Official Opinions

Opinion In Reference To
98-5

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.

98-4

Corporations which are not otherwise engaged in business activities or professions regulated by the Secretary of State are not regulated entities under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-30.1. Examining boards connected to the Secretary of State which issue professional and business licenses are under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State for the purpose of the statute.

98-3

Members of the Professional Standards Commission may not continue to serve past their appointed three-year terms as they are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

98-2

A plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined under the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. ¿ 921 et seq., does not result in the imposition of a civil disability so as to prohibit the right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms under the Act.

98-1

A prosecution for a misdemeanor violation of O.C.G.A. ¿ 16-9-20, deposit account fraud, is commenced when a citation meets all the requirements of O.C.G.A. ¿ 15-10-202(b) and O.C.G.A. ¿ 15-10-202(c) including the signing of the citation by a judge or clerk of the magistrate court and proper service of the citation by a law enforcement officer.

97-33

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

97-32

A state universitys recognition of a group of students as an official student organization that requires that its voting members profess its religious beliefs would not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and a state university's refusal to recognize such a group would violate the group founders First Amendment rights of expressive association.

97-31

(1) The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 preempts state legislation concerning the training and licensing of security officers performing pre-departure screening under a contract with an airline or an aircraft carrier. (2) Security officers providing security to most federal facilities on an independent contract basis must comply with state legislation concerning the training and licensing.

97-30

A referendum is required before a school board may borrow money for a term longer than twelve calendar months where the loan is to be repaid from expected STEP collections. A school board may, without such referendum, borrow money for a term of one calendar year or less, if certain legal requirements are met.

97-29

County school board members who act as subcontractors on school board construction projects generally cannot be criminally prosecuted under O.C.G.A. ¿ 20-2-505. However, under certain circumstances that practice could constitute the crime of bribery or otherwise create an impermissible conflict of interest.

97-28

Georgia law does not permit a certificate of title for a motor vehicle to be held in the name of a business trust.

97-26

Commissions paid state agencies by telephone companies for the privilege of locating pay telephones on state property are not collected pursuant to revenue measures enacted by the General Assembly and are not required to be deposited into the state treasury.

97-27

Official Code of Georgia Annotated 16-11-126(e) requires that this state recognize and give effect to firearms permits issued by other states whose laws recognize and give effect to a Georgia permit. Only the states of Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Texas do so.

97-25

The language of O.C.G.A. ¿ 50-13-4(a)(4) would not prohibit the Board of Natural Resources and the Director of the Environmental Protection Division from adopting regulations and taking such actions as are necessary to ensure that Georgia's regulatory authority to administer its environmental programs is at least as stringent as federal regulatory authority established pursuant to the federal environmental laws and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

97-24

Owners and insurers are required to surrender to the State Revenue Commissioner license plates of vehicles which become salvage or total loss vehicles.

97-23

The essential intent of Code Subsection 12-8-21(c) is the reduction of solid waste by 25 percent; this goal remains effective in applying related provisions of the "Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act," notwithstanding that the goal was originally expressed in terms of a calendar date which has passed.

97-22

(1) Peace officers are exempt from licensure by the Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies in very limited circumstances. (2) A peace officer engaged in the private detective or security business may not employ other peace officers, unless those individuals are licensed or registered by the Board. (3) All peace officers, licensed by the Board and intending to carry firearms, must obtain a Board-issued weapons permit.

97-21

A person may not be employed simultaneously with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences and as a county deputy coroner.

97-20

Applicability of the Open Records Act to records of the Fraud and Compliance Division of the State Board of Workers' Compensation.

97-19

The magistrate court relinquishes its authority to set and amend bonds when an indictment or accusation is filed in the superior court; however, the superior court may delegate its authority, as appropriate, under O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-1(h) or O.C.G.A. ¿ 15-1-9.1(e).

97-18

The executive directors and members of the State Examining Boards, as well as other public officers defined in O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-3(15)(A)-(E), must file the financial disclosure reports required under the Ethics in Government Act, O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-5-50.

97-17

The effect of the statutory provisions regarding involuntary separation retirement benefits on consolidation and redirection efforts of the state agencies.

97-17

The effect of the statutory provisions regarding involuntary separation retirement benefits on consolidation and redirection efforts of the state agencies.

97-16

The Department of Agriculture's authority to inspect scales used exclusively for weighing packages to be shipped by the United Parcel Service, Inc. has been preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994.

97-15

The State may recover from local school systems any overpayments occasioned by the school system's inaccurate count of students eligible for the special instructional assistance program and for any other overpayment caused by an inaccurate student count.

97-14

The Department of Transportation must receive in return for the disposal of access rights under O.C.G.A. ¿ 32-6-133(b), the fair market value of such rights or other substantial benefit in aid of the performance of the Department's governmental mission. A gift of any portion of access rights to the property owner would be a prohibited gratuity under the Georgia Constitution, Article III, Section VI, Paragraph VI.

97-12

Local school board members may not provide professional services for compensation to the school systems they represent.

97-11

The State Board of Education has the authority to provide for exemption of students with disabilities from the graduation assessments. In addition, pursuant to a State Board rule, local school systems may modify the administration of the test to accommodate students with disabilities.

97-13

The Teachers Retirement System and the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia may seek, but are not required to seek, the assistance and approval of the Department of Administrative Services regarding custodian agreements for the Systems' investment securities.

97-9

The Georgia Military College may not pledge real property to secure borrowing.

97-10

Application of the Ex Post Facto Clause of Art. I, Sec. X of the United States Constitution to the Sentence Reform Act of 1994.

97-10

Application of the Ex Post Facto Clause of Art. I, Sec. X of the United States Constitution to the Sentence Reform Act of 1994

97-8

The Ethics in Government Act establishes a total dollar limit for contributions which may be given to any individual candidate within a calendar year, regardless of the number of campaign committees a person may have in existence or their purpose.

97-6

The described use of appropriated funds violates the gratuities clause. For its expenditure or forbearance to collect, the State must receive something new, worth the money paid or let go, as determined by the appropriate state agency as a fiduciary of public funds.

97-7

The term "capital outlay projects for educational purposes" set forth at Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV(b)(1) of the Georgia Constitution includes school buses and equipment with an extended useful life.

97-5

Parties to a civil action to establish paternity are not entitled to a trial by jury.

97-4

The State Patrol cannot be prevented from carrying out its duties on public roads and highways.

97-3

Paper ballots may be used as an alternative to voting machines where ballot questions contemplated by the constitutional amendment authorizing a 1% sales and use tax for educational purposes cannot be made to adhere to the 75-word limitation contained in O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-2-325(b).

97-2

Notwithstanding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) interpretation to the contrary, the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) does not authorize another state to object to activities wholly within the geographical boundaries of Georgia. Also, Georgia's participation in the CZMA Program would not constitute consent to waiver of its Eleventh Amendment immunity or consent for other states to assert regulatory jurisdiction within Georgia.

97-1

Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 16-10-9 prohibits an individual who is employed as a staff member in the judicial branch of state government or in the General Assembly from being employed as a graduate research, laboratory, or teaching assistant at any unit of the University System of Georgia.

96-26

The use of ultrasound to diagnose pregnancy in animals constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine.

96-25

Questions regarding Pub. L. 104-208, amending the Gun Control Act of 1968, under the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997.

96-24

Seizure and disposition by law enforcement agencies of stolen property acquired by pawn shops.

96-23

School-age children placed in a facility by the Department of Human Resources or the Department of Children and Youth Services and who remain in that facility for more than sixty days must be provided a free education by the local school system in which the facility is located unless the child is in a Youth Detention Center, confined pursuant to a court sentence or unable to leave the facility.

96-22

Candidates for certification as a peace officer may not carry a weapon while on patrol with a field training officer unless they comply with the mandatory licensing requirements of O.C.G.A. ¿ 16-11-126 through 16-11-129.

96-21

Ultimate Fighting matches that encompass boxing, kick boxing, or contact karate are subject to O.C.G.A. Chapter 31, the rules and regulations developed thereunder, and the authority of the Georgia Boxing Commission.

96-20

The vendor disclosure requirement of O.C.G.A. ¿ 45-1-6 does not require disclosure of transactions, such as loans, extensions of credit and deposits, made in the ordinary course of business.

96-19

The State Board of Education lacks the statutory authority to hire its own staff or to designate Department of Education employees as staff for the Board.

96-18

Official Code of Georgia Annotated ¿ 21-2-76 does not prohibit persons who hold office in political parties from serving as members of county boards of elections or boards of elections and registration as created under O.C.G.A. ¿ 21-2-40.

96-17

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

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