the resolution or ordinance calling for imposition of the respective tax.


A member of the Judicial Retirement System who ceases to hold any office or position entitled to coverage in the system is vested with the right to spouses benefits if he or she has made employee contributions for such benefits for a minimum of ten years; however, the right to disability retirement benefits is conditioned upon the disability occurring while the individual is actively holding a position or office covered by the system.


There is no legal impediment to a University System institutions allowing a student, upon the students request, to satisfy an internship requirement at a sectarian facility which by policy limits staff and internship employment to persons of its particular religious faith or persuasion, and that disallowance would be in violation of the students First Amendment rights where the permission is denied solely because of the facilitys religious character and exclusivity policies.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Under O.C.G.A. § 43-34-103(e.1), physicians assistants are allowed to prescribe Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances when acting under the requisite supervision of a physician and pursuant to the requisite job description.


Neither O.C.G.A. § 20-2-145 nor O.C.G.A. § 50-3-4.1 on its face violates the separation of church and state provisions of either the Georgia or the United States Constitution.


Mobile homes, synonymously referred to as manufactured homes, are subject to the Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act and owners of manufactured homes are required to obtain a motor vehicle certificate of title.  Further, in order for liens or security interests in manufactured homes to be valid against subsequent creditors of the owner, subsequent transferees and subsequent holders of security interests and liens, the lien or security interest must be perfected in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act.


Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 35-2-12 may constitutionally be enforced to prohibit employees of the Department of Public Safety from contributing any money or any other thing of value to any person, organization, or committee for political campaign or election in county or state primaries or general elections.


The use of a blind trust does not limit the information required to be disclosed in a public officers financial disclosure statement, and a public officer must disclose the individual assets and interests held in a blind trust to the extent they are otherwise subject to the provisions of the Georgia Ethics in Government Act.


The Georgia Constitution prohibits grants to sectarian institutions for the purpose of the Reading Challenge Program.


The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act preempts the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 33-3-23 restricting lending institutions, bank holding companies, and their subsidiaries and affiliates from selling insurance in municipalities with populations exceeding 5,000.


A local law cannot extend the tenure in office of an elected official who would otherwise immediately vacate that office, as required by the Georgia Constitution, when qualifying to run for another elected position.


Under the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 47-3-92, only days of sick leave accrued while a member of the Teachers Retirement System may be credited towards retirement under the Teachers Retirement System.


The First Offender Act, O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60 et seq., is applicable to misdemeanor offenses.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


While neither the United States nor the Georgia Constitution contains a per se prohibition against teaching about the Bible in public schools, there are very strict legal limitations on how, and in what context, such courses may be taught.


While misdemeanants may only be referred to probation detention centers upon initial sentencing pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 42-8-35.4, misdemeanants may also be referred to such facilities pursuant to probation revocation proceedings under O.C.G.A. § 42-8-34.1, and housed in detention centers by the Department of Corrections after a probation revocation proceeding pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-10-1(a)(3)(A).


A licensed real estate broker who is not licensed as a real estate appraiser may provide a real estate brokers price opinion to a lending institution for financing purposes.


Decisions of the Office of State Administrative Hearings are public records unless they contain information from evidence received in the course of a hearing which has been sealed pursuant to a confidentiality provision.


Inmate labor may not be used to work for a solid waste management facility that is operated by a private, for-profit entity, where the inmate labor inures to the benefit of that private, for-profit entity.


Beginning July 1, 1999, 1999 Ga. Laws 798, amending O.C.G.A. § 28-5-85 and O.C.G.A. § 28-5-104, prohibits the Claims Advisory Board from recommending compensation to an inmate injured while in the custody of the Department of Corrections.


The right to receive an actuarially reduced retirement allowance upon attaining twenty-five (25) years of service, provided for in O.C.G.A. § 47-2-120(e), is not a new "benefit" that has accrued and, therefore, is not proscribed by O.C.G.A. § 47-2-70(c).


The Adjutant General cannot delegate his discretionary power or authority regarding the signing of state contracts but he can implement guidelines regarding routine contracts and then delegate to the Director of Strategic Resource Management the ministerial function of signing contracts which fall within those guidelines. The delegation should be in writing to set forth clearly the responsibility the Adjutant General has delegated.


A church that accepts donations of used motor vehicles and resells the vehicles must be licensed as a used motor vehicle dealer in the State of Georgia, unless the church would otherwise qualify for a statutory exemption.


"Registered" or "exempt" peace officers who otherwise meet the certification requirements of Chapter 8 of Title 35 have the same authority as that of certified peace officers.


The Private Colleges and Universities Authority is not a "state authority" for the purposes of the Ethics in Government Act and, therefore, its members need not file the financial disclosure forms required by O.C.G.A. § 21-5-50.


Special policemen, appointed pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 35-9-1 through 35-9-14, have and may exercise the powers of a peace officer "only upon the property or in connection with the property" to which they are appointed for the purpose of "protecting and preserving."


The Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority is the owner of the "GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME" and "GEORGY" marks. Additionally, the Georgia Constitution may prohibit the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority from delegating the exclusive right to select inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to any private entity.


The requirement that amendments to the budgets of local governments be adopted by ordinance or resolution is not satisfied by the adoption of a "blanket amendment" in the local government's budget resolution.


Standby letters of credit issued by a Federal Home Loan Bank do not meet the statutory criteria for collateral for deposits of public funds.


Under O.C.G.A. § 46-2-5(b), a commissioner on the Public Service Commission who defers serving as chairman, will resume his place, in the following year, at the head of the order rather than behind the other otherwise eligible commissioners.


ROTC faculty members are not eligible to receive benefits pursuant to the Board of Regents Tuition Remission and Reimbursement Program, as the Board of Regents does not employ them as full-time employees.


Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 48-5-304 permits the Department of Revenue to accept an ad valorem tax digest submitted for review by a county in a revaluation year if either (a) the disputed assessed value of property involved in arbitration or appeals is 5% or less of the total assessed value of all property reflected on the taxable tangible digest, or (b) the number of parcels of property involved in arbitration or appeals is 5% or less of the total number of parcels shown on the digest.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 20-2-306(a) does not authorize the State Board of Education to include home-schooled students in the Governor's Honors Program.


Georgias real estate transfer tax applies to easements acquired by public utilities through condemnation.


The Insurance Commissioner has the authority to tax HMO receipts of Medicaid premium payments.


Unless the General Assembly otherwise provides, state agencies should presumptively consider college courses as being beyond the scope of the ordinary training agencies may provide employees in state government, but, in certain narrow circumstances, agencies may train employees in college courses which provide job-specific instruction.


The criminal investigation records of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are also part of the prosecutorial file and, therefore, any discovery requests involving those records should be coordinated with the prosecuting attorney who should be the primary source for determining the response.


A licensed used motor vehicle parts dealer can transfer salvage titles without being licensed as a used motor vehicle dealer provided that the used motor vehicle parts dealer complies with Chapter 3 of Title 40, the "Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act" and the rules and regulations of the State Revenue Commissioner relating to salvage vehicles, including the requirement that a motor vehicle with a title marked "salvage" be titled in the name of the business prior to the sale of the salvage motor vehicle unless the sale is made to a licensed dealer.


Counties and school districts have authority to enter into intergovernmental contracts in which the county leases real property to the school board for use as a site for a public school or other educational purpose.


Bonds may be issued by county school boards under applicable provisions of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated for school system administration facilities, bus maintenance and storage facilities and warehouse facilities, including facilities for the storage of equipment, paper products, school lunch supplies and food products, upon compliance by the county school board with the notice of purpose and other requirements set forth in O.C.G.A. ¿ 36-82-1 et seq.


Under O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-30.1(d), individuals who hold licenses issued by examining boards under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State are permitted to make campaign contributions from their personal funds to the Secretary of State or a candidate for that office.


The Development Authority of Fulton County has the power under the Development Authorities Law (O.C.G.A. ¿ 36-62-1 et seq.) to enter into lease transactions and pay the cost of tenant improvements for a project as defined by the Development Authorities Law. A State local assistance grant and the use of such grant by the Development Authority for such a project does not contravene the provisions of Article VII, Section IV, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1983.


State incentive grants under O.C.G.A. ¿ 20-2-290 may be awarded for sixth grades only where they are housed in middle schools also containing the seventh and eighth grades.


State incentive grants under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-290 may be awarded for sixth grades only where they are housed in middle schools also containing the seventh and eighth grades.


A Community Service Board that has a contract with the Georgia Department of Human Resources may subcontract with a provider who is a General Assembly member only where there is no impermissible conflict of interest.


Under the Ethics in Government Act, a public office holder or candidate therefor, who owns more than a 10% or $20,000 interest in a corporation, must disclose that interest but only must disclose an interest in corporately owned real estate if he has a legally enforceable right to use the land for his own personal enjoyment or profit and his interest therein has a fair market value of more than $20,000.


An employer has the discretion to accept or refuse a letter of resignation that is tendered prior to the effective date of a proposed dismissal.


It is constitutional for the Board of Regents to prohibit its employees from seeking or holding state or federal elective office while they are actively employed by the University System.